Wednesday, 21 February 2001

Coastwalk , South West Coast Path

Teignmouth → Starcross

[Shag Rock]

Distance: 9.7 miles
Ascent: unknown
Duration: 6 hours

The train beach
« Shaldon | Exmouth »

(The distance summary covers Teignmouth to Starcross, then around the Esplanade in Exmouth.)

We used to visit Gran for a week every summer. The holidays developed a regular pattern, and before long the beach to the north of Teignmouth fast became our favourite. We knew it as The Train Beach since the mainline to London runs along the seawall here, sandwiched between crashing waves and deep red sandstone cliffs.

Today's walk started at Teignmouth and followed the railway all the way to Starcross.

At the top end of the train beach is a Shag Rock - a stack out at sea that we always erroneously referred to as The Parson and Clerk (the rock of that name isn't visible from the Teignmouth side, but you can see it looking back from Dawlish).

[Dawlish beach]

Where the railway dives into a tunnel, the path climbs over the cliffs, initially following the narrow, snaking Smuggler's Lane up to the village of Holcombe. The path meets the beach again just south of Dawlish, and from there onwards it sticks to the seawall all the way to the start of the Exe estuary at Dawlish Warren.

Three miles of road-walking later (and if you're bored of it, we can recommend the pub in Cockwood) takes you to Starcross where a ferry carries you aross to Exmouth.

Or rather, a ferry would cross the river, if you're there in-season. Bummer. Without the ferry we took the hour-and-a-half rail detour into Exeter and back down the other bank.

Rewalked on 31 March 2009.

Posted by pab at 21:48