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Walk - Salcombe to Torcross

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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 Events

  • Ocean City Festival

    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!

    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

  • Seafood Festival

    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.  

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.

Current Conditions

12°
Clear
Wind 12 mph NW

Tomorrow

12° - 19°
Sunny
Wind 16 mph WNW

Next day

10° - 18°
Sunny
Wind 13 mph WNW

Latest News

Latest Events

  • Coastal Combes & Heather Highs

    Coastal Combes & Heather Highs   28th Aug 2014 11:00am-2:30pm

    Meet a National Park Ranger for a walk across the scented heather moorland, down to cool woodland before a steady climb up to join the South West Coast Path and its fine views across the sea.

    Meet Holdstone Down car park (with overhead barrier). SS623474.

    11am for 3.5hrs/5miles.

    Bring a picnic and walking boots.

    More details here

  • Axe Vale & District Conservation Society Bird Watch

    Axe Vale & District Conservation Society Bird Watch - Monday 8th September

    Axe Estuary and Surrounding Area

    Join Ian Waite for a fascinating morning of birdwatching.           

    Date:               Monday 8th September 2014

    Time:               09.30 onwards

    Venue:             Meet at Axmouth Bridge lay by

  • Ocean City Festival

    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!

    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

  • Earth's Studio- Art Workshops II

    Lynmouth Pavilion
    Saturday 13th September
    11am - 4pm


    Join us for an inspirational walk in the woods and use soil and plant pigments to create printed collages of magical mosses, fabulous ferns and lovely lichens. Prepare to get messy as you get up close and personal with these hidden gems!


    Please bring a packed lunch and stout footwear. Also wear suitable clothing as the session may get a bit messy. You may also with to bring a camera. Meet at the Pavilion.


    Booking is essential for these free workshops. Visit www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/events to book your place.

  • Minehead Summertime Tasters

    Minhead Events will be organising a Food & Drink event called Minehead Summertime Tasters that ties in with the CAMRA Real Ale Festival at the West Somerset Railway on 13-14 Sept. 

    This will include local food producers based in the Beach Hotel offering taster sessions, also they hope to have the YMCA doing taster sessions and creative menus.

  • Inside Out on the South Dorset Ridgeway

    This September, from Friday 19th – Sunday 21st inclusive, 9 new artistic commissions will animate the stunning South Dorset Ridgeway, easily explored via the South West Coast Path. Inside Out Dorset Festival is presenting free outdoor events and artworks, will be situated in the village of Littlebredy, Black Down, Ashley Chase and the spaces between.

  • Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival

    The Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival

    Saturday 20th - Sunday 28th September 2014

    The beautiful Isle of Purbeck is a walker’s paradise. From coast to country, the variety is unsurpassed.  go to the Walking Festival website for more details

  • Guided Walk - Moonfleet

    Join a guided walk around Moonfleet exploring the literature and history of this atmospheric place nestling in the shadow of the South Dorset Ridgeway.  In association with the South West Coast Path's 'Great South West Walks'

  • Seafood Festival

    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.