A short walk which, nevertheless, encounters some of the best coastal scenery in Torbay.
Distance 4.2 km
The walk starts at the lych gate of St Mary’s Church (1). Enter the churchyard, take the path to the right of the church and then turn right up steps. A path and a further set of steps lead to a gate. Here turn left onto a road and, shortly afterwards, right to walk past Cumberland House and then St Mary’s Park. At the T junction turn left along Upton Manor Road. You will come to a junction, with a large tree in the middle of the road (2). Here turn left into Castor Road and then first right into Briseham Road. About 250 yards later, just after some shops, turn right up St Mary’s Hill. Ignore a cycleway to your right and continue to follow the road past the bus stop. Just before St Mary’s House, take a footpath to the right, signed ‘To the Beach’ (3) (dog bin at this point). Descend this path, which can be muddy after rain, to reach a stile. Cross the stile onto the coast path. Here you’ll find a carved wooden figurehead and steps going down to St Mary’s Bay, formerly known as ‘Mudstone’. Turn right and walk along with the sea on your left. You’ll come to a coast path waymarker, indicating that the path turns left here (4). Follow the coast path through the gate (dog bin at this point) and continue ahead, enjoying great views over St Mary’s Bay and across to Berry Head. Go through a gate, turn left and then right onto the higher of the two paths. You are walking around Sharkham Point, a great place for Spring flowers, butterflies or blackberries, depending on the time of year. The two paths meet and bend to the right. Continue uphill to join the path you left a few minutes ago. Turn left and continuing climbing to reach an open grassy area. Go straight ahead to reach a signpost to Kingswear. Turn right here. At the next path junction, take the left hand fork. At the next junction, you can take either fork as the paths join up again a few yards later, just before a bench. Pause to admire the view to Mansands, with its former Coastguard Cottages, Longsands, Scabbacombe Sands and Scabbacombe Head. Continue on, noting the memorial to ‘Murdoch’. There is another bench on the right, just before you come to a large field. Go through a kissing gate into the field and take the path straight ahead. As you approach the far end of the field, the coast path forks to the left to continue its journey to Mansands and on to Kingswear. This is a particularly strenuous section of the path. Our walk takes the right hand fork and leaves the field by a kissing gate in the corner (5). The path ahead takes you between two fields of South Bay Holiday Park. This section can be extremely muddy after rain. At the road, continue ahead past the main entrance of the holiday park to join St Mary’s Road (6), where you turn left. Pass Springdale Close and follow the road round to the right, signed ‘Town Centre, Paignton, Torquay. You’ll see the large tree in the middle of the road which you encountered early in the walk. Here turn left. Soon, ahead of you, you’ll see the gates of St Mary’s Park. Enter the park (dog bin ahead) and walk to the left of the bowling green, then between the tennis courts and the table tennis table, to find a path heading towards the church. At the bottom of the steps, turn left onto Baker’s Hill, where the double yellow lines seem rather superfluous and descend to St Mary’s Square. Turn right to return to your starting point.
SX 92053 55143
30U 463049 5581705
Book recommendations for this region:
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.
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