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Devon Walk
Beeson to Salcombe

County/Area - Devon

Author - Andy Smith & Tony Maries

Length - 12.0 miles / 19.5 km    Ascent - 3300 feet / 1000 metres

Time - 9 hours 20 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL20Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Ordnance Survey Landranger 202Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 202Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Beeson to Salcombe
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.

South Devon offers some of the finest coastline on mainland Britain, ranging from golden sandy beaches to dramatic rocky cliffs plunging into the sea. Although this route is spread over two days, the going is relatively easy as this section of the South West Coast Path is well walked and the way ahead clear. The walk takes in the lovely seaside resort of Salcombe as the half waypoint, with its stunning cliff top approach from the east.

Day One - The walk starts from the small village of Beeson (Grid ref. SX811408), just south of Slapton Sands where there are a few street parking options. Walk out of the village on the tiny road leading down to Beesands beach; here pick up the South West Coast Path just above the beach heading southbound. Within the first half hour you reach the ruined village of Hallsands. On a dark January night in 1917 a hard storm took place and the beach in front quite literally disappeared into the sea, taking most of the homes in this tragic event. Even to this date it is not known whether dredging the shoreline was to blame, or simply speeded up the inevitable.

From there continue along the coast around Start Point, a short extension to the lighthouse is well worthwhile (grid ref. SX829371). After turning the corner, the coastline becomes a lot more dramatic with a strong history of many shipwrecks in this area; care should be exercised on this section at all times.

Passing the coastguard lookout at Prawle Point, make sure to notice the natural arch carved out the cliffs, not as spectacular as Durdle Door in nearby Dorset but still a sight worth looking out for. Continue along the Coast Path to pass Gammon Head and onto Gara Rock. From here the going is good and you can set a great pace reaching out for the town of Salcombe. The high-level cliff top entry into the estuary is quite stunning and somewhat tropical as you stare though the ferns down onto the golden sands 100 feet below packed with holidaymakers. The path winds inland into the east side of the town where the next objective lies - the ferry. This tiny 10-man boat is quite an experience as the sea can be somewhat choppy! Remember to bring some change for this, around £ 1.80 to cross.

Once across the estuary, there are many possibilities for accommodation including a choice of four campsites, the nearest and probably best kitted is Rew 1.5km to the west (Grid ref. SX714382).

Continue to Day Two Description

Other walks nearby

Walk 3427 Slapton Sands & Stokenham from Torcross easy/mod8.0 miles
Walk 3346 Start Point from Torcross easy/mod8.0 miles
Walk 1857 Start Point & East Prawlemoderate8.2 miles
Walk 3432 Salcombe to Thurlestonemod/hard11.0 miles
Walk 2371 Kingswear to Brixhammoderate10.8 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast PathGuidebook to walking the entire South West Coast Path National Trail. The route runs for 630 miles from Minehead to Poole along the north Devon, Cornish, south Devon and Dorset coastline. Divided into 45 stages, this long-distance coastal trek could be completed within 4 weeks, or walked in sections. Guide includes maps and essential information.
More information

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to Plymouth

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to PlymouthMap of part of the southern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from St Ives to Plymouth along the west Cornwall and Devon coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Walking in Devon

The County of Devon offers a wide range of walking. With two lengthy sections of coastal path along the north and south coasts the variety of walking on offer is hard to match anywhere in the British Isles. Add to this the wild moors of the Dartmoor National Park with the highest land in southern England and you soon realise why Devon has such a high reputation among walkers. Elsewhere there are many pretty villages to explore as well as vast tracts of rural farmland with a patchwork of fields surrounded by hedgerows.

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Moor to Sea Holidays
14.7 miles / 23.5 km away
Mobile Homes 4u - Static Caravan Hire
15.8 miles / 25.3 km away
Fern & Primrose Cottages
Buckfastleigh, South Devon
18.1 miles / 29.0 km away
Cherished Holiday Homes
24.9 miles / 39.9 km away
Little Hazelcott
26.0 miles / 41.6 km away

Self Catering & Cottage Holidays - Properties throughout the UK & Europe

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