CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

6 reasons why you should go walking in South Devon

PUBLISHED: 12:44 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 04 September 2018

Dartmouth Castle viewed across the graveyard of St. Petroc's church (c) Richard Szwejkowski, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Dartmouth Castle viewed across the graveyard of St. Petroc's church (c) Richard Szwejkowski, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Archant

Dust off your walking shoes and head to South Devon – here are 6 reasons why the area is so good for a stroll writes Victoria Rogers

The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to a vast network of winding footpaths and unspoilt bridleways, not to mention over 190,808 steps of breathtaking South West Coast Path, lined with jaw-dropping sea and country views.

With so many routes to enjoy, many of which are superb for exercising dogs, it is little wonder the region is attractive to walkers of all types. Whether you prefer short saunters or are a hardened hiker, here are some suggestions to tempt you to dust off your walking boots.

1) Experienced explorers

For the more seasoned walker, comfortable over long distances and more challenging terrain, why not tackle a stretch of the Start Bay coastline? Beginning at Dartmouth, head towards the popular Blackpool Sands beach, taking in the many coves along the way.

If you choose the circular option the walk is 10 miles – enough to build up a good appetite for supper in one of Dartmouth’s award-winning restaurants on your return.

The walk from Hope Cove to Salcombe is also a great choice if you are planning a whole day on the trail. Favoured by many locals and visitors to the Salcombe area, the dramatic, rugged coastline contrasts with the gentle South Hams hills to create an unforgettable backdrop to your walk. There are many viewpoints and picnic spots if you need a breather – look out for the remains of an old Iron Age fort along the way!

Hope Cove, Devon

2) Sunday strollers

Prefer a more leisurely stroll rather than a long hike? Thurlestone to Bantham is an easy route if you are looking to take things at a more sedate pace, providing stunning views of Burgh Island and Thurlestone Rock.

With benches dotted along the path, perfect for a rest whilst admiring the breathtaking scenery, this easy four-mile circular walk is great for families and suits all ages. Those itching to feel the sand between their toes will also be pleased to find the route is interspersed with four beaches. Another leisurely option that offers dazzling sea views and an incredible feeling of tranquillity is the East Soar circular walk.

Whilst it is longer that the Thurlestone to Bantham walk, it still feels like a relaxing ramble, rather than an arduous trek. Look out for the inquisitive wild ponies, and don’t forget to drop in to the East Soar Walker’s Hut for a delicious coffee and cake… a wonderful reward for the four-mile stroll.

Thurlestone Rock

3) Food trails

The region is home to so many fantastic food establishments, serving everything from succulent freshly-caught seafood to delicious locally-made ice cream. Many of the most popular walking routes are lined with restaurants, cafés and beachside pitstops, serving exceptional food sure to spur on even the most reluctant walker!

The three-mile linear walk from the pretty fishing village of Hope Cove to the picturesque village of Thurlestone not only includes a host of tempting places to dine, but also boasts unmissable views of Bolt Tail and Thurlestone Rock.

The Cove Café Bar at Hope Cove, the Beachhouse at South Milton Sands and The Village Inn in Thurlestone are all on the path, meaning you can enjoy refreshments every step of the way. With options ranging from mouth-watering fresh seafood platters, to good old-fashioned Devonshire cream teas, the calories consumed may out-weigh those burned!

South Milton Sands

4) A pooch’s paradise

South Devon not only has multiple dog-friendly beaches to run on and miles of the South West Coast Path to explore, but many eateries and attractions that welcome pets too, making it an excellent area for those with dogs.

The route from Beesands to Hallsands is a fabulous moderate 1.5 mile circular, ideal for allowing your dogs to stretch their legs all-year-round.

Finish your walk at Beesands and enjoy a bite to eat in the Cricket Inn, where your dog will be welcome too.

Beesands

5) Footpaths for families

Why not escape the crowds with the children this summer and head ‘off the beaten track’? A stone’s throw from the picturesque town of Salcombe and its beaches, yet worlds away from any hustle and bustle, the gentle terrain of the walk at Snapes Point offers 360 degree views of rolling hills and the delightful Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary.

This is a great option for tots wanting to stretch their little legs, or those wishing to stay in the comfort of their pushchair!

For nature loving children with a keen eye, the walk from East Portlemouth to Gara Rock is sure to provide plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities. Passing Sunny Cove, Splat Cove and Stink Cove on your route, look out for gannets and terns plunging into the water. There have also been sightings of dolphins, basking sharks and dustbin lid jellyfish on this trail!

East Portlemouth

6) History and culture

When out and about walking South Devon’s picturesque pathways don’t forget to look out for the numerous sites of interest that are scattered across this historic and culturally intriguing region.

The ruins of the forgotten village of South Hallsands on the Start Bay coastline, lost to storms in 1917, are fascinating, whilst the National Trust property Greenway House and Gardens, Agatha Christie’s former home, is a welcome rest stop for those walking from Dartmouth to Dittisham via Kingswear.

The National Trust property Overbeck’s in Salcombe, and English Heritage’s Dartmouth Castle are also wonderful places to soak up local history.

Dartmouth Castle

South Devon Walking Guide

Looking for more information on these walks? Four-time British Travel Award-winning holiday lettings agency Coast & Country Cottages has launched a free downloadable resource, the South Devon Walking Guide.

Featuring 14 detailed walks complete with maps, plus useful, informative articles containing advice from local experts and national organisations like the National Farmers’ Union, this guide will help walkers of all abilities to easily navigate South Devon on foot.

Use this handy resource to plan your route, to choose your food pitstops, or for help spotting and identifying wildlife along the way!

To download your copy visit coastandcountry.co.uk/downloads

_____________

Follow Devon Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Tue, 16:33

With breathtaking beaches, rolling countryside, stately homes and unique villages, it’s no wonder high-profile film productions flock to Devon - how well do you know the movies that have set up camp here however?

Read more
Tue, 15:17

Whether it’s on our beautiful beaches, in our magnificent moors or within our stunning stately homes, film productions are constantly setting up in Devon. Here are 16 that you might not know used the county as a filming location

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

From angry spirits to headless horses and ghoulish monks, Devon has more than a few supernatural stories to get your skin crawling. We have picked 11 haunted places in the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October is the perfect time to discover the joys of Exmoor. Jennette Baxter of Visit Exmoor suggests five great ways to enjoy autumn on the moor

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wild camping can be one of the best ways to escape the crowds for a night or two and lose yourself in the landscape - SOPHIE PAVELLE chooses her five favourite places to ‘wild-life’ camp in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As the weather starts to warm up and the Devon countryside beckons, LIZZIE JANE of the National Trust in the South West offers plenty of walk ideas for you to try. Whether you want a relaxed Sunday stroll or a more strenuous hike, here are 10 walks across Devon (and beyond) to help you escape the crowds and head off the beaten track

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The South West Coast Path is celebrating 40 years by calling on people to help raise £40,000. To show their support, teams from Devon’s top tourist attractions are preparing to take to the trail. CHRISSY HARRIS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Away from the hustle of places like Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, North Devon is peppered with tiny coves, empty beaches and wooded walks leading to secluded bays that feel a million miles away from the tourist trail. BECKY DICKINSON reveals her pick of the best kept secrets on the North Devon coast

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

As part of her regular series where she visits Devon’s best places for 24 hours, Lydia Tewkesbury has this time been to Sidmouth

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ranging from rocky and windy walkways along the South West Coast Path to the sandy beaches on the picturesque coastline, the district of North Devon is one of the prettiest coastal areas in the South West of England. In no particular order, here are 10 of the prettiest villages in the district of North Devon

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

In Devon’s towns and cities there’s an awful lot you can do in just 24 hours. For her regular feature, Lydia Tewkesbury travels to see what you can do in a day in Kingsbridge

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Villages in Devon are some of the prettiest in the South West. From beautiful little hamlets on the outskirts of the moors to seaside communities, we pick 10 villages in Devon you need to visit

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search