English Riviera Walk – Steam and Steps

Posted by: on Apr 13, 2016 | No Comments

English Riviera Walk – Steam and Steps

Steam & Steps Torbay

Distance: 1.8 miles
Exertion: Easy but some steps.
Time: Allow 2 hours
Terrain: Coast path of varying quality – can be muddy. Not suitable for pushchairs.
Dogs: On leads on some beach sections.
Refreshments: Broadsands or Goodrington
Start Postcode:  TQ4 6DE

Sometimes it’s nice to take a walk far from the crowds, however this walk, following a section of the South West Coast Path, is wonderful for its contrasts. With busy beaches followed by secret coves, caravan parks and steam trains, ornamental gardens and wild pastures, one is taken far from the hustle and bustle in a few steps and then back again.

It really does remind you what a beautiful place the English Riviera is and how lucky we are to live here. It also gives a glimpse of those who choose to take their breaks here again and again in one of the Bay’s biggest static caravan parks.

There’s an abundance of nature to see along the way so go prepared for paddling and take a camera to record the wonderful views.

This is an A to B walk that can be tackled from either end. The main number 12 bus route runs along Dartmouth Road so can be picked up relatively nearby at either end.


If you’ve come by car then there’s plenty of on-street parking in Roundham. Pick up the coast path on the south side of Roundham Head and follow the meandering paths down through the ornamental gardens to the sea wall. Enjoy the great views across the Bay to Brixham and Berry Head. Follow the promenade past the colourful beach huts or take to the beach. At the back of the beach in Young’s Park you’ll find a small nature reserve that’s well worth a wander through.

Half way along the beach is Middle Stone, if you have a dog with you you’ll need to take to the prom as the south end of the beach is dog-free between May and September.

3 The far end of the beach offers your last chance to pick up an ice cream (if you haven’t already) before the route takes to an uphill path. As you leave the beach, pass under the railway tunnel and turn left up the steps to carry on alongside the steam railway tracks.

4 As you reach the top of the hill there’s great views back across the Bay. After another 100 yards you can detour left over a stone railway bridge to a grassy headland that gives access to a small cove and in the righthand corner down to Saltern Cove – a beach designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its abundance of marine and birdlife.

5 Back on the main path, the gradient increases as you climb to the top of Sugar Loaf Hill. At 48m above sea level this is one of the highest points in the middle of the Bay and affords great panoramic views. It’s a great vantage point from which to view the steam trains. Downhill from here the path is very steep then becomes quite rutted and rooty so take care. If you choose to walk back you’ll be glad of the strategically placed benches on the hillside!

6 The path follows alongside Waterside Park then passes another railway bridge. If you turn left here, under the bridge, the path leads to another headland then onto the south end of Saltern Cove or to Armchair Rock. The main path carries on past the bridge staying on the inland side of the train lines.

7 Follow the path uphill (more benches here for a breather) and then along the wide open space above Broadsands Beach which affords lovely views towards Elberry and Churston coves.

8 The path drops down here via another flight of steps and leads down to the beach via a metalled path below the first of Brunel’s viaducts.

9 Refreshments await at Broadsands Beach!

Walk June 15.indd