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The South West Coastal Path

One of the delights of being so close to the sea is being able to walk the coastal path which circumnavigates our stunning Devon coastline.

Last week, Julian and I decided to recharge the batteries and have a couple of days off and get out and about to enjoy the beautiful and interesting area we live in.

One of the days, we chose to walk along part of the coastal path (known as England's #SeaFoodCoast as it includes Brixham Harbour - where the biggest value catch of fish is landed anywhere in the UK, and the many local seaside towns who serve locally caught seafood in the excellent restaurants). To get to Brixham we took the Brixham Express which can be caught in Torquay Harbour and only takes 15 minutes. It was Patsy’s first time on a boat.

Once we’d docked we headed towards Brixham Battery (the coastal defenses built in 1940 and now a museum run by a heritage group). Very quickly you leave behind the hustle and bustle of the vibrant fishing Harbour and enter the quiet countryside flanked by the sea.

There are quite a lot of steps on this walk, but it is worth it – they take you down into hidden little coves that you wouldn’t know existed and then back up the other side.

The first cove we came across was Fishcombe Cove. It was on this small, secluded shingle beach that William of Orange landed a crew of 20,000 men in 1688. A statue to him stands at Brixham Quay.

The walk is quite varied and for a short while you walk through some ancient woods which run alongside Churston Golf Club.

There are several beachside cafés along the way so there’s an opportunity for a drink and a snack or an ice cream on the beach.

As you get a little further, the path follows alongside the route of the Dartmouth Steam Railway which travels between Paignton and Kingswear. If you’re lucky you’ll see it pass by.

Eventually you’ll reach Paignton and the path veers away from the coast for a short distance until you reach the Harbour, and joining the promenade along the sandy beach to Preston. It’s at this point that the South Coast path ends for a while and you’ll be walking through a park then onto the main road which runs from Paignton to Torquay. You’ll arrive at the start of Torquay promenade and can turn off towards The 25, or keep going into the harbour in the centre of town.

If you wish, the coastal path continues past Living Coasts and onto Babbacombe but we turned by the train station and headed home as Patsy was ready for a rest.

If this walk was a little long (around 5 miles), you could have caught the ferry, bus or train back to Torquay from Paignton.

I hope this has helped inspire you to go and explore the South West Coastal path when you are next staying with us.

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