Stokenham - Torcross - Slapton Ley - Slapton

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk and have an active subscription. Please join, or log in above if you are already a member.

This route is a wonderful mix of inland paths, a section along the side of a nature reserve and the opportunity to walk along an absolutely flat stretch of coastline. This section is one of the very few such flat stretches of coast on the whole of the South West Way. The walk ends with a good uphill and downhill section for the final couple of miles along country lanes and across fields. The walk starts from the village of Stokenham and uses a permissive path, opened in the summer of 2005 to link Stokenham to the sea at Torcross, using footpaths rather than walking on the busy main road which was the only direct route to get from one place to the other before the local residents organised the permissive path. Torcross and Slapton Sands was the scene of a military tragedy during the second world war (see additional information) and there is a most unusual memorial to the event which you will visit on the walk at Torcross. The nature reserve is also most unusual in that it is a fresh water lake right beside the sea and only separated from it by a huge pebble bank and a road. At some time in the future it is inevitable that the sea will erode the pebble bank and the freshwater lake will disappear. Already the lovely lake must be partly saline, particularly when easterly gales drive the seas across the road. In 2003 the road linking Torcross with Strete was battered by gales and parts of it washed away and the county council have indicated that it is only a matter of time before the coastal road is given up to the sea, just as Hallsands was, further down the coast (again see the additional information notes). The route takes in over 50% of the periphery of the lake and there are many birds and other wildlife to spot as you walk around close to the waterside, before you make your way up to the village which gave its name to the lake. The village is Slapton and the lake is called Slapton Ley, which is a site of special scientific interest incidentally. Although the section of the walk around the ley is relatively flat, you are walking in the South Hams of Devon. You are reminded of that in the final section from Slapton back to Stokenham. It is across real South Hams undulating terrain with a hard climb from sea level up to the top of a steep hill at Coleridge Cross, thence downhill again to reach Stokenham.

A jpg illustrating the true route, curves and all from Outdoor Active and a track version of the route as a gpx are available from the Related Downloads tab.

England - South West England - Devon - Coast


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
6/29/2020 - Ian Berry

Wakkers should note that the Permissive path from the church car park is no longer open and locals advise it will never be again as it has changed hands. There is a diversion notice an the locked gate which is fine only adding a about 300 yards and takes you to the caravan park which sign posts to the road pavement. I do not recommend using the fairly narrow main road to Torcross. Ian Berry (member)

4/15/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

Walking via Frittiscombe along country lanes from Stokenham is a different route which could be submitted (perhaps Mr Reed would like to try). However we do find that road walking is not popular with Walkingworld members.

4/13/2008 - Peter Reed

I prefer to start in Stokenham and head for Frittiscombe, going via Deer bridge to the nature reserve and then on to the Ley-Torcross-stokenham Rd.

Walkingworld members near this walk

Distance away
17.4 Miles