Walk - Salcombe to Torcross
- Lannacombe (near Start Point) - short diversion around cliff fall - Oct 2013: Following a cliff fall, the Coast Path has been permanently moved onto a new route. More details.
3D Fly Through
View a 3D fly through of the route using the Google Earth plugin
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- 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.
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.
Continue to Strete (an additional 3.4 miles, 5.6 km).
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.
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.
Salcombe, East Portlemouth, Mill Bay, Gara Rock, Prawle Point, inland in East Prawle, Lannacombe Beach, above Shoelodge Cove, Hallsands, Beesands and Torcross.
Section 39: Salcombe to Torcross
Starts 454 miles (732 km) from Minehead
Ends 165 miles (266 km) to Poole
Previous section in South West Coast Path Bigbury on Sea to Salcombe
Next section in South West Coast Path Torcross to Dartmouth
Local maps and publications
Plymouth’s annual Ocean City Festival (8th – 28th September) returns bigger and better in 2014. The festival is designed to offer a fun and engaging way for families and visitors to enjoy the city, taste great food, see fascinating marine life, experience inspiring art and music and learn about a world beneath the waves. The event also aims to raise awareness, nationally and internationally, of Plymouth’s role as a leading UK marine city, for research, leisure, heritage and local produce.
Big night out on the beach!
Sat 13th Sep
National Trust and South Devon AONB
South Milton Sands
Join us for our annual evening of fun and activities on the beach! Watersports taster sessions, rockpooling, bird walks, star gazing, children’s activities, refreshments in the Beach House café and more! (Bring a clean jam jar if you want to make a lantern.) Free (small charges for watersports sessions and car park).
No need to book - just turn up!
6pm until late.
Meet at South Milton Sands, South Milton SX 677414
As part of the Ocean City Festival Plymouth’s Seafood Festival (Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th September) will showcase the fantastic quality of seafood available in Plymouth, both local and celebrity chefs will create a range of mouth-watering dishes from the catch of the day.
Easy walks (5 walks)
Bolberry Down has a network of paths running along high cliff tops with great views, providing a choice ...read more
Much of this stretch of the South West Coast Path is owned by The National Trust. There are ...read more
A short stroll through rugged scenery, with a steady descent down the old lighthouse road to the headland ...read more
This short walk packs in a lot - a lighthouse, stunning rugged scenery and (with luck) sightings of seals ...read more
Moderate walks (10 walks)
An open stroll above the western shoreline of Salcombe Harbour, passing the romantic ruins of Fort Charles, which ...read more
A short sharp stroll through a tropical wonderland of palms and banana trees to a rugged wilderness of ...read more
Down at Prawle Point you are at the most southerly spot in Devon, with an atmosphere all of ...read more
This section of the South West Coast Path is particularly tough, but the spectacular views are certainly very ...read more
Challenging walks (3 walks)
A loop through the woods and picturesque thatched villages behind Sharp Tor, returning along a stretch of high ...read more
A circular walk between two Iron Age enclosures thought to have been built by the Celtic Dumnonii tribe ...read more
A short but fairly strenuous walk around Devon's most southerly point, named from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning ...read more
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.
Wind 12 mph NW
12° - 19°
Wind 16 mph WNW
10° - 18°
Wind 13 mph WNW