Babbacombe South West Coast Path Walk, Torquay, South Devon

Babbacombe South West Coast Path Walk, Torquay, South Devon

The South West Coast Path at Babbacombe

The coastal walking around Babbacombe is superb. Head east and south and you're on a relatively short section of coast path from Babbacombe to Torquay that's up there with the best on the South West Coast Path for a populated area. Walk north of Babbacombe and you're in a beautiful yet very demanding stretch of coastline with very steep climbs and drops past stunning beaches that ends at the mouth of the glorious Teign Estuary by Shaldon and Teignmouth.

 

Walking the South West Coast Path east and south of Babbacombe

Start on Babbacombe Downs and Gardens. The views down to Oddicombe Beach and up the coast to the Teignmouth area are stunning. Wander across to the upper section of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway. A path zig-zags down the side of the cliff to the South West Coast Path.

When you get to the bottom at the southern end of Oddicombe Beach, head east along the side of the bay to Babbacombe Beach and Harbour. There are walkways and the setting is magnificent. You pass The Cary Arms.

The South West Coast Path rises behind The Cary Arms. You walk through a small woodland to a wide, grassy area that leads to Long Quarry Point. The path then follows the line of high cliffs way above Anstey's Cove (Beach). You'll come to a large car park. A path on your left takes you down to Anstey's Cove (Beach) and Anstey's Cove Cafe if you fancy an ice cream and a dip in the water.

Opposite the northern end of the large car park, you'll see signs for the South West Coast Path that take you through a heavily wooded area to Black Head. You then connect with Ilsham Marine Drive.

Follow Ilsham Marine Drive around to Hope's Nose. We'd recommend taking the path down to the bottom of Hope's Nose as it's a superb place.

As Ilsham Drive curls west, the South West Coast Path leaves the road and takes you past Thatcher Point. Again, divert to the point for awesome vies of Thatcher Rock, Tor Bay and The English Riviera.

Walk across Thatcher's Rock Green and you're back on Ilsham Marine Drive that drops down to Meadfoot Sea Road and the wonderful Meadfoot Beach. You pass Meadfoot Beach Cafe if you want a drink and a swim.

The path then climbs to Daddyhole Plain with its immense views across Tor Bay. Head for the lookout tower in the far corner of Daddyhole Plain and you'll pick up a cool stretch of path that takes you to Peaked Tor Cove (Beach) and the back of The Imperial Hotel. You then drop down to Living Coasts and Torquay Harbour.

Take the bus back or walk the A379 to Babbacombe dropping in on Torquay Museum and then diverting to Kents Cavern as you go.

 

Walking the South West Coast Path north of Babbacombe

If you're looking for a more demanding walk that gets you away from the crowds then follow the South West Coast Path north of Babbacombe.

Start on Babbacombe Downs and Gardens. Wander across to the upper section of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway. A path zig-zags down the side of the cliff to the South West Coast Path.

When you get to the bottom at the southern end of Oddicombe Beach, head west and then north through a wooded area. You come to the A379. Very shortly, turn right at the roundabout and follow Petitor Road. The South West Coast Path skirts Torquay Golf Club and then passes along heavily wooded clifftops to Watcombe Beach. It's hilly and the walking gets the blood pumping. There's a cafe/bar and seating area above the beach. You'll also find public loos on site.

The path runs through the Valley of Rocks and trends north to Maidencombe Beach. It's overlooked by the 'Beach Cafe'. The Thatched Tavern is inland in Maidencombe.

The next stretch of coastal path takes you along Labrador Bay and Labrador Bay RSPB Nature Reserve. There are steep climbs and descents. You'll come to a car parking area in which there's usually an ice cream van.

The South West Coast Path then drops and ascends to the A379 Teignmouth Road. Walk along this for a short way and you'll come to a path on your right that takes you along the side of Shaldon Approach Golf Course. Note that it's from here that you get one of the classic Westcountry views of red cliffs down to Teignmouth and across the water to Exmouth and the East Devon coast.

It's then an easy walk down to Shaldon. You pass Shaldon Zoo and Smugglers Tunnel leading to Ness Cove Beach. The path takes you to The Ness viewpoint which offers top views of the mouth of the Teign Estuary and Teignmouth with Teignmouth Pier. From there, the South West Coast Path descends to The Ness pub and then Shaldon Beach and Shaldon.

Take the ferry across to Teignmouth and return to Babbacombe by bus.