Walk - Teignmouth Seafront to Smugglers Lane

2.5 miles (4.1 km)

NCI Lookout, Teignmouth seafront NCI Lookout, Teignmouth seafront

Easy - Easy - This walk starts on Teignmouth Sea Front by the Lookout Station, a five-minute walk from the railway station and Eastcliffe Car Park. This is a flat walk, with one flight of steps to reach Smugglers Lane. The walk should not be attempted at times of very high tide or stormy weather because parts of the surface can be very slippery during and after wet weather. There is a drop of 5 metres to the beach and sea with no barriers.

A walk along a stretch of the sea wall from Teignmouth to Smugglers Lane with a mile of stunning views from the Coast Path in each direction. 

To check that this walk is suitable for you click here where you can find additional mapping and photographs showing gradients, path surfaces, and other detailed information.

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.

The Blenheim

The Blenheim is an 18th century building sitated on the seafront in Dawlish with 11 ensuite rooms enjoying sea views.

The Thornhill

A warm welcome awaits you in our elegant Georgian building, situated on the seafront, comprising 10 comfortable well-appointed bedrooms, each furnished with flat-screen TV. 

Lynton House

A welcoming B&B ideally situated on Teignmouth seafront, only yards from the main beach, the picturesque river beach and the main shopping centre.

Longmeadow Farm

Where the coast meets the country. Relaxed camping on a family-run farm with 3 comfortable self catering holiday apartments.Ideal for the Coast Path.

Sea Light

Relax in a oasis of calm with organic drinks, delicious health-giving food, cream teas & licensed bar with original oil paintings

Langstone Cliff Hotel

64 room 3 Star hotel with wide range of facilities in 19 acres overlooking sea and Exe estuary. Perfectly situated as a base for walking the local sections of the South West Coast Path.

Cofton Holidays

A stunning park with camping, caravans & cottages with year-round facilities, a short stroll from Cockwood (Starcross).

The Croft Guest House

Set in an acre of gardens overlooking Cockwood Harbour and the Exe estuary, 1 miles from Starcross and 2.3 miles from Powderham Castle
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.

Salty Dog Kiosk

Relax in the sun where smugglers ran contraband off the beach into the night. Great coffee, proper scones & ice creams. 10am-4pm every day.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the Lookout Station on the seafront, pick up the South West Coast Path and follow it along the sea wall, with the sea on your right.
  2. After about 1/2 mile you will reach Sprey Point.

Spey Point is an outcrop originally formed by the unstable sandstone cliffs between Teignmouth and Dawlish but expanded by Isambard Kingdom Brunel so that he could bring in materials to build the railway line.

On the Point, there is now a little picnic area with a large 'Teignmouth' sign situated here for those passing by train to see as they head into town. This part of the coast once had cottages along it belonging to East Teignmouth villagers in days of old before the railways existed. The cellars of their homes were used as fish stores. 

The railway line here is part of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Penzance-Paddington line. Brunel was appointed as the engineer to the South Devon Railway in 1843 and decided to use the innovative atmospheric railway system to power the trains. This involved running pipes along the rails and creating a vacuum in them to propel the train by means of a piston from the train running through the tube via a sealable slot. The system encountered two problems: one, the tubes had to be emptied of air at the pumping stations along the route according to a timetable which was both inefficient and expensive and two, the spray from the sea during stormy weather made it difficult to seal the tubes effectively. Because of these issues, atmospheric trains were used for less than a year, from 1847-1848. 

  1. After Sprey Point carry on to the steps just before the headland at Parson's Tunnel. Go down the steps and through the archway beyond, and follow to the bottom of Smugglers' Lane, where a seasonal cafe can be found. (If you follow this lane steeply uphill to the main road you will be heading onto Holcombe and Dawlish).

The Parson and Clerk rocks you can see off the headland by Parson's Tunnel, are said to represent a real life pair. By trying to take the seat of the Bishop of Exeter for themselves and plundering local taxes they are believed to have fallen in with the Devil and finally fell into the sea and drowned!

  1. Return to Teignmouth sea front following the sea wall and passing Sprey Point again along the way. To extend the walk continue along the sea front passing Teignmouth’s Grand Pier.

This was built between 1865 and 1867 and is over 210 metres long. To the right, the grassy area is part of The Den. Den Crescent and its central Assembly Rooms were laid out in 1826 by Andrew Patey of Exeter. They survive relatively unchanged today. In the 19th century, the Assembly Rooms were the hub of the town's social life with Franz Liszt, playing there in 1840. Since then it has been a gentlemen’s club, a cinema and has now been converted into flats.

  1. Continuing all the way to The Point, you will pass the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1845 at a cost of £200. It is 37 feet high and is visible for 6 miles. In front of the Lynton Hotel in Powderham Terrace is a second light mounted on a pole. Larger incoming vessels must line up this light with that coming from the lighthouse -  only then is it safe to make the turn into the mouth of the river.

The view upstream from the Point takes in the village of Shaldon which can be reached by a ferry situated near the Lifeboat Station. Also visible is Shaldon Bridge originally opened in 1827 at an overall cost of £26,000. At 1671 feet long and with 34 wooden arches, it was, at that time, the longest wooden bridge in England.

Turn around and make your way back along the seafront to the start of your walk at the Lookout Station.

Public transport

Buses from Exeter, Torquay and Newton Abbot all stop near the seafront. Teignmouth Railway Station is a short distance away and can be reached on flat pavements.

Parking

Eastcliffe Car Park, Dawlish Road, Teignmouth TQ14 8TE

The Point Car Park, Teignmouth seafront TQ14 8SY

close
close

Walk Finder

Find...

Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location

Difficulty

Length (miles)

Themes

close

Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do

Find...

Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location
close

Interactive Map