heron's rest to torcross

south west coast path

10th may 2014

We're staying this week in a cottage called Heron's Rest, thanks to Classic Cottages. The cottage is set in a peaceful location, high above the Dart valley overlooking Dartmouth.

The weather forecast for today has been dreadful (but getting progressively better) all week and after heavy overnight rain it looks like I've got a thoroughly nice spring day to look forward to. Could be a bit blustery though.

Dartmouth high tide 15:49

Dartmouth low tide 08:59

tide times.jpg

After packing my bag, I leave Heron's Rest for the walk through Long Wood down to the ferry crossing over the River Dart to Dartmouth. It's a lovely Spring day so I take advantage and photograph some of the spring flowers.

long wood

Just before leaving Long Wood I come across a sign warning of basking adders. Unfortunately the day is still young and so hasn't warmed up yet so I don't come across any.

After the delightful walk through Long Wood I reach the bank of the River Dart and catch the Higher Ferry (I was robbed of 50p for the crossing!) over to Dartmouth.

I amble through Dartmouth passing the Floating Bridge Inn and come across a Morgan Roadstar Brooklands Edition car parked on the waterfront.

morgan roadstar brooklands edition

warfleet creek

I continue ambling through Dartmouth passing the Ship in the Dock Inn, the Windjammer Inn and the George and Dragon before walking along the cobbled waterfront, passing Bayards Cove Inn and then through Bayards Cove Fort, a small Tudor artillery fort guarding Dartmouth's inner harbour. I climb steps to leave the waterfront and head through Warfleet Creek and towards St Petrox Church.

st petrox church

From here I head next door to Dartmouth Castle which, for over 600 years, has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart estuary.

The path zig zags out towards Blackstone Point, Coombe Point and then Warren Point, passing secluded coves on the way before heading inland to reach a minor road. This road leads to the A379 which takes me in to Stoke Fleming where I pass the Green Dragon and St Peter's Church.

st peter's church

green dragon

I follow the A379 (think I've gone the wrong way!) out of Stoke Fleming and on to Blackpool Sands where I have a potter around the shingly beach. The Venus Beach Cafe can be found here.

blackpool sands

king's arms

I leave Blackpool Sands via a lovely woodland path and cross a steep grassy valley and then a rather circuitous route (needless to say I got lost!) to reach Strete where I pass the King's Arms (it seems to be closed and is to let) and see St Michael's Church in the distance.

woodland flowers

I follow the A379 out of Strete before a path takes me down to the Strete Gate picnic site from where I drop down onto Slapton Sands. I trudge along the beach which starts off sandy but soon becomes more shingly.

slapton sands

The wind has been blustery all day but seems to turn into a gale here and I can barely stay on my feet so I head back to the main road to try and find some relief, cross it, and drop down to a path that follows the road in front of Slapton Ley. There isn't any relief!


From here it should be an easy walk to the car park at Torcross, the destination for today's walk. Unfortunately, today it isn't an easy walk so I stumble around in the wind until I reach the car park where I shelter in a hide overlooking Slapton Ley for a bit.

slapton ley

I leave the shelter of the hide, head past the Sherman tank at the entrance of the car park and on to the Start Bay Inn (@StartBayInn) where I enjoy a yummy pint of Otter Brewery's Otter Ale.

otter ale

I leave the shelter of the hide, head past the Sherman tank at the entrance of the car park and on to the Start Bay Inn (@StartBayInn) where I enjoy a yummy pint of Otter Brewery's Otter Ale.


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • owls
  • magpies
  • no adders
  • chaffinches
  • robins
  • wrens
  • thrushes
  • empty snail shells
  • skylarks
  • bluebells
  • wild garlic
  • swallows
  • red campion


The podcast of today's walk is now available.  You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.


According to my phone I've walked 16 miles today (much further than I was expecting) which amounts to 32396 steps. Despite the wind for most of the day it has been a great day's spring walking with plenty of interest to see throughout the day. 9 out of 10.

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