Day 43 – Paignton to Plymouth

Wow!  The weather today was stunning for late October.  The freshness of the bright blue sky over Devon reminded us of the time we spent living in California, though Devon was a little colder 😉


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Wembury, Beach, Mill, National Trust, Stream, Sunset, Bay, Devon
Wembury Beach



Coastal Road Trip, Paignton, Pier, Sunrise, Beach, Devon
Another early start as we watched the sunrise over Paignton Pier.
Coastal Road Trip, Paignton, Pier, Underneath, Sunrise, Beach, Devon
Taking a look under the 238 metre long pier.



Coastal Road Trip, Broadsands Beach, Torbay, Devon
Julian had many fond memories of Broadsands Beach, having spent many summers here as a kid.



Coastal Road Trip, Brixham, Harbour, Golden Hind Museum Ship, Houses, Fishing Boats
As well as many working fishing boats, there was also an interesting replica of Sir Francis Drake’s The Golden Hind ship sitting in the harbour.
Coastal Road Trip, Brixham, Marina, Yachts, Boats
Brixham Marina.  William Prince of Orange and his Dutch army landed at Brixham in 1688 (the marina was built much later!).  Many locals still have Dutch surnames.
Coastal Road Trip, Breakwater, Lighthouse, Torbay
The lighthouse at the end of Brixham’s long breakwater, with Paignton Pier in the background.  The breakwater was great for a brisk walk and for its panoramic views across Torbay.


Berry Head

Coastal Road Trip, Berry Head, Brixham, Sharkham Point, St Mary's Bay
Driving along typically narrow Devon lanes, we arrived at Berry Head.  As it was a clear day, we had lovely views west past Sharkham Point and St Mary’s Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Berry Head, Lighthouse, Brixham, Torbay
The lighthouse at Berry Head, the shortest lighthouse in Great Britain (6 metres), but also one of the highest above sea level (58 metres).
Coastal Road Trip, Berry Head, Brixham, Sharkham Point, St Mary's Bay, Compass Statue, Jarno
Jarno checking directions on Berry Head’s Compass.



Coastal Road Trip, Dartmouth, Higher Ferry, Kingswear - Dartmouth
A short drive southwest took us to the River Dart, where we crossed from Kingswear to Dartmouth on the Higher Ferry.  Great timing too, as the ferry was just boarding as we arrived, so we drove straight on.
Coastal Road Trip, Dartmouth, Higher Ferry, Kingswear - Dartmouth, River Dart
Looking up the River Dart on the short ferry crossing.
Coastal Road Trip, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Higher Ferry, Kingswear - Dartmouth, River Dart
The Britannia Royal Naval College sitting above Dartmouth.
Coastal Road Trip, Dart Marina, Dartmouth, River Dart, Devon
Plenty of yachts moored in the Dart Marina.
Coastal Road Trip, River Dart, Kingswear, White House, Castle Road, Boats
Driving along more narrow lanes took us to Dartmouth Castle, with stunning views across the Dart to some fabulous looking houses over at Kingswear.
Coastal Road Trip, Dartmouth Castle, Saint Petrox Church, River Dart, Kingswear
The 15th century Dartmouth Castle next to Saint Petrox Church, overlooking the mouth of the River Dart.
Coastal Road Trip, Castle Cove, Dartmouth Castle, Devon, Bridge
Looking down the steep cliffs to Castle Cove.


Blackpool Sands

Coastal Road Trip, Blackpool Sands, Slapton Sands, Devon, Blue Sky, Green Fields
A clear view across Start Bay past Blackpool Sands and Slapton Sands.   We could hardly believe this was Devon at the end of October.
Coastal Road Trip, Blackpool Sands, Beach, Waves, Blue Sky, Pebbles
Waves crashing on Blackpool Sands.
Coastal Road Trip, Blackpool Sands, The Venus Cafe, Beach
Looks can be deceptive, it was actually pretty chilly whilst taking a break at The Venus Cafe.
Coastal Road Trip, Blackpool Sands, Bay, View from west, A379
Looking back down on Blackpool Sands as we continued our coastal drive.



Coastal Road Trip, Strete, Forest Cove, Sheep, Green Fields, Devon
Driving to Strete we passed sheep enjoying the autumn sunshine in the fields above Forest Cove.


Slapton Sands

Coastal Road Trip, Slapton Sands, Strete Gate Beach, Devon, Julian, Jarno
Strete Gate Beach at the north end of Slapton Sands, which is technically a bar (a coastal one, not one you go for a drink in).
Coastal Road Trip, Slapton Sands, Tank, Torcross, Exercise tiger memorial, Sherman tank memorial,
At the southern end of Slapton Sands we reached Torcross, and the Sherman tank at the Exercise Tiger Memorial.


Start Point

Coastal Road Trip, Start Point, Freshwater Bay, Hallsands, Beesands, Views to Kingswear and Slapton Sands
The views from Start Point across Freshwater Bay and Start Bay were breathtaking.  We could see all the way back along the coast we had just driven along in the morning.
Coastal Road Trip, Start Point, Hallsands, Freshwater Bay
Hallsands perched on cliffs next to Start Point.
Coastal Road Trip, Start Point, Lighthouse, Freshwater Bay
Walking along the South West Coastal Path to Start Point Lighthouse.
Coastal Road Trip, Start Point Lighthouse, Devon
The Grade II listed Start Point Lighthouse.
Coastal Road Trip, Start Point, Mattiscombe, South West Coast Path
As we walked back along Start Point’s ridge, we had super views looking west along the South West Coast Path towards Mattiscombe.
Coastal Road Trip, Start Point, Paraglider
A lone paraglider above the Start Point cliffs.
Coastal Road Trip, Start Point, Devon Lane, Seaview, Blue Sky, Green Field
More narrow coastal lanes as we drove to and from Start Point.  There were not many passing places, but fortunately it was very quiet this Monday morning.  However, we then attempted to drive to East Prawle, but the lanes got so narrow that both sides of the car were being scratched by the hedges!   At the first opportunity we then tried to make it back to slightly larger lanes.  One recommendation, best to come here in a small car, a car you don’t care about or a tractor.


West Charleton

Coastal Road Trip, West Charleton, A319, Cottages
A typical Devon village road winding its way between cottages at West Charleton.



Coastal Road Trip, New Bridge, Bowcombe Creek, Kingsbridge Estuary, Sun reflection
The low autumn sun reflecting on Bowcombe Creek near Kingsbridge.



Coastal Road Trip, Malborough, Fields, Lincombe, Kingsbridge Estuary, A381
Views over Lincombe to the Kingsbridge Estuary, along the road to Malborough.



Coastal Road Trip, Salcombe, Harbour, Batson Creek, Lifeboat, East Portlemouth
Looking across Batson Creek, from Salcombe to East Portlemouth.
Coastal Road Trip, Salcombe, Union Street, Lifeboat Station, Batson Creek, East Portlemouth
Be careful where you drive!  Union street ended abruptly at the lifeboat station.  Salcombe really was a maze of tiny roads.  Fortunately, as it was a quiet day out-of-season, we were really lucky to park on a street right down by the harbour.
Coastal Road Trip, Salcombe, Ferry Inn, Pub, Devon
The local pub squeezed into the waters edge by the ferry landing.
Coastal Road Trip, Overbecks, National Trust, Views to, Salcombe, East Portlemouth, Mill Bay, Kingsbridge Estuary
We wound our way up through more tiny lanes to Overbecks, a National Trust property overlooking Salcombe.  Unfortunately it had closed for the season, so we peeped over the garden walls to take in the the views across Salcombe Harbour and the Kingsbridge Estuary.


Hope Cove

Coastal Road Trip, Hope Cove, Outer Hope, Beach, Views to Burgh Island and Bigbury Bay
The Outer Hope Beach at Hope Cope, and our first glimpse across Bigbury Bay to Burgh Island.
Coastal Road Trip, Hope Cove, Inner Hope, Lobster pots, Harbour
Lobster pots sitting along the sandy Inner Hope Harbour.
Coastal Road Trip, Hope Cove, Inner Hope, Boat, SE12, Harbour
Boats tied up on the Inner Hope Beach.


Aveton Gifford

Coastal Road Trip, Aveton Gifford, Bridge End, Tidal Road, River Avon
On our way to Bigbury-on-Sea, we somehow ended up on a shortcut alongside the River Avon at Bridge End, near Aveton Gifford.
Coastal Road Trip, Tidal Road, River Avon, Aveton Gifford, Bridge End, Boats, Devon
The aptly named Tidal Road had little protection from the River Avon.  Anyway, we continued on our way and were fortunately fine.


Burgh Island

Coastal Road Trip, Burgh Island, Hotel, Agatha Christie, Sunset, Bigbury Beach, Pilchard Inn
We arrived at Burgh Island just as the sun started to go down.
Coastal Road Trip, Burgh Island, Hotel, Agatha Christie, Bigbury Beach, Pilchard Inn, Julian, Jarno, Dusk, Devon
The Island is most famous for its Art Deco Burgh Island Hotel.  Agatha Christie wrote a few of her books whilst staying here.  Julian was also lucky enough to stay here several years ago (in the Agatha Christie room), and loved it!


Newton Ferres

Coastal Road Trip, Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo, Boats, Newton Creek, Dusk
Newton Creek surrounded by Noss Mayo on the opposite side, and Newton Ferrers on our side.



Coastal Road Trip, Wembury, Beach, Mill, National Trust, Stream, Sunset, Bay, Devon
Great, we made it to Wembury Beach, our final stop just before the daylight disappeared.  There was a little stream running down the beach, which made a great end-shot for the day.  That’s all for day forty-three.  On Day forty-four we will continue our coastal road trip from Plymouth.


Daily video

Day 42 – Weymouth to Paignton

Today we will be driving 130 miles along the Dorset coast and into Devon.  The distance is a little more than we had originally planned, as we decided to visit Portland Bill early this morning, rather than yesterday evening.  The clocks also went back today, so we made an early start soon after sunrise.


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Sidmouth, Cliffs, Beach, S W Coast Path
The cliffs at Sidmouth.



Coastal Road Trip, Weymouth, Beach, Swimmer, Swimming
An early Sunday morning stop at Weymouth Beach, and someone was already going for a swim in the sea.  Looks chilly.
Coastal Road Trip, Weymouth, Drawbridge, Bridge, Harbour, Quay
Weymouth’s Drawbridge in the old town harbour.
Coastal Road Trip, Weymouth, Harbour, Quay, Old Town, Boat
We were the only people walking around the historic harbour on this very quiet Sunday morning.
Coastal Road Trip, Weymouth, Sandsfoot Castle
We stopped next at Nothe Fort, but it hadn’t opened yet for the day, so we drove on to Sandsfoot Castle.  The castle had been completed in 1541 by Henry VIII to defend against attacks from the French and Spanish.


Isle of Portland

Coastal Road Trip, Isle of Portland, Olympic Rings, The Olympic Rings Stone Sculpture
After a quick stop at Portland Castle at the bottom of the hill, we continued on to The Olympic Rings Stone Sculpture.  There were great views across Weymouth and Chesil Beach stretching west as far as the eye could see.
Coastal Road Trip, Isle of Portland, Portland Bill Lighthouse
Portland Bill’s current working lighthouse at the tip of the Isle.
Coastal Road Trip, Isle of Portland, Portland Bill, Old Higher Lighthouse, Branscombe Hill
The previous Old Higher Lighthouse, over a hedge and across fields at the top of Branscombe Hill…
Coastal Road Trip, Isle of Portland, Portland Bill, Old Lower Lighthouse
…and its sister, the Old Lower Lighthouse.


Chesil Beach

Coastal Road Trip, Portland, Fine Foundation, Chesil Beach
Driving back to the mainland, we drove along the edge of Chesil Beach (AKA Chesil Bank), that we had seen from the Olympic Rings.  The 18 mile long shingle beach is one of the largest in Britain.



Coastal Road Trip, Abbotsbury, New Barn Road, Abbotsbury Abbey
Driving inland, almost parallel to Chesil Beach, through rolling green fields towards Abbotsbury Abbey.
Coastal Road Trip, Abbotsbury, Cows, Abbotsbury Abbey, B3157, Abbotsbury Hill, Chesil Beach
Looking back-down to Chesil Beach, past cows enjoying the lush grass.
Coastal Road Trip, Abbotsbury, B3157, Abbotsbury Hill, Swyre
As we continued along the coastal road between Abbotsbury and Swyre, we had far-reaching views west along the Jurassic Coast.


West Bay

Coastal Road Trip, West Bay, Beach, Cliffs, Julian, Jarno
The distinctively coloured East Cliffs, close to where one of West Bay’s original fishing harbour’s lay.   The rich colour of the cliffs was caused by the oxidation of pyrite.
Coastal Road Trip, West Bay, Train, Cafe, The Station Kitchen
The remains of the old trainline and station, now a cafe.



Coastal Road Trip, Seatown, Beach, Pebbles, Boat
A lone boat on Seatown’s pebble beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Charmouth, Beach, Cliff, Walkers, Golden Cap
A busy lunchtime at Charmouth, as beach walkers enjoyed the views towards the Golden Cap.


Lyme Regis

Coastal Road Trip, Lyme Regis, Harbour, Seagull, The Cobb, Sandy Beach
Views from The Cobb across Sandy Beach.  Lyme Regis was absolutely packed with tourists, we were really lucky to find a parking space.



Coastal Road Trip, Beer, Beach, Dorset, Seaton
Leaving Dorset behind, we continued into Devon.  After driving through Seaton, we made our next stop at the quaint little fishing village of Beer.  It was surprisingly quiet.  Perhaps everyone had gone to Lyme Regis for the day?!
Coastal Road Trip, Beer, Beach, Dorset, Fishing Boats, Cliffs
Fishing boats resting on their day-off under the white chalk cliffs.



Coastal Road Trip, Sidmouth, Cliffs, Beach, S W Coast Path
The bright red Triassic cliffs of Sidmouth, glowing as the sun shone through a break in the clouds.
Coastal Road Trip, Sidmouth, Beach, RNLI, Lifeboat Man, Dummy
Collecting donations for the local lifeboat, but looking a little odd…


Budleigh Salterton

Coastal Road Trip, Budleigh Salterton, Beach, Promenade
More luminous red cliffs surrounding Budleigh Salterton’s bay and pebble beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Exmouth, River Exe, Dawlish Warren
Looking into the sun across the River Exe to Dawlish Warren from Exmouth Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Cockwood Harbour, Boats
We continued our journey by looping north to cross the River Exe near Exeter.  We then drove back down the west side of the Exe before stopping briefly at Cockwood Harbour.



Coastal Road Trip, Dawlish Warren, Pink Elephant, Funfair
A giant pink elephant towering above one of the funfair rides at Dawlish Warren.
Coastal Road Trip, Dawlish Warren Beach, Exmouth, River Exe
Exmouth beyond Dawlish Warren Beach and the River Exe.


Coastal Road Trip, Teignmouth, Pier, Beach
The sun starting to set as we arrived at Teignmouth Pier and Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Shaldon, Boat, Regatta, Teignmouth
Regatta boats neatly lined up on Shaldon Beach, with Teignmouth in the background on the other side of the River Teign.
Coastal Road Trip, Shaldon, Boat, Regatta
Shaldon was a lovely little fishing village to potter around, with its cosy lanes and Georgian cottages.



Coastal Road Trip, Torquay, Thatcher Point, Thatcher Rock, Ilsham Marine Drive
Entering Torbay, we made our first stop at Thatcher Point, overlooking Thatcher Rock, and over to Brixham and Berry Head in the distance.  Julian already knew Torbay well, as his parents and grandparents previously had homes there.
Coastal Road Trip, Torquay, Harbour, Night, Boats, Reflection
As the clocks had gone back today, the evening light faded early.  So we made our final stop of the day in Torquay Harbour before driving to Paignton for the night.


Daily video