South Devon Walks

With its award-winning beaches and picturesque countryside, it’s little surprise that there is a wealth of scenic walks along the English Riviera. From gentle walks for beginners to challenging routes for keen ramblers, there’s something to suit everyone.

Bay Walks

If navigation isn’t your forte, then one of Healthy Lifestyle’s led walks is the thing for you. The walks run regularly in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, with routes of various lengths and difficulty to suit all abilities and fitness levels. The Cary Park walk is great for beginners and those recovering from illness; it’s also wheelchair accessible. Lasting just 30 minutes and covering 0.7 miles, it’s a gentle introduction to South Devon’s walks. (The Cary Park walk runs every Wednesday at 1pm.)

South West Coast Path

Spanning 630 miles along the stunning south coast, this is the longest national trail in the country. It begins in Minehead, Somerset and runs through to Poole Harbour, crossing the Exmoor, North Devon, Cornwall and Dorset coasts along the way. The stretch through Torquay passes right outside The Osborne Hotel, along Meadfoot Beach.

Pick up the path from any point and take in some of the most spectacular views of the south west. There are many things to look out for – visit the South West Coast Path website to find out more about the heritage, wildlife, geological and cultural points of interest.

Blue Plaque Heritage Trail

Discover the history and culture of South Devon on this trail. Scattered across the English Riviera, from Maidencombe down to Berry Head, are 49 blue plaques that mark notable sites and residencies of famous figures throughout history. Sites include Rock House in Torquay, where Rudyard Kipling spent two years, and Hesketh Crescent, where Charles Darwin spent some time – right next to our hotel! You can download a map of the plaques from Torbay Civic Society.

Coves & Cliffs

Explore every nook and cranny of the dramatic coastline with this self-guided walk along the Babbacombe coast. Starting at Anstey’s Cove and finishing at Babbacombe Cricket Club, it’s a 4.5 mile walk along challenging paths that are quite steep at times. You’ll pass many points of interest, including Withy Point, Gasking’s Rock and Devil’s Point.

Coral Coast

You can take a slightly gentler route from Anstey’s Cove along the Torquay Coral Coast. There are still a few inclines, but the route is mainly along the even coastal path. Enjoy the spectacular rock formations and wildlife along this 5.6km route.

Dartmoor Circular Walks

Further inland from the coast is the stunning Dartmoor National Park. If you like hiking, then this is the place for you. There are a number of circular walks, taking you to the finest viewpoints of the park. Worth a mention is the Moors & Tors of Eastern Dartmoor – a 22.5km route, along which you can experience the beauty of the wilderness without straying too far from public roads.

Agatha Christie Mile

For a shorter stroll, take a gander along Torquay’s Agatha Christie Mile. See the sights and places from her early years that inspired some of her famous works, such as the Princess Pier where she enjoyed roller-skating as a child, and The Pavilion where Archie Christie proposed to a young Agatha. You can also arrange guided tours on request to discover even more about the best-selling novelist.

After all that walking, you’re sure to work up an appetite! Join us for lunch or dinner at our newly-refurbished restaurant, The Crescent. Or you can dine al fresco on The Terrace and enjoy breath-taking views of Torbay.

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The top five outdoor activities (within 10 minutes of our hotel)

South Devon; some of the best beaches in England, stunning coastal walks and beautiful countryside. Explore the culture and history of our county with our guide to the best outdoor places to visit, which are all within 10 minutes of the Osborne Hotel.

Paignton Beach – 3 miles from the hotel

The Marine Conservation Good Beach Guide lists Broadsands Beach, Hollicombe Beach and Preston Sands in Paignton amongst its top recommended beaches.  The beaches are family friendly, safe and clean.  There is a huge range of water sports on offer from kayaking to water skiing. The sands are lined with cafes, shops and pubs – so after all the sand castle building, you can recharge before heading back to the hotel.

Coastal Walk – 0.1 miles from the hotel

The South West Coastal Path was originally formed as coastguards walked the cliff tops watching for smugglers. Today the 630 mile long path is the longest National Trail in the country. Starting at Minehead in Somerset, it runs along the coastline of Exmoor, continuing along the coast of North Devon into Cornwall. Running in front of the hotel, follow the path from Meadfoot; head north (keep the coast on your right as you walk) and climb the hill to Thatcher’s Point, Hopes Nose and around to Anstey’s Cove. Walking south will take you to Daddyhole Plain; a limestone plateaux which offers great views of the bay and harbour. The coastal path travels through an area once cultivated by Victorian gardeners but is now preserved as a wildlife conservation area, rich in rare plants with its own colony of the nationally endangered horseshoe bats in a former wartime lookout post. Watch out for the Devil in his limestone cave!

 Babbacombe – 2 miles from the hotel

Only 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel is the quaint village of Babbacombe. Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the independent shops and tearooms before exploring the pretty coastal and woodland walks which offer spectacular views and a treasure trove of hidden coves. No visit to Babbacombe is complete without a trip to the model village or cliff top railway. The railway was built in 1926 and takes visitors down the 240-foot cliff face to Oddicombe beach.

Cockington Country Park – 3 miles from the hotel

Cockington Country Park and Gardens is an award winning country park and is part of the UNESCO English Riviera Global Geopark. A paradise for walkers, gardeners, nature lovers and families alike, the park contains wild woodlands and formal landscaped areas, such as the rose garden, arboretum and ornamental ponds.

Kents Cavern – 1.4 miles from the hotel

Kents Cavern is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe. It is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (since 1952) and a Scheduled Ancient Monument (since 1957). As you walk through the extensive labyrinth of caverns, you’ll be surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. All tours are guided so you will need to check the times before you arrive.

Planning a trip to Torquay? To get the best rates and terms it is best to book direct. Stay and dine at the Osborne Hotel this winter and take advantage of our special package – £60 pppn for dinner, bed and breakfast. To read more about this offer, visit > http://www.osborne-torquay.co.uk/offers.