South West Coast Path – Churston Cove – Paignton Walk – 26.05.2012

“Torbay is a place which endears itself to the patriot, the naturalist and the artist.”
Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies

Indeed I can see why. Whilst lazing on the beach, the sun beaming down on me and the sea gently coming into the shore, nothing seemed to be wrong the the World. Whilst I was starting across the bay, there was something lurking under the sea water… an underwater lawn! The lawn is actually Seagrass (Zostera Marina) which grows beneath the waves harbouring lots of sealife. The unknown grassland, inspired the author Charles Kingsley, who was the well known author of the Water Babies, to write about the lawn in his book the “Wonders of the Shore”.

We could not sit for too much longer as we both seemed to get itchy feet! We both wanted to continue our journey :-). The path wound it’s way around the cliff edge, giving us quite a beautiful view of the cove, we could even see further out to Brixham breakwater! The path departed the coastline here and we started to walk through “Elberry and Marridge Woods”. These did not seem to be as dark and foreboding as the wood that I had previously encountered. This was probably as the trees were not as dense and path much wider and easier to walk along!

From 26.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Churston Cove – Paignton

These woods have been in the area for over 400 years. Trees such as the Larch and Sweet Chestnut grow here. At first I did read the information post incorrectly and thought we were walking the “Marriage Woods” and thought that was rather a romantic name for a woodland! I was quite disappointed when I was wrong.

The path eventually took us out on to the lovely little “Elberry Cove”. We were struck by a odd stone building that was sat in the corner of the bay. The most usual explanation for these kind of structures are for fishing ? It seems that this was the Bath House of Lord Churston. It seems that this building was built so the Lord could swim directly in the sea when the tide was right and the building even had a hot bath! It seems that the Lord built such a Bath House after King George III took a dip in the sea in Weymouth!

We left the Cove behind to continue our trek, onto towards Broadsands. We were once again on the ascent, and were back on a cliff edge. The path was crossing “Elberry Common”, which was once a Rabbit Warren! The common is quite a large expanse of land so a I can imagine the warren would have had a lot of rabbits!! As there no trees on the common there was a great view across all of Torbay.

From 26.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Churston Cove – Paignton

From the Commom, the path descended into the lovely “Broadsands”. We walked along the beachfront for a while, before the path took us took away from the coast and uphill. As we started to climb a some steep steps, I was taken by surprise when a Steam Train start to come towards us on the nearby Viaduct! The South West Coast path was taking us right by the “Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway”.

There had been a line in this part of South Devon since the mid Nineteenth Century, and despite being threatened with closure in by the early 1970’s, a private enterprise ensured the line stayed alive. By 1973 the line was back up to Mainline standards and able to carry the largest and heaviest locomotives in Britain!

The path continued to follow alongside the Railway and took us along the rolling countryside. We eventually found ourselves in “Goodrington Sands”. It really did feel like a great day at the sea side! Beach Huts, gorgeous sand, sea gently coming in and Sun streaming down. Shame we did not stop, even for a drink at the pub, which has a interesting history! The pub, was originally an old Naval Hospital built for to care for the casualties of the Napoleonic War. We followed the path around Goodrington Bay and up on along a steep cliff. The hike is worth it just for the view alone 🙂

From 26.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Churston Cove – Paignton

At the top of the cliffs were some really lovely maintained gardens. I then I realised we had reached Paignton! I did discover a very strange sight, some knitted Union Jacks which had been placed on all the lamp posts! These seemed to have been especially created for the Queens Jubilee? If anyone could give me any information about these great creations it would be appreciated!

Our journey continued on into Paignton, taking us past the harbour. The harbour was established during the early 19th Century under the “Harbour Act”. Prior to this Paignton was a small fishing village and was originally spelt “Peynton” which was derived from Celtic Settlement which was in this area, known as “Paega’s town”.

The path took us past the Paignton Green and towards Paignton Pier. This pier had been standing here since it had been built in 1879. Despite the Pier suffering some misfortune in it’s lifetime including a fire destroying some of its buildings and later being partitioned as a defence measure during the Second World War, the Pier is still alive and well today!

It is here we ended our walk for the day by walking to the end of Paignton Pier and staring out to sea. 🙂

For all the afternoon’s Walk photos please feel free to click here and browse through them!

26.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Churston Cove – Paignton

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3 responses to “South West Coast Path – Churston Cove – Paignton Walk – 26.05.2012

  1. Pingback: Stanmore – Borehamwood Walk – 15.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  2. Pingback: Weston – Birnbeck Pier Walk – 08.09.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  3. Pingback: Weymouth Walk – 13.10.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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