1. Walking days
We travelled to Plymouth by train on the morning of the first day, walked the afternoon
plus four more days to get to Dartmouth. The whole walk is roughly 53 miles.
2. Getting there and away
Getting there from London: SouthWest train from Paddington to Plymouth (three and a half
Getting away from Dartmouth: The nearest train station is Totnes. There are roughly hourly
buses going there; journey time 45 minutes. The River Boat Ferry takes one and a quarter
hours; fare £12. Then the train back to London Paddington takes about three and
a half hours.
3. Books, maps etc
South West Coast Path, Falmouth to Exmouth by Brian Le Messurier, published by Aurum Press. This is
all you need, though the map only covers the coastal strip; if you go inland you will need
to supplement it.
4. The route
Much of this Path is owned by the National Trust and there is good signage - their acorn
logo, yellow arrows and weathered wooden signposts.
Day 1: Plymouth to Down Thomas: 3 miles; two and a half hours. We shortened the
mileage by walking from the station to the Wharves by the Citadel and taking the ferry to
Mount Batten Point (£1.50pp). B&B at Gabber Farm (£50;
Tel: 01752 862269) near Down Thomas. Evening meal at the Mussel Inn.
Day 2: 15 miles; seven hours. Down Thomas to Bigbury-on-Sea. You can buy a picnic at
The Old Mill Café
River Yealm Ferry £2.50pp. B&B
Summer Winds, Marine Drive; £65;
Tel: 01548 810669. Evening meal at The Warren in the Challaborough Bay caravan site (10 mins back on the trail).
Day 3: Bigbury-on-Sea to Salcombe. 12 miles; six hours. River Avon Ferry £2.50pp.
Many lunch eateries in Hope Cove. Many B&Bs in Salcombe: we stayed at the
Waverley, which was a bit of a climb, though others may be too: £76; Tel: 01548 842633. Many dining places.
Day 4: Salcombe to Torcross. 13 miles; six and a half hours. Picnic from Salcombe
Deli. Ferry to East Portlemouth £1.40pp. B&B
Startlea; £80, 01548 580724. Evening
meal at the Start Bay Inn.
Day 5: Torcross to Dartmouth. 10 miles; a little over four hours. Picnic from Blackpool Sands Venus Café.
Many B&Bs. We stayed at
Anchor House, which was a further up Victoria Road than some others; £80;
Tel: 01803 833 274. Many dining places.