Maidencombe to Paignton

20/6/12 A midweek Berry's trip. The nice coach driver dropped us at Maidencombe Cross between the scheduled drop-offs in Teignmouth and Torquay. As we descended towards the coast path, it was trying to rain, but soon gave up. The path continued as it had from Shaldon, up and down the wooded combes with few flat sections. As we approached Babbacommbe, the path turned inland towards the village. However, no sooner did we reach the main road, then we headed off down another combe, under the cliff railway and down towards the beach.

At the far end of the deserted beach, the Cary Arms came into view. A hotel/restaurant as much as well as a pub, we had a pleasant Devon Coast IPA (4%) and Bays Topsail (4%) for £7 on the terrace overlooking the bay. The path continued through woods, around a few headlands, past a few more quiet beaches, through the outskirts of Torquay towards the harbour.

We were unsure how many pubs would be on the path in Torquay and were therefore mindful of the time we had to catch the coach back. As we passed Living Coasts, we spotted a Harvester tucked away. It wasn't what some might call a pub, but it did have a sign claiming to be one. Two pints of Old Speckled Hen (4.3%) for £5.90 were alright though. The path then went over a footbridge, avoiding the town and offered this view back to the pub on the harbourside in front of Living Coasts nets.

We now had to up the pace to reach Paignton and fortunately there were no pubs. The path followed the busy coast road and enabled us to make up time. As we approached the pier, we could see pubs on the other side of the green, but eventually we spotted this.

The Flagship is what it says, a family pub, and seemed to be more like a pub than the last place. Bays Devon Dumpling (5.1%) and Gold (4.3%) for £6.50 were our reward for getting there on time. We even had time for pasty each as the rain finally arrived before we boarded the coach home.

Starcross to Maidencombe

16/6/12 First decision of the day was whether to drive to Digby and Sowton or Starcross. Alighting the train at Starcross, we wondered along the platform to the ferry jetty to ensure that we weren't cutting any corners. From there we could see the first pub of the day.

We crossed the railway line and walked to the door only to see a sign saying that it didn't open until 12. We knew that Cockwood was only half a mile away and so went there instead.

Fortunately, the Anchor Inn was open. A pint of Discovery (3.8%) and Broadside (4.7%) for £6.70 tasted good for early pints in a pleasant pub. We were the only ones inside the pub, but we still managed to sit on a table that was reserved for the next guests to arrive. So then we went back to the Galleon Inn. We arrived just after 12 to a locked door. A pasty later it was open. Two pints of Doom (4%) for £6.60. We then headed back past the Anchor as the rain started.

They seem to have invested in a new signposted cycle/footpath along this road, but on entering Dawlish Warren the signs stopped. We assumed the path avoided the pubs and headed for the path along the sea front. The rain and wind increased, so we headed for what might have been the coast path slightly inland. We did see one coast path sign on this route as we entered Dawlish, but then we had to guess the route again. I stopped to take a photo as we climbed our first hill of the day out of Dawlish.

We had walked along the sea front side of the railway in the this photo, however, high on a post next to here was a sign pointing along the land side. The Marine Tavern is one those buildings pointing seaward above, so we had to go back for the second time in the day. Dartmoor's Jail Ale (4.8%) and an Otter Ale (4.5%) for £6.60 with a couple of pasties helped us to dry out a little. They were doing a reasonable deal of a pint and a pasty for £4.50 as well.

Back up the hill, on and off the main road, until we saw a sign directing us down a hill towards the coast path. It also said that it was not passable at high tide. We hoped that it wasn't high tide yet and went down the hill. The sea was splashing onto the steps as we went under the railway line and back onto the sea wall, but it wasn't quite high water yet. It had stopped raining now as we walked to Teignmouth. No pubs on the front there, so we decided to take the ferry across to Shaldon.

We had the ferry to ourselves. There is a Ferryboat Inn in Shaldon, but just the wrong side of the ferry landing point. The building in the middle of the above picture is the Ness, a Badger and Woodhouse pub. So it was a couple of nice pints of Badger (4%) and Hopping Hare (4.5%) for £6.95. Then it was up a hill again for a view back to Teignmouth.

The next three miles were up and down muddy paths and so we decided to call it a day when we reached Maidencombe. We went up the hill to the main road and caught a bus back to Teignmouth Station. The trains were in a bit of a mess and we were quite late getting home.

Sidmouth to Exmouth

2/6/12 £6! We parked in the station at Digby and Sowton. No, I didn't know about it either. It is near M5 J30 and we had the free car park practically to ourselves. The bus stop for the service to Sidmouth is just a couple of hundred yard down the road. But it was £6 for a single, 30 minute, 10 mile trip to Sidmouth!

Rain was forecast for the afternoon, so we were walking by 10:20. Initially I thought that we were going to bypass the first hill as we walked along the front under some cliffs, but then the long climb started. Then it was mostly downhill to Ladram Bay holiday park. As we approached, we saw a bar and restaurant, but as we rounded it there was a sign on the side saying the Three Rocks.

Sounds enough like a pub, so in we went. Pints of Otter Ale (4.5%) and Amber (4%) for £6.50 sitting on a balcony overlooking the bay. Then it was on towards Budleigh Salterton. This heads inland for a stretch along the River Otter. We grabbed a couple of pasties, but no pubs on the front. So it was on to Exmouth via Sandy Bay. It is quite a long seafront at Exmouth and at the very start was the last Coastpath sign that we saw for the day.

The Bath House used to be called something else, the Deer Leap I think. A pint of Greene King IPA (3.8%) and Old Speckled Hen (4.5%) for £5.90 in a fairly typical family seafront pub.

The Grove is slightly more upmarket. Pleasant Oxford Ales Churchill (4.5%) and a Youngs Waggle Dance (4%) for £6.50. We even indulged in some sausages for 50p a time.

The Beach is next to the harbour rather than the beach. Bass (4.4%) and Red White and Brew (4%) for £6.60. Seemed to be a locals place, but the beer wasn't that good. Just beyond the pub is the ferry to Starcross. No mention anywhere about the Coastpath in either direction though.

The train back towards Exeter was half the price of the bus.