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Walk - Torcross to Dartmouth

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Highlights

  • Throwing pebbles in the sea at Torcross. Here you will see two memorials. One is a memorial to all the locals who evacuated their homes to make way for allied troops preparing for the Normandy landings and the American Sherman tank memorial commemorates the US servicemen who died here during Operation Tiger when they were attacked by German boats.
  • Slapton Sands and Slapton Ley: Devon’s largest natural freshwater lake is a National Nature Reserve and home to many rare species of plants and birds.
  • Views from the fields above Forest Cove back to Slapton and Start Point and ahead towards Froward Point.
  • Stopping for refreshments at Blackpool Sands. This is a beautiful sheltered beach surrounded by trees where you will find an excellent cafe (see below for details).
  • Fantastic views from Warren Point. The offshore rocks are rather oddly named the Dancing Beggars.
  • The wonderfully named coves, including Compass Cove, Shinglehill Cove, Ladies Cove and Deadman’s Cove.
  • Watching the shags and cormorants from Blackstone Point.
  • Dartmouth Castle: work on fortifying this area began in the 14th century and it was the first castle to be built specifically for artillery. The castle is now managed by English Heritage and is open to the public.
  • Views across the Dart to Kingswear. Keep a look out for the Dart Valley Steam Train, which follows the line that was opened to use in 1864.
  • Walking on the cobbles of Bayard’s Cove: here you will find the shell of an Elizabethan fort. The cove was one of the last stops for the Pilgrim Fathers setting off for America in 1620, and has 'starred' in numerous tv shows and films including 'The Onedin Line'.
  • Dartmouth: built between steep wooded hillsides, with an attractive harbour and streets filled with interesting shops, galleries and award winning restaurants and cafes, Dartmouth makes a perfect end to your long day of walking. Dartmouth has always been an important port, in fact Richard the Lionheart and his Crusaders set sail from here, as did a number of troops for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The Britannia Royal Naval College is still based here and there are many interesting buildings to look out for, including the Grade I listed Butterwalk and Agincourt House which dates from around 1380.

Places of interest

  • The Field Studies Council at Slapton Ley Field Centre. The Centre manages the Nature Reserve and runs residential environmental courses.
  • Strete Gate Picnic Site at the nothern end of Slapton beach has great views across Start Bay, short nature and orienteering trails and peaceful sheltered spots to eat lunch.
  • National Trust’s Warfleet and Gallants Bower: the remains of an English Civil War fort, built by Royalist occupation forces in 1643.

Shorter option

Stoke Fleming (5.9 miles, 9.6 km).

Longer option

Take the ferry across Dartmouth harbour to Kingswear.

Nearby refreshments

Refreshments are available at the beginning of the day in Torcross and then further on in Strete and Stoke Fleming, where there are pubs and general stores. There is the excellent Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands, which serves local, organic produce and at the end of the journey Dartmouth has a wide range of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Public transport

The nearest train station at Totnes, from where there are frequent buses to Dartmouth, Slapton, Strete and Torcross. You can also catch a scenic river cruise down the Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth, or from the mainline train station at Paignton catch a steam train to Kingswear (across the river from Dartmouth).

For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train stations or bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Torcross, Slapton Sands, Strete Gate, Blackpool Sands, inland at Stoke Fleming, inland from Warren Cove, Dartmouth Castle and Dartmouth.

Dartmouth from the lower ferry Photographer Julia Waters (2012 Photo Competition entry)

Dartmouth from the lower ferry Photographer Julia Waters (2012 Photo Competition entry)

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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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Latest News

  • Join in and Celebrate an Award Winning Link on the South West Coast Path

    On Friday 24 October, you can join RIBA for a celebratory talk that will give you an insight into the design and build of the Gillespie Yunnie Architects’ staircase at Royal William Yard, Plymouth. This filled a gap in the South West Coast Path, bringing walkers around the Stonehouse peninsula for the first time. Online booking: http://royal-william-yard.eventbrite.co.uk

  • Voting Opens For Top Dog Walk Competition

    Voting has just opened for the third annual Top Dog Walk competition with the continued backing of Your Dog Magazine and the Kennel Club’s access advisor Stephen Jenkinson, an expert on where dog owners can go and what they can do in the countryside. Dog owners are invited to nominate their favourite walk, for their four-legged friends, from walks all around the South West Coast Path. One lucky voter will receive a complimentary stay at one of Toad Hall Cottages 300 dog friendly cottages to the value of £500.

  • The Early Photographer Catches the Prize!

    Back in August saw the announcement of the winning photographs in Round 5 of the Amateur Photographer of the Year Competition – entitled Dawn and Dusk. Among the 30 most spectacular images the majority included the sea and coastline in some form.

    If you are thinking of entering this year’s South West Coast Path photographic competition it is well worth feasting your eyes on these to give you renewed inspiration.

    Amateur Photographer of the Year – Dawn and Dusk Gallery

  • Penny Mordaunt MP Visits the Coast Path to Discuss Storm Damage

    The new Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt MP, visited the South West Coast Path at Thurlestone, South Devon, earlier this week.

    Penny Mordaunt

  • South West Coast Path Secures £1 million Investment

    The South West Coast Path Association is delighted to announce today that they have been successful in their bid to the Coastal Communities Fund to secure £1 million investment in the South West Coast Path. 

  • Photo journalists - Create a story for the path

    We want you to help us to tell the story of a day in the life of the South West Coast Path. Our friends at Western Morning News have offered us a two page photo essay spread to include up to eight photographs with a 500 word editorial. We can do it ourselves of course but we know that you can do it even better! We're asking for help from Coast Path enthusiasts with photo journalism skills to produce this. 

  • Coast Path reopened near Thurlestone

    Devon County Council yesterday completed work to re-open a section of Coast Path south of Thurlestone which had been closed since early 2013 when it was severed by a cliff fall. The new route follows the edge of the field, and whilst slightly longer than the original route retains stunning views along the coast.  

  • New National Trail Geocoins to be released

    In July, August and September ten new Geocoins, one a week for ten weeks will be released. The first will coincide with the start of the National Trail Geocaching Week from 12th to 19th July. The last as part the Great South West Walks event 20th to 28th September.

  • South West Coast Path Photographic Competition attracts Top Professional as Judge

    The team behind this year’s Coast Path Photographic Competition is excited to announce that David Noton has agreed to come on board as their Professional Judge. 

  • The Great South West Walks 2014 Opens For Bookings - 100 New Walks Announced

    With 100 stunning coastal walks to choose from, the Great South West Walks 2014 is now open for bookings.

    These specially selected circular walks by the South West Coast Path Association, will take place across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset from 20th – 28th September.

Latest Events

  • 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