Kingswear to Brixham on the South West Coast Path

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Our walk begins at the small village of Kingswear, with its large yacht marina and views of the famous Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and possibly unique ferries, pulled backwards and forwards by small tug-boats. Here we can visit the popular steam train station before heading out into the country and our first stop at a small beach below the tiny Kingswear Castle. Our path, after a strenuous climb, now takes us through woodland with views over the mouth of the Dart and Dartmouth Castle, before reaching Froward Point and the recently cleared and preserved, WW2 gun emplacements and lookout point that is now used by Coast Watch. There is a choice of paths here; the main path of our walk leads us steeply down along the coast path, but the views are truly magnificent. Or to avoid this stretch, our walk can be followed by going past the emplacements - the other way - and a link rejoins the coast path further along.

There are many picturesque views along the way, so have camera handy. The first main, accessible beach along this walk is Scabbacombe and you will probably need a few minutes' rest here before ascending the steep hill that awaits us. Continuing along more of the coast, we now descend to our second major beach at Mansands, another peaceful cove with a birdwatching lake. A further steep climb and our walk continues along the coast until we pass another quiet beach at St Mary's Bay (accessible via steps) before arriving at Sharkham Point and then Berry Head; both sites have natural beauty and are SSSIs.

At Berry Head there is a Napoleonic fort with well-preserved ramparts and defensive walls, together with a few remaining buildings. On the Point, there is a lighthouse which has been described as the lowest and highest in England! Roman artefacts found at Berry Head suggest a long history of sea defence on the headland, but the first evidence of a battery and camp on the site dates from the 1780s. In 1803 work on three substantial forts began, which held a total of forty cannons.

From here our walk takes us down through woodland and into the popular and quaint fishing port of Brixham with its tiny roads and fishermen's cottages. Here there is a variety of refreshments and a rest on the harbourside will reward us for our efforts. Brixham is the home of the few remaining traditional wooden trawlers, which can often be seen in the harbour or sailing around the coast.

England - South West England - Devon - Coast

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Museum, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
24/02/2013 - Patricia Daw

Tricia Daw- 17/2/13 We were soooo lucky with the weather. A gloriously sunny day saw us parking in Brixham and catching the bus to Kingswear (it's worth noting that right by the the stop is a traditional bakery that did very nice sandwiches in lovely bread for our packed lunch). The walk was still quite wet in places but it was a fabulous one with marvellous views. The author says 5hrs 55mins which is indicative of the sort of terrain - we are both used to walking but maybe not such hills and my husband has a dodgy hip so is more careful than some. Consequently as 5pm came and we had just passed the holiday chalets before Berry Head 6hrs after setting off we decided to cut off the last headland before it got too dark. We returned the following morning to complete the final bit of the walk - nice cafe on Berry head - dogs too welcome for my personal liking! Excellent directed walk although it is well signposted. Would recommend it more for one to do in the lighter months

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