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Walk - Salcombe to Torcross

3D Fly Through

View a 3D fly through of the route using the Google Earth plugin

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Highlights

  • The ferry crossing from Salcombe to East Portlemouth. The ferry runs daily throughout the year. For more details tel: 01548 842061/842364.
  • The view down to Elender Cove from Gammon Head.
  • Views from Prawle Point: with a name meaning ‘lookout hill’ it is no wonder that this headland, which is the most southerly point in Devon, has been an important viewpoint for centuries. National Coastwatch volunteers run a watch house here.
  • The impressive rocky platforms reaching out to the sea, cut by the waves in the last Ice Age.
  • Looking out for cirl buntings: thanks to the work of local farmers, the RSPB and Natural England, these once threatened birds are returning to the fields and hedgerows around Prawle Point. Farmers leave the fields uncultivated over winter and the remains of crops provide a valuable source of food for these and other birds.
  • Having a picnic on the beautiful sands of Lannacombe Beach or Great Mattiscombe Sands.
  • The exhilarating feeling of reaching the exposed peninsula of Start Point and looking over Start Bay opening up ahead. On a clear day it is even possible to make out the Isle of Portland on the horizon.
  • Hallsands: the ruined fishing village of Hallsands had been precariously built between the cliffs and the sea and was destroyed by storms in 1917, leaving just a view gable ends. Debate has raged ever since about whether offshore dredging of shingle for the construction of Devonport dockyard caused the disaster and you can find out more about this on the Hallsands website. The cliffs and ruined buildings here are also home to a colony of breeding kittiwakes.
  • Beesands and Widdicombe Ley: the freshwater lake and surrounding grassland supports a variety of wildlife. There is a bird hide here and more than 180 species of birds have been recorded.
  • Throwing pebbles in the sea at Torcross at the end of an exhilarating day of walking. There is a memorial here to all the locals who evacuated their homes to make way for allied troops preparing for the Normandy landings.
  • The American Sherman tank memorial commemorates the hundreds of US servicemen who died here during Operation Tiger when they were attacked by German boats.

Places of interest

  • Exploring the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary which provides a variety of habitats for many different species of birds, such as gannets, curlews, grebes and mute swans.
  • The Parish Church of Saint Winwaloe, inland in the village of East Portlemouth. This church has retained some of its 12th century structure and has a beautiful 15th century rood screen.
  • Start Point Lighthouse: follow the footpath 1/4 mile each way down to the lighthouse, which is open to visitors at peak times throughout the year, and the lighthouse keepers cottages are now let as holiday cottages.

Shorter option

It is difficult to shorten this section due to the lack of accommodation and bus services. You may like to walk a short section out and back from Salcombe.

Longer option

Continue to Strete (an additional 3.4 miles, 5.6 km).

Nearby refreshments

At East Portlemouth, beside the ferry landing stage is the Venus Beach Cafe which serves high quality local produce at reasonable prices. Further on, refreshments are available at Gara Rock (seasonal), Hallsands, Beesands and at Torcross, which has a small selection of pubs, restaurants and shops.

Public transport

The nearest train stations are Totnes and Plymouth. Both both towns you can catch buses to Salcombe (change at Kingsbridge) and Torcross. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

The ferry from Salcome to East Portlemouth runs daily throughout the year - see our estuaries and ferries page for more information.

Parking

Salcombe, East Portlemouth, Mill Bay, Gara Rock, Prawle Point, inland in East Prawle, Lannacombe Beach, above Shoelodge Cove, Hallsands, Beesands and Torcross.

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Nearby Walks

Nearby accommodation

SWCP Association list

This list is provided by the SWCP Association in partnership with Luggage Transfers Ltd (who move walker's bags along the whole path), and these places are used to taking walkers for a single night.

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  • Tales of the Exmoor Coast

    22nd November 2014 4:00pm-7:00pm

    Hear folk lore, fable and fact about Exmoor's coast from Exmoor National Park Ranger Tim Parish, then we invite you to add your own! Interactive and entertaining - come and share your stories...

    This event is brought to you by: Lynmouth Pavilion Project
    Location: Lynmouth Pavilion EX35 6EQ
    Booking: Booking not essential but would be helpful
    Charge: Free event
    Contact: 01598 752509