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Torquay
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Walking directions
South Devon has one of the finest coasts in England. It runs for 130 miles or so and for the most part faces into the sun, being sheltered from prevailing winds by the great shoulder of Dartmoor. The climate overall is benign and earns the region the title of "The English Riviera".

Scattered along the coast are numerous villages, towns and resorts, all offering an overnight stay in delightful settings and what could be better after a days walking through some of the finest coastal scenery in the U.K.

The two walks in Torbay are of interest to the walker as they differ greatly. The first, from Maidencombe to Torquay, is remote and peaceful whilst the second, from Torquay to Brixham, is a more urban walk.

Maidencombe to Torquay (7 miles)

This part of the coastline with it's tiny coves was ideal for smuggling. Numerous inland caches were sited at lonely farmhouses and inns where secret store-rooms were common place. Respectable personalities favoured this lovely stretch of the coast. Rudyard Kipling lived for a while at Maidencombe and Brunel planned his retirement estate near Watcombe.

From Maidencombe you will follow through to Babbacombe Bay which is nicely protected from prevailing westerlies.The famous model village can be reached by continuing up the cliff and on down Cliffside road.

Further up the coast is Hope's Nose which was very popular with the Victorian sea-bathing fraternity. Ladies would be supplied with voluminous costumes and towels while round the corner the gents would enjoy nude bathing on "isolated" beaches.

Just up from Anstey's cove is Kents Cavern. This complex system of tunnels and caves was lived in when sabre-tooth tigers and mammoths flourished.There are guided tours of the caves, which are open all year.

The path continues past Meadfoot beach, through Rock End walk and down to the picturesque harbour of Torquay which, if timed right, can be caught at sunset and at it's most beautiful. After a days walk the numerous pubs along the harbour are a welcome sight and with accomodation abundant the walker can be assured a good nights rest.

Torquay to Brixham (7 miles)

Torquay is wide promenades, palm-fringed gardens and parks, crescents and terraces of elegant stucco-houses all amid the wooded hillsides of the Warberrys and Lincombes. It is Devon's most sophisticated resort and gained importance in the late 18th century during the French wars, during which it was used extensively by the channel fleet. The lush surroundings of Torquay's hills led officers to settle here with their families and so the future of the town was assured.

The route consists mainly of road walking but for the reflective walker there are numerous off-road diversions. Follow through to Paignton which has many attractions including Kirkham House, Festival Hall, the aquarium on the harbourside and Paignton Zoo.

At Goodrington the urban nature of Torbay changes. The village has much green space and is protected from too much seaside development by handsome gardens to the north and countryside to the south. The resort, however, is very popular as it has a lovely beach with safe bathing and many rock pools.

The walk runs along the Paignton and Dartmouth railway all the way through to the cliffs in the southern corner of Torbay, which are covered with wild flowers in the spring and summer. The overall mood here is one of peace and makes a pleasant change from the urban sections of the path.

Brixham is a bustling place and rewards the walker with the sight of trawlers, small boats, a busy fish market and a well situated marina. There are plenty of spots to put your feet up, have adrink and enjoy the view.

For more details about the coastal walks contact the local Tourist Information Centre or click here for maps.
0906 6801 268
Vaughan Parade
Torquay
TQ2 5JG

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