Day 44 – Plymouth to St Austell

On day forty-four, after visiting Plymouth, we are heading into Cornwall.  So join us on our journey along the beautiful southwest coast…


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Polperro Harbour, Seagull, Starfish
A hungry seagull (aren’t they always?) at Polperro.



Coastal Road Trip, Plymouth, Sutton Harbour, Boats
Fishing boats being prepared for the day at Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour.
Coastal Road Trip, Plymouth, Hoe Promenade, Lighthouse, Royal Citadel,
Smeaton’s Tower and the Royal Citadel along Plymouth Hoe.
Coastal Road Trip, Plymouth, Hoe Promenade, Lighthouse, Smeaton's Tower
Smeaton’s Tower was originally built as the lighthouse at Eddystone Rock off Rame Head (we will visit later today).  It was then moved to Plymouth Hoe as a memorial to John Smeaton, its engineer.
Coastal Road Trip, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, New Cooperage
We were really impressed by Plymouth’s Royal William Yard.  Originally built for the Royal Navy but now redeveloped with shops, restaurants, offices and a harbour.  Very nicely done.
Coastal Road Trip, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, New Cooperage, Cow, Bull, Dog
Sculptures on the lawn in front of the New Cooperage.
Coastal Road Trip, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Ships Biscuit, Recipe, Monument
A recipe for Ships Biscuit curiously carved into a stone at the entrance to the Royal William Yard.


Tor Point

Coastal Road Trip, Ferry, Devonport - Tor Point, Plymouth, Cars
On the ferry heading from Devonport to Tor Point.  Travelling west to Cornwall on the ferry was free (you only pay sailing east).  We like a bargain! 😉


St John

Coastal Road Trip, St John's Lake, Ford, Sign, Road
More watery roads along the Cornish coast.
Coastal Road Trip, St John, View, Whitsand Bay, Field
Bright green fields above St John, looking down towards Whitsand Bay.



Coastal Road Trip, Cremyll, Welcome to Cornwall, Sign, Julian, Jarno
Although we entered Cornwall by ferry at Tor Point, there was also a passenger ferry landing at Cremyll.
Coastal Road Trip, Cremyll, View to Royal William Yard, River Tamer
Looking back across the River Tamar to the Royal William Yard.
Coastal Road Trip, Cremyll, Ferry Clock
The clock at Cremyll’s ferry landing.
Coastal Road Trip, Mount Edgcumbe, House, Park, Cremyll, River Tamar
The grand Mount Edgcumbe House overlooking Cremyll and the River Tamar.



Coastal Road Trip, Cawsand, Kingsand, Garrett Street, Narrow street, Van blocking road
Driving through Kingsand to Cawsand we got stuck behind a delivery truck.  With no way to pass, you just have to be patient.   We used the opportunity to nosey in the windows of the cute coastal cottages.
Coastal Road Trip, Cawsand, Beach, Bay, Boat
Cawsand Beach and Bay.  Just out of the picture there was a couple preparing for a morning swim around the bay.  Rather them than us.
Coastal Road Trip, Cawsand, Ferry Sign, Painted Tiles, Waiting Shelter
Painted tiles decorating the waiting shelter of the seasonal Cawsand Ferry.


Rame Head

Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, St Michael's Chapel, Jarno
The clouds started to clear as we arrived at Rame Head, so we had a little hike up to St Michael’s Chapel on the headland.
Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, View to Penlee, Heybrook Bay, The Great Mew Stone, Wembury Bay
There were amazing panoramic views along the coast, looking as far east as the Great Mew Stone in Wembury Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, National Coastwatch Institution, Heritage Coast
Looking back down the headland to the National Coastwatch Institution buliding by the car park.
Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, Whitsand Bay, Fort
Whitsand Bay and Tregantle Fort above the cliffs to the northwest.
Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, Horse
There were plenty of Dartmoor ponies precariously grazing around the headland cliffs.
Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, Rocks, Waves
Choppy waters at the foot of the cliffs.


Whitsand Bay

Coastal Road Trip, Whitsand Bay, Military Road, Treninnow Cliff, Freathy
We then continued along the coastal road past Treninnow Cliff and Freathy.
Coastal Road Trip, Rame Head, Whitsand Bay, Military Road, Treninnow Cliff, Freathy
Rame Head silhouetted against the bright sunlight across Whitsand Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Tregantle Fort, Military Road, Freathy
The 1865 Tregantle Fort along Military Road.  Still open and working.  As we drove past we could see training in progress.



Coastal Road Trip, Whitsand Bay, Military Road, Freathy
Looking down the wrinkly coast to Portwrinkle 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Portwrinkle, Beach, Whitsand Bay, Rame Head
Portwrinkle Beach with Rame Head still visible in the distance.
Coastal Road Trip, Portwrinkle, Boats, Whitsand Bay, Rame Head
Small boats neatly stored on end by the water’s edge at Portwrinkle.



Coastal Road Trip, B3247, Road to Downderry
Driving through a patchwork of fields along the B3247 to Downderry.
Coastal Road Trip, Abandoned Farm, B3247, Road to Downderry
All along this coastal journey we’ve passed so many abandoned farm houses and barns… so they haven’t all been converted yet!



Coastal Road Trip, Seaton, Beach, Rame Head
Amazingly Rame Head and St Michael’s Chapel were still visible in the distance from Seaton Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Looe, West Looe, Seagull, East Looe River
We stopped at bustling East Looe for our first Cornish pasty.  As we looked across the East Looe River to West Looe, the seagulls were keeping a beady eye on us (or rather our pasties).
Coastal Road Trip, Looe, Looe Bay, Breakwater
Looking down the breakwater to the calm sea in Looe Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Looe, Looe Bay, Wooden Pegs, Breakwater
The breakwater walls were full of wooden wedges.  Very curious.  Maybe to help hold the wall together?
Coastal Road Trip, East Looe, Telescope, Beach
A telescope by the sandy East Looe Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Polperro Harbour, Fishing Boats, Cottages
Our next stop was at Polperro.  The village was admittedly very quaint, but felt very surreal, like a ghost town.  Most of the shops and cafes were closed and there was hardly anyone around, unlike our previous stop at Looe.  Clearly a tourist village now, which is a real shame as out-of-season there seemed to be no locals to keep the place alive, so it somehow lacked soul.  We also had to pay the highest parking charge of our entire British coastal road trip here too!  Maybe that’s why it was so quiet.  We only stayed 45 minutes but had to pay £4.50 to park, which was the minimum charge (3 hours).
Coastal Road Trip, Polperro Harbour, Seagull, Starfish
At least the seagulls seemed happy with the range of seafood.
Coastal Road Trip, Polperro, House on the props
The locally famous ‘House on the Props’, precariously hanging over the stream.



Coastal Road Trip, Lansallos, Lansallos, Church
Winding our way through more narrow country lanes we passed the small hamlet of Lansallos, and Saint Ildierna Church.



Coastal Road Trip, Lantivet, Narrow Lane, Cornwall
The lanes got narrower and narrower as we passed Lantivet.  Grass growing down the middle of the road is never a comforting sight.  Fortunately it was so quiet, so we didn’t have to make any difficult reversing-all-the-way-back-down-the-country-lane manoeuvers!



Coastal Road Trip, Lantic Bay, Cornwall, National Trust
Passing the secluded National Trust Lantic Bay.



Coastal Road Trip, Polruan, View to Gribbin Head
Gribbin Head in the distance from the headland at Polruan.



Coastal Road Trip, Fowey, River Fowey, Parish Church, view from Polruan
From Polruan we looked across to Fowey and its Parish Church.
Coastal Road Trip, Bodinnich Ferry, Landing, Fowey, River Fowey
We then took the Bodinnich Ferry crossing over the River Fowey.  Taking the ferry saved us a 15 mile detour (and a precious 35 minutes of daylight) inland via Lostwithiel.
Coastal Road Trip, Bodinnich Landing, Ferry, River, Fowey, Crossing, Cornwall
Looking back to Bodinnich Landing as we crossed to Fowey.
Coastal Road Trip, Fowey, North Street, Narrow Street, Pinky Murphy's Cafe
We squeezed our way through Fowey’s narrow streets (fortunately one way).



Coastal Road Trip, Charlestown, Tall Ships, Square Sail, Harbour
Picturesque Charlestown, our final stop of the day before heading to St Austell for the night.
Coastal Road Trip, Charlestown, Tall Ships, Square Sail, Harbour
Square rigger tall ships reflecting in the small Georgian harbour.  The attractive harbour was originally built for coal imports and copper exports.  More recently the harbour has been used for period film and TV productions.


Daily video

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