Walk - Bay Esplanade Hotel - Greenway and Galmpton Creek

6.7 miles (10.8 km)

Broadsands Car Park Broadsands Car Park

Challenging - Streets and quiet roads, footpaths and tracks, with some fairly gentle ascent and descent. The walk crosses the beach very briefly at Galmpton Creek, so check out the tides before you leave.

A town and country walk with breathtaking views over Galmpton Creek and out across Tor Bay. And who can resist Agatha's Christie's house at Greenway, the River Dart from high above at Maypool, or Isambard Kingdom Brunel's railway viaduct? A good walk in autumn, when the trees are turning and birds and small mammals are busy rummaging through the leaves below, laying in supplies for the winter. This walk requires a short car journey to the pay and display Broadsands Car Park (TQ4 6HL).

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

South Bay Holiday Park

Set above the bustling town of Brixham, this lively holiday park has an action packed entertainment programme & childrens' adventure playground. Direct path to the delightful St Mary's Cove and the SW Coast Path. Range of chalets and caravans.

Holidayhomes4rent

Static caravan rental on South Bay Holiday Park. Next to Path. 2 & 3 bed units available. Prices starting from £125 for 3nts and £175 for 7 nt stays.

Your-Home-From-Home

Fabulous, clean places to stay, great views, free parking, warm and cozy

The Clifton at Paignton

Steve and Freda look forward to welcoming you to the Clifton, which is ideally located, just off the sea front. Around the corner from shops and stations. Within easy reach of Dartmoor.

Ten Lake Street

Beautifully presented 3-bedroom townhouse with small garage and private decked outdoor area. Ideally suited for 6 guests with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Eight Bells B&B

Variety of breakfasts with a stunning view. On waterfront, a few minutes from the Coast Path. 1 double, 1 family room. Both ensuite. Sleeps 6 max.

Fairholme B&B

Fairholme is a small and friendly B&B just off the coast path famed for its excellent breakfasts.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Salcombe Dairy Shop & Café, Dartmouth

Our ice cream and bean to bar café is set in the beautiful coastal town of Dartmouth. It’s an irresistible spot for walkers in need of sustenance.

The Guardhouse Cafe

Home-made seasonal food, cream teas and delicious coffee, all served with a smile and stunning views from our cliff-top Napoleonic Fortress.
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Sea Kayak Devon

Experience Devon's stunning coastline by sea kayak. Let our guides take you on an unforgettable journey. Individuals, groups, families. No experience necessary.

Discover Dartmouth at the Flavel Cafe

Lively arts cafe in centre of Dartmouth with information about things to, where to go and places to stay in the area

English Riviera Tourist Information Centre

Find all the information you need about accommodation, things to do and places to go to enjoy your visit to the English Riviera.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

To get to the Broadsands Car Park leave the Esplanade Hotel and head up Sands Road away from the sea. At the roundabout bear left into Whitstone Road and follow this over the railway bridge. At the next roundabout turn left onto the A379 Dartmouth Road. Follow this road until you reach Broadsands. Look out for the library on your left and turn left into Broadsands Road (signposted Broadsands Beach). Follow the winding Broadsands Road under the railway arches until you reach the Car Park on your left.

  1. Starting from Broadsands car park, follow the footpath around the woodland to the south, to Broadsands Road.
  2. Stay with the road, beneath the railway line, until you come to the footpath on the left.
  3. Take the footpath down to Bascombe Road. On the road, travel a few yards to your right and then turn left onto the path, to the A3022.
  4. Turn left here, and then right onto Slade Lane, and stay with it to the end.
  5. Turn right then right again for a few yards, to bear left onto Stoke Gabriel Road.
  6. Fork left onto Kiln Road, and walk down to Dartside Quay. Take the lane to the left, around the quay and past the boatyard, to travel uphill. Ignoring the turning to the left, take the footpath down to the creek, following it over the beach to the lime kiln.

Galmpton Creek has been a boatbuilding centre for centuries, and in its heyday over 300 sailing trawlers were built here, as well as wooden motor torpedo boats during WWII. It is still a bustling marine repair centre, but its use nowadays is mostly for pleasure craft. 

The lime kiln on the beach is one of several scattered on the estuary foreshore, and limestone from the quarry across the creek was burnt here to produce a soil fertiliser. The area from Berry Head sits on a thick bed of Devonian limestone, once marine reefs, and Galmpton was an important centre for quarrying the stone on the River Dart. It was also used as a ballast in the early ships sailing from here to Newfoundland, and Galmpton Creek limestone has been found in some of the earliest buildings in the New World. It also appears in French and Spanish harbours, for the same reason.

  1. By the lime kiln the path turns inland and travels up through two fields, passing between the farm buildings and onto the lane beyond. Note the chimney from the farm's one-time steam machinery.
  1. Crossing the lane, pick up the footpath on the other side, forking right in the woods, towards Greenway. Follow the signs down to Greenway and to the ferry; or if you are looping around back to Broadsands, turn left at the fingerpost at the end of the woods which points to Maypool/Kingswear/Brixham. (Retrace your steps to here if you are visiting Greenway first, and turn right towards Maypool to rejoin the route).

Greenway has a rich history with many seafaring connections, as you might expect from its waterside location. At the time of its first mention, in 1493, 'Greynway' was an important crossing point of the Dart, as it still is today. The first Greenway house was a Tudor mansion, built here in the late sixteenth century for Otho and Katherine Gilbert. Their son, Sir Humphrey, was a favourite with Elizabeth I, as was his stepbrother, Sir Walter Raleigh, and in searching for the North West Passage Gilbert stumbled across Newfoundland and took it for the queen. In the eighteenth century, another house was built at Greenway (the central block of the current building), and its owner, Roope Harris Roope, developed trading links with the New World, thought to be the import of plants and seeds. 

Subsequent owners of the house devoted much time and money to the gardens, creating, by the middle of the nineteenth century, 'a park of much natural beauty,' giving 'the appearance of enchantment rather than reality.' It is hardly surprising, then, that when the railway arrived, the incumbent of the time – a Cornish copper magnate – fiercely resisted the proposal to run the line over Greenway to carry passengers to the Dart. A compromise was reached, and the Paignton-Dartmouth Steam Railway still runs through the tunnel that was constructed beneath Greenway. 

In 1938, a certain Mr and Mrs Mallowan bought the house as a holiday home. Both were keen gardeners and passionate about Greenway's horticultural abundance. Mr Mallowan was a noteworthy archaeologist, and his wife was none other than crime writer Agatha Christie. Greenway was the setting for her book 'Dead Man's Folly', even down to the boathouse where Marlene Tucker's body was found.

Follow the path around the fields and along the ancient green track, onto the road beyond.

  1. Turn right at the footpath with a sign to Greenway Barton and take the footpath left a little way beyond.
  1. From here, take the next permissive path, straight on towards Churston Ferrers to walk to the A379. Cross the road and pick up the path opposite, bearing left to follow the path to Alston Lane and thence to the A3022.
  2. Cross this road, onto Churston Road opposite, then take Church Lane, on the left a little way beyond.
  3. At the end of this lane, a footpath leads past the golf course and onto Churston Point. Turn left around the point and on to the promenade at the end, to return to the car park.

To return to the Esplanade Hotel simply reverse the driving directions at the start of this walk.

Public transport

For those without access to cars, the number 12 Stagecoach service runs very regularly between Newton Abbot and Brixham. The number 12 bus service runs every 10 minutes or so between Brixham and Torquay, stopping at Broadsands, Goodrington, Paignton and Livermead. For timetable information, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Nearby Events

  • The Something Wild Festival 2022

    Date;  July 29th-31st

    Some of the best coast routes on the South West Coast path for night run, 5k, 10k or half marathon, marathon and Summit Wild Ultra as well as kid’s races.  100 acre festival arena, with tipis, hot tubs and saunas, dining tents, café, stage for comedy night.  More Info here 

  • East Devon 8 Trigs

    12th November 

    Eight trig points sit on a beautifully varied trail loop in East Devon. The route starts on Budleigh Salterton seafront and follows the South West Coast Path to High Peak trig point. Far reaching views from here extend to Berry Head to the South West and Portland to the East.

    Back for a 3rd year, more info here 

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