South West Coast Path Adventures – Brixham & Beyond
I recently had a stay at my lovely Cottage in Brixham ‘Forget-Me-Knot Cottage’ with my friend Susan and her black lab Ben, we explored the South West Coast Path over 2 days and I have shared our adventures below!
The adventures of two female intrepid explorers and a black lab named Ben…
We arrived in Brixham on a sunny but cloudy Tuesday afternoon and after a cup of tea and me giving Susan the grand tour of pretty ‘Forget-Me-Knot Cottage’ we quickly unpacked our things and took Ben the Black Lab out for some fresh sea air and exploring in the sunshine. We headed down to the harbour via Temperance place steps, meandering past the remnants of Brixham Pirate Festival weekend which had ended the day before, we stopped and grinned at the skeleton figure hanging in a basket over the harbour – ‘poor dear soul didn’t make it out’ we joked as we made our way around the quayside.
Susan my holiday companion hadn’t been to Brixham in some 20 years so it was a trip of memories and discovering the changes over the past 2 decades. We wandered past the marina, admiring the beautiful boats and yachts, onto breakwater beach marvelling at the crystal clear waters lapping up at the shore and on past Shoalstone outdoor swimming pool which was about to be renovated ready for another busy summer season. We decided as it was approaching tea time it would be nice for a refreshment and walked onto Berryhead hotel where we sat outside with Salcombe South Devon Gin & tonic watching the beautiful clear waters glistening below and taking in all the lovely fresh sea air.
That evening we (and Ben the lab) all enjoyed a meal at the Rockfish restaurant at the end of Brixham harbour, sampling some Plymouth Devon Gin and the first chip shops chips I have had since becoming vegan some years back!
Berryhead & Beyond
On our first morning we woke to glorious sunshine, we packed our rucksack and set off for a day of exploring the south west coast path, we walked south through Brixham and on to Berryhead National Park. Ben loved running around the ruins and the views were just spectacular, the highlight being the lighthouse built in 1906 at the end of the cliffs where you can see out to sea for miles in every direction (Dogs need to be on leads at this point for obvious reasons!). Walking back with slightly rumbling tummies we decided we would head to The Guardhouse Café which is situated on Berryhead, after learning about local wildlife from the lovely lady in the information centre we went into the café, I was delighted to find they had several vegan cake options for me and even biscuits on the counter for Ben the lab!
After our elevenses we headed on for St Marys Bay, enroute we saw Guillemots nesting on the rocks. It was quite some walk with some stunning views and as we finally made our way down a fair few steps we arrived at beautiful St Marys Bay, Ben had a celebratory run round the empty beach and whilst we were looking out to sea we were lucky to see porpoise in the waters!
Arriving back to the cottage Susan tells me from her fitbit we had walked some 7 miles! We decided this deserved a hearty meal so we (and Ben) headed out to The Old Market House on the harbour for a lovely meal to round off a lovely day.
Waking up on Wednesday to another lovely sunny day, it was our last day to explore so decided to go north on the south west coast path, we had a route semi planned and after breakfast we set off. We walked to the other side of the harbour and headed for Fishcombe Cove, Susan teaching me names of trees, plants and birds all the way. Once we arrived it was as beautiful as I had remembered, we sat at the Beachside café and had a hot drink and they made Ben a hot doggy sausage snack following his swim. The wind was up a little so we decided to carry on to our next destination.
We had planned to go to the next cove around the coastline which is Churston Cove however we got ourselves completely lost in ancient woodland (which was not a bad thing as it was truly beautiful!) and somehow ended up on Churston Golf Course! After a nice chat with the greenskeeper who sent us in the right direction we finally ended up at Churston Cove, I think this has to be my favourite cove – it is so very beautiful and peaceful with crystal clear waters.
Heading onto Elberry Cove surrounded by woodlands and fields and the Elberry Bath house ruins built for Lord Churston in the 18th century, we strolled past Broadsands beach and headed for our final stop ‘Goodrington Beach’, this final trek required a degree of fitness as you encounter more steps than I have ever seen! But it was certainly worth it, it was a great walk, we sat and rested while watching the steam train come past, saw some very unusual flora and finally after 5 hours and 9 miles we made it to Goodrington Beach where we sat at the Inn on the Quay Pub and shared a late lunch, we decided as we didn’t want to be walking back until dark that we should catch a bus back to Brixham – Ben’s first Bus journey!
We rounded the final night off with a truly delicious meal at ‘On The Rocks’ at Brixham harbour, sadly Ben the lab wasn’t allowed into this restaurant, although after such a busy day of walking many miles, he was more than happy to curl up and have a nap at the cottage.
Something I haven’t mentioned which I think I should is that Susan is in her 70s! We walked lots of miles (at her request), she has more energy than me in my 30s – she is just amazing! Also every Brixham restaurant and eatery mentioned caters for vegans very well which made refuelling for me after all the trekking a culinary pleasure!
A wonderful trip with amazing memories x