This is a (mostly) circular walk that takes in a short section of the South West Coast Path and passes sub-tropical plants, dramatic cliffs and WW2 relics on a route that skirts the beautiful Coleton Fishacre house and gardens. The path is clearly marked and well-trodden. There are several steep sections and plenty of steps, but there are lovely views as compensation.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) OS Grid ref. SX 881 510. Start opposite the railway station in Kingswear, which is also close to the ferries to and from Dartmouth. Go through the arch between the Post Office and public convenience, then turn left up Alma Steps and climb to Beacon Road.
The path has been permanently diverted at this point : older maps show the path turning right along Beacon Road, but this has been blocked by a landslip.
(1) At the top of the steps, turn left, then immediately right onto Church Hill. As you continue on this road you will find lush sub-tropical plants growing alongside it. The road becomes Beacon Lane, then Beacon Road and finally a private track through the woods along the cliffs. You will catch glimpses of Dartmouth Castle across the river, before passing its twin : (2) Kingswear Castle.
(3) Continue straight on towards Brownstone, ignoring the footpath to the right, and walk up the lane. Follow the lane to the right at the next junction, and continue along the track past Home Farm. This section of track is unsurfaced and the bare rock can be slippery.
(4) After the holiday cottages at Higher Brownstone Farm, ignore the paths to the right (but enjoy your first glimpse of the Daymark tower) and carry straight on towards Coleton until you reach the car park. At the car park, take the 'Link' path on the left just inside the car park gateway and follow it to the road at Coleton Barton Farm.
(5) Continue along the road, passing the entrance to Coleton Fishacre on your right and going straight ahead until you reach Coleton Camp car park.
(6) Turn hard right into the car park and take the link path in the right hand corner towards Ivy Cove.
(7) When you reach Ivy Cove, turn right and follow the Coast Path towards Pudcombe Cove. Enjoy the views and the downhill walk until you reach Pudcombe Cove.
(8) Here you will pass the garden entrance to Coleton Fishacre before beginning a steep climb past the gardens. Carry on along the coast path as it winds its way along the cliffs.
(9) Continue along the path towards Froward Point as it hugs the clifftop.
(10) The path divides before Inner Froward Point at grid ref. SX 905 497. The coast path proper descends to the cliffs before climbing back up to Inner Froward Point. An easier, but less scenic, route (marked on this guide) continues along a track then left at the concrete lane and down to the point. Choose whichever you prefer!
(11) Inner Froward point has a Coast Watch lookout station and the remains of a WW2 battery to explore. From Inner Froward Point, follow the Coast Path west through the woods towards Kingswear. The path becomes a track, then heads off into the woods just before Warren House. The path crosses back over the track at Down End, climbs steps up the other side of the valley, crosses the track yet again and then climbs yet more steps, and eventually a staircase, to the lane.
(3) You have returned to waypoint (3). From here turn left, and retrace your steps back to Kingswear.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 9m - The Square, Kingswear
1 : km 0.06 - alt. 15m - Alma Steps/Beacon Road
2 : km 1.28 - alt. 53m - Kingswear Castle
3 : km 1.43 - alt. 64m - Signpost and steps
4 : km 2.63 - alt. 139m - Higher Brownstone
5 : km 3.15 - alt. 152m - Link path
6 : km 3.64 - alt. 155m - Coleton Camp car park
7 : km 4.67 - alt. 80m - Ivy Cove
8 : km 5.48 - alt. 51m - Pudcombe Cove - Coleton Fishacre house and gardens
9 : km 5.86 - alt. 74m - Link path
10 : km 6.95 - alt. 65m - Choice of routes
11 : km 7.43 - alt. 65m - Froward Point - Froward Point
D/A : km 10.46 - alt. 9m - The Square, Kingswear
Ordnance Survey OL20 South Devon
There is a choice of places to eat and drink in Kingswear and a cafe at Coleton Fishacre.
There is a public convenience in Kingswear at the starting point of the walk, and lavatories at Coleton Fishacre.
Most of the walk follows footpaths and tracks that are clearly marked, and the coast path itself is well-trodden and marked with the 'acorn' symbol. There are several steep sections on this route, including long flights of steps. The coast path along the cliffs is narrow and unsuitable for vertigo sufferers. The lane past Brownstone has a surface of exposed rock that is frequently wet and can be slippery, and parts of the route will be muddy after rain.
There is a car park in Kingswear, and larger car parks across the river in Dartmouth, which is easily reached by ferry. There are National Trust car parks at Brownstone and Coleton Camp (6) .
There are buses to Kingswear from Paignton, a steam train to Kingswear from Paignton, and buses to Dartmouth from Totnes. Ferries run throughout the day across the river to Dartmouth.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
There are excellent views from the coast path.
(11) Froward Point has interesting remains of a WW2 gun battery and a lookout post where you can get information about the battery and shipping movements from the National Coast Watch volunteers.
Just north of Inner Froward Point is the Daymark tower, built in 1864 to guide mariners into Dartmouth.
(8) Coleton Fishacre is an attractive National Trust property with lovely sub-tropical gardens and a cafe, but you will need to pay an admission fee if you are not a member of the National Trust.
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