Dartmouth - Strete

A Hidden Harbour & Shipping History

This page outlines the coastal walk between Dartmouth and Strete, part of the South West Coast Path.

Dartmouth Harbour & the Britannia Naval College

Use the navigation arrows on the photograph to see other photos in this stage/LDP.

To see the image full screen just click on it [note this opens in a separate window].

The photo order, and description below, follow the walk in a clockwise direction for the South West Coast Path [ie Sandbanks to Minehead] - but of course you can walk it in any direction.

Description of the stage

The stage starts at the Lower Ferry in the expansive harbour at Dartmouth. Hemmed in by steep side and the towns of Dartmouth and Kingswear on opposite banks of the River Dart it is not hard to see why this has always been a valuable naval and commercial port.

From Southtown the view of the upper harbour opens up to include the Naval College before descending to Warfleet and eventually the harbour entrance at Dartmouth Castle. From thereon views of Start Bay, Slapton Sands and Start Point open up.

The terrain is undulating, especially after Dartmouth Castle and care is required as signage is not always clear.

Stage Stats

1. Places along the stage

Type Place Comment
Stage terminus Dartmouth Lower Ferry
Passage point Dartmouth Castle
Passage point Stoke Fleming
Passage point Blackpool Sands
Stage terminus Srete Kings Arms bus stop

2. Stage figures

Item Value Comment
Distance 10.5 km
Terrain type coastal hilly
Total ascent: 466 [m amsl]
Total descent: 362 [m amsl]
Lowest point 4 [m amsl] Dartmouth Harboiur & Blackpool Sands
Highest point 122 [m amsl] Stoke Fleming

3. Walk Log

Date walked Who Walking time hr Av. speed kmh Stoppage hr Direction
26 May 2016 KM&HM 2.7 hours 3.9 1.4 clockwise

Points of Interest

St Petrox Church, adjacent to Dartmouth Castle St Petrox Church: the church is adjacent to Dartmouth Castle (and a cafe). The river is quite narrow here and is obscured from the sea due to a curve.
Landcombe - towards Blackpool Sands, Devon Landcombe: a good example of a V shaped valley - looking back here to Landcombe beach, Blackpool Sands and the entrance to Dartmouth Harbour beyond the village of Stoke Fleming on the hill top.

Getting there & notes to Walkers

For the May 2016 trip we stayed in Dartmouth for one night [at Cherub's Nest] since Brixham is as far as a day trip will allow. We used rail to Totnes and the 164 bus to Kingsbridge and then the No 3 to Dartmouth. This 2 day trip also included the next stage [Strete to Torness]

A start just after 9am in Dartmouth meant we had lunch on the beach at Blackpool Sands and were able to catch the 13:44 No 3 bus back from Strete to Kingsbridge.


Start: 26 May 2016
End: 26 May 2016

References & Links:

Date Title
20160605 South West Coast Path [National Trail Site]
20160605 South West Coast Path Association
20160605 Traveline South West
20160605 Visit South Devon

Updated KJM 05 June 2016