Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Walk 127 Teignmouth to Torquay (Devon)

Walk 127 Teignmouth to Torquay (Devon)

(Second leg of English coastal walk – Broadstairs to Lands End)

Map: L/R 192/202
Distance: 14 miles or 20 km approx
Difficulty: moderate, challenging in parts – allow all day to complete.
Terrain: mainly cliff coastal path
Access: Parking at both ends
Public transport: Rail links at Torquay and Teignmouth. Check the Shaldon Ferry is running.

Start in Teignmouth and walk to take the Shaldon Ferry. This small ferry runs all year, subject to weather conditions, and is reckoned to be the oldest working ferry in the country. 

On arrival on the beach at Shaldon look back for a good view of Teignmouth and upstream to the Shaldon road bridge. Follow the road, then the footpath, to The Ness which is a wooded headland planted to celebrate Queen Victoria’s silver jubilee in 1863. On this walk there are a number of old World War 2 defences. At the top of The Ness are panoramic views back up the coast and inland.

The path from here to Oddicombe (passing Maidencombe and Watcombe Head) is a bit of an upper and downer and I found it rather tiring. Quite a bit of the walk is away from views of the coast which is a bit disappointing.

Look out for Oddicombe Beach with its red cliff face and the funicular railway that runs from beach to cliff top. This was built in 1926 and is one of 16 funicular railways still operating in the UK. They are cable operated with the descending and ascending vehicles counterbalancing each other.

The next feature is Babbacombe Harbour, a picturesque spot which has a well known model village set back from the cliff top. Look out for the waterfall which flows down to beach level.

A short walk further along and just on the north of Torquay is Anstey’s Cove. It has a sheltered beach with blue water (on the day I went this was quite distinctive). It is celebrated in verse within the poem ‘Beautiful Torquay’. Unfortunately, it was written by William McGonagall reckoned by many to be the worst poet in the English language.

Soon, past Anstey’s Cove, is Black Head; to the south Hope’s Nose is visible across the bay. The rocky limestone landscape here was created by volcanic activity millions of years ago – the formations and layers can be clearly seen. Geological evidence shows that this area used to be 10 degrees south of the equator. The mind boggles.

After walking round Hopes Nose, Thatcher’s Rock becomes visible. It has a raised beach 8 metres above today’s sea level. It was formed in the ice age.

About a mile further along is Meadfoot Beach. This is known as the ‘local’s’ beach as it is away from the busy main beaches of Torquay. Overlooking the shingle beach and 6 acres of landscaped grounds is The Osborne Hotel which takes up the centre part of the Regency Crescent. It was completed in 1848 and has 32 luxury bedrooms.

Soon after Daddyhole Cove is the start of the Rock End Walk leading into Torquay. It follows a limestone wall towards a castellated summer house. This is all that remains of the estate of Rock End, a large Victorian House.

Torquay is second only to Blackpool as the country’s leading holiday destination. It’s growth stems from the Napoleonic Wars when the richer classes were forced to look closer to home for their relaxation. Follow the path, then road, to the Marina which is not far from Torquay Station.

Photos show: Shaldon Ferry; Shaldon Beach; The Ness at Shaldon; Oddicombe Beach; Waterfall at Babbacombe beach; Anstey's Cove 


No comments:

Post a Comment