Sunday, 3 March 2013

Paignton to Brixham (SW Coast Path 29)

 Paignton Harbour

Day 3 of our latest assault on the SWCP. We picked up our route at Paignton's small harbour - much more appealing today at high water. We headed up to Roundham Head and through its pleasant gardens to reach Goodrington, where the waves were quite vigorous against the sea wall.

We climbed up and then descended to cross under the railway line, where there was nice view of south coastline of Tor Bay.

Berry Head can be seen on the extreme left and Brixham is visible to its right. Past a holiday park to arrive at Broadsands Bay where I chatted with a birdwatcher who was leading a birdwatching field trip. I asked what they were watching. "Nothing special" was the reply.  I thought I had seen a few Terns so far on the walk, but he was a bit skeptical. At that point a voice came over the walkie talkie announcing the sighting of a Scoter, a sort of diving duck.

We headed on across the grassy expanse of Cheriton Point, to soon be greeted by the sight of a pair of - yes! - Scoters: black ducks, diving. At the end you come to Ellbery Cove, a pretty spot, famous for a concentration of Seagrass, a great habitat for the likes of Seahorses. The interesting ruin at the right of the cove is the remains of Lord Churston's bath house. Churston was a long-serving MP for South Devon in the 19th century.

We climbed up from the cove to enter Marridge Woods, with Churston Golf Club on the landward side. At the end of this pleasant wooded strip, we emerged at Fishcombe Point, above Churston Cove.

We descended to this delightful cove and as we were climbing up the other side I glanced back and was thrilled to briefly see the dark shape of a seal. It obligingly lifted its head out of the water, but then dived while I was trying to extricate my binoculars.

We we now on the edge of Brixham and as we passed Battery Gardens had a good view towards the Breakwater, close to which we had left our car.

Coming down to the harbour, we were struck by its picturesqueness.

In the centre of the photo is a replica of Drake's ship the Golden Hind. We saw a more famous replica last year in a walk around Southwark.

As we walked round to the Breakwater, I took another shot of the colourful houses that rise above the harbour. 

Conditions: very cold, grey.

Distance: 5.8 miles. Distance now covered 143.4 miles.

Map: OL 20 South Devon.

Rating: Three and a half stars.

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