This arduous coastal walk takes us to South Devon today, for some stunning coastline on the South West Riviera; from the fishing town of Brixham to the village of Kingswear, situated on the River Dart, with marine animals, maritime vessels and historic buildings to spot along the way.
However… As my good friend Stan (Who is really James) found out, this section of the South West Coast Path may be a little ambitious if you are relatively new to walking. This twelve-mile walk took us nearly 8 hours (including stopping to film) and is made inherently harder due to the amount of ascending involved, so take plenty of food and water for sustenance along the way.
This reverse walk took place in June 2018, and the early Summer we were spoilt with was in full swing, so the walk was a sweaty one for the duration. Stan is a keen twitcher, and at this particular time there was a healthy variety of birds to whet his appetite, including Shag’s, Cormorants, Yellow Hammers, and many more. As always, you can watch our Brixham to Kingswear walk and many more videos of our hiking and wild camping escapades at our YouTube Channel. Be sure to ring that bell to receive notifications of our uploads.
Starting at Brixham, we parked in the Oxen Cove car park that sits across from the lengthy breakwater jetty. We followed the path that skirts around the marina and looked for signs of the acorn, heading towards Berry Head.
Brixham was a popular spot on the day that Stan and I went out, although the lively hustle and bustle only added to the atmosphere in this seaside town. We pass various statues, a wealth of boats moored in the marina, and colourful paintings on the sides of buildings. The path isn’t completely clear cut at some points, but we generally found our route after moments of confusion.
We soon found ourselves gaining height as we headed away from Brixham, and up into the woodlands by Berry Head Farm. We followed the trail until we emerged at another popular site, the headland nature reserve and Iron Age Fort over looking the ocean. This area, much like Brixham, may see you in amidst a flock of sightseers, but as the walk progresses, you will soon find your contact with others at a more preferable rate.
It’s up to you whether you take a look in here, but it is completely free and the views towards Sharkham Point and beyond are captivating. We were even lucky enough to see an old-fashioned sailing ship out on the water by Cod Rock.
We now follow the coast path towards Sharkham point, weaving around ST Mary’s Bay. The walk from Sharkhams point now gets dramatically harder with the climb up to the top of Southdown Cliffs, a rise of fifty metres.
The drop down to Man Sands is even more dramatic, and the descent sees you plummet a staggering 90 metres, but be warned, as is usually the case along the coast, what goes down must go back up again!
From Man Sands from seven-feet (2m) above sea level, we then climbed a to staggering 368 feet (112m) above Long sands before yet another dramatic drop in altitude down towards Scabbacombe Sands. The rest of the walk is now a steady but no less arduous rising and falling clifftop walks.
It was somewhere between Scabbacombe Head and the beautiful twenty-four acre National Trust Property of Coleton Fishacre that we were fortunate enough to catch the glimpse of a seal feeding out to sea, a spot that Stan can take the credit for.
We only skirted the edge of Coleton Fishacre on this walk, but if you are interested in seeing more of this exotic coastal garden, then take a look at our short Family Walk from 2017.
From here, we worked our way on towards the battery stations at Froward Point, where we took in some gun and searchlight positions left over from World War ll and we also got the chance to have a Rocky Balboa moment up a massively steep and seemingly never ending set of steps.
The final stretch of the walk took us around the last big corner of the cliffs, and eventually in through the Warren woodland which we walked through, passing by Kingswear Castle, with some fantastic views across the water at neighbouring Dartmouth Castle, before finally exiting the woods.
Stan was relieved to finally see the Kingswear 3/4mile sign and following the road down into the village. Our walk here ended in the pub across from Train Station where we enjoyed a well earned Bitter Shandy.
Watch the video of this very walk via the link below, and make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube for more south west coast path walks