CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Climbing and Coasteering in the English Riviera Geopark

PUBLISHED: 19:56 11 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:41 20 February 2013

Climbing and Coasteering in the English Riviera Geopark

Climbing and Coasteering in the English Riviera Geopark

The English Riviera Tourism Company together with Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust came up with this fab idea to offer visitors to the English Riviera a chance to see some of the hidden sights that make up their spectacular Global Geopark.

The English Riviera Tourism Company together with Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust came up with this fab idea to offer visitors to the English Riviera a chance to see some of the hidden sights that make up their spectacular Global Geopark.


And I can think of no better way than scrambling and swimming along one of its most enchanting stretches of coastline. Its not only beautiful but also rich with geological wonders and treasures from the Devonian period where the rocky outcrops of Torbay were formed during the Ice Ages.

Our coasteering started at stunning Ansteys Cove where we were kitted up in wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets by our fantastic instructor, Ross. We had done some rock-climbing in the morning to warm up our appetite for the adventure ahead so leaping into the water on the edge of Redgate Beach seemed a nice idea.

Once Id got over the initial shock of the cool water, I warmed up pretty quickly. Ross, our instructor had us all hold hands in a circle and, at the count of three, we all ducked our heads under, fetching red helmets and all, to get a feel for what was to come.

I was awestruck by the beauty in this part of the Bay and the sheer variety and interest of the rock formations explained to us by ERTCs photographer and resident geologist Tom. We scrambled over boulders and rocks lying in shallow, gorgeously aquamarine water, feeling our way with hands and wet trainer-clad feet. We could have done with gloves occasionally as we scrambled up the rocks and Ross recommended kitchen Marigolds as the glovewear of choice for the coasteerer!

After swimming towards a huge rock we clambered out of the water and prepared for our first jump, more of an ungainly flop, into the water. We practised making the ok signal each time we bobbed up. Then we swam further out across the Bay. Redgate Bay is obviously a popular spot for coasteering and there was another coasteering group enjoying the water too.

Two or three jumps later, each getting just a little higher, we attempted our first traverse, scrambling along the rocks just above the waterline, hand over hand, gingerly feeling our way. The big challenge was to try to get round a particularly tricky overhang and we managed this with varying levels of success and much laughter. The good news is that you can plop, flop or splash down into the water and swim round whenever you like.

The final jump, I would swear was at least 20ft high but Tom, more realistically, put it at around 8 ft. Im actually sure it was more like 12ft! Anyway it felt really high and as Id been taught I held onto my buoyancy aid and jumped. Blue bubbles flew round my head as I went down and then I shot back up to the surface. A very exhilarating feeling and definitely puts the small things in life well into perspective!

The day finished with a swim back around the Bay, a visit to Ansteys Coves great caf and a stroll back up to the free parking at the top of the hill.

So dont spend your weekends on the sofa or trailing round the supermarket, come to the funky English Riviera and join one of the great Discovery Packages organised by English Riviera Tourism Company and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. The age group present ranged from twenties to fifties and we all had huge fun.

My next adventure is on 22nd July when Im doing Canoe the Coves cant wait!

For more information see Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust's website http://www.countryside-trust.org.uk/

For more on what to do and where to stay on the English Riviera visit http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/

Photos courtesy of English Riviera Tourism Company.

Climbing photo by Tom Smith.

0 comments

More from People

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Devon’s Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, also known as The Black Farmer, tells KATE WILLIAMS about his new book, Jeopardy, encouraging the embracing of risk to enrich life

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As five members of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton celebrate 125 years of collective volunteering, we look back on their time with the organisation

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CAROLYN SEAGER reveals how long after her mother’s death she discovered her amazing career in the service of her country

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An author known for her novels depicting life on the Channel Islands is nonetheless happiest writing from home here in Devon

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fig Tree Court is a development of 14 apartments in Tiverton for retired and semi- retired over-55s with gorgeous views over the Grand Western Canal

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Alex Green goes behind the scenes on the Dartington Hall Estate to find a community of artists, makers, farmers, and social entrepreneurs living out the legacy of its founders

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Many people know of award-winning Roly’s Fudge, but do they know how much hard work and business insight goes into making it?

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Topsham businessmen Steve Williams and Pete Woodham-Kay take an ethical stance on eating meat | Photos: Nick Hook

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

As llama love grips the nation, we meet a Dartmoor couple who have spent the last 11 years making them their livelihood | Words: Lydia Tewkesbury

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Aimee Pagliari is the Teignmouth Life Coach and she can help you achieve your personal, career or business success through a variety of holistic methods

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Although doulas are relatively unknown in the Western world, they have been supporting mothers around the world since biblical times. We’ve met Aimee Pagliari, the Teignmouth Doula, to find out more

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Aimee Pagliari of Teignmouth Counselling has been working as a counsellor for 10 years and we’ve spoken to her to find out who can benefit from such therapy

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gill Heavens salutes a long-standing North Devon club whose members love to explore the depths of our offshore waters

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cantering up the gently sloping, springy turf of a Dartmoor tor is a million miles away from the noise, pollution and hubbub of Sara Cox’s life in London – and that’s exactly why the 43-year-old radio and TV presenter keeps coming back to ride there.

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