In NatureCoastActive

When you think of the South Devon coastline a few key natural features come to mind; sandy beaches, pebbled coves, wildlife reserves and of course dramatic cliffs.

The cliffs of South Devon come in many colours, from rusty red sandstone along much of the eastern and central coast, with a pocket of white chalk cliffs around the village of Beer, to rugged grey Schist to the west of the county.  

Wherever you visit along the Devonshire coast you won’t be far from striking cliffs and stunning views, and to the east of the county, along the Jurassic Coast, the cliffs tell a fascinating story of the earth’s prehistoric past. 

Cliff Walks

Walking the coastal path will take you along many stretches of astonishing coastline with incredible rock faces and wonderful sights. We’ve listed below a few of the amazing walks in South Devon that will offer you incredible cliff views.     

Hallsands - Start Point

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This section of coast path, just over 1 mile in length, provides wonderful views of Start Point and the rugged cliffs which make the lighthouse a necessity.   

Seaton - Beer Head

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Starting in the seaside town of Seaton this section of the South West Coast Path takes you over high view points and through the fishing village of Beer as the cliffs change from red to chalky white.

Prawle Point

Prawle Point is the most southerly point on the South Devon coast, walking any section of the coast path around here will offer up stunning views of the Schist rock face. 

Hope Cove - Bolt Tail

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As you make your way away from the secluded beaches at Hope Cove, look back and enjoy views of jagged cliffs tumbling into the sea.

Weston Mouth

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Starting at either Sidmouth or Branscombe the coast path along this section of glorious coast will lead you to Weston Mouth. Along the way you can enjoy spectacular cliff views. Cut down on to the beach using the steps to get a true sense of scale from the towering cliff faces.

Cliff Views

If you don’t want to travel far from your car to get great views of the rocky faces, here are a few suggestions of places where you can park within a short walk of impressive cliffs scenery.

Orcombe Point, Exmouth

Sitting high overlooking Exmouth Beach is Orcombe Point, with its 5 meter tall geoneedle it marks the start of Jurassic Coast, from here the cliff faces are packed with history which lead all the way to the east to Dorset. Parking on Exmouth seafront, Orcombe Point is accessed by a path leading up the hill side.

Thatcher Point, Torquay

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To the north of Torbay as the headland juts out, just south of Hope’s Nose you’ll find the Limestone cliffs of Thatcher Point. Here you can take a seat on one of the wooden benches and enjoy views along the coast line and of Thatcher Rock, which lays a short distance out to sea. Parking can be found on nearby Ilsham Marine Drive.

Rock Formations

Over thousands of years the weather and sea have left their mark on the coastline and this can be seen at various points along the shore in impressive rock formations.

Ladram Bay, Near Budleigh Salterton

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Towering from the sea around the sheltered bay at Ladram you’ll find a number of impressive red stone stacks. Their dominating presence over the surrounding coastline makes a trek along this stretch of the coast path a most.

Langstone Cliff, Dawlish

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At the very end of Dawlish Beach, just before the railway and coast path reaches Dawlish Warren stands Langstone Cliff, separating the two resorts. On the southern face of this rugged red landmark, carved out by the seas, stands a splendid stone arch.

Thurlestone Rock, Thurlestone

Visible from the nearby coast path and beach, rising majestically from the sea is the Permian rock arch of Thurlstone Rock. The stunning surrounding and towering arch make for the perfect photo opportunity of a natural rock formation.     

Railways

As well as walking or by boat, a train ride can be a great way to view the cliffs of South Devon. Here are two of the best places where rail travel and cliffs views can be combined.  

Coryton Cove, Dawlish

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Between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth, the mainline railway, flanked by the sea and rough rusty red cliffs, travels through tunnels carved by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 1840’s. One of the best places to view trains travelling just meters from the sea cliffs is at Coryton Cove, a short walk from Dawlish

Babbacombe, Torquay

The Babbacombe Cliff Railway takes you from Babbacombe Downs down to Oddicombe Beach; from the beach you can enjoy views of the red cliffs that surround the sheltered shingle cove.

Enjoy a Unique View Point

Some of the best views of the cliff faces and rock formations along the Devon coast can be had from the water. Whether you hire a boat or join a kayak or SUP tour, sea views give a whole new perspective to the coastline. If you want to get up close and personal with some of the regions cliffs why not give coasteering a try, however climbing along rocks and jumping into the sea can be very dangerous so make sure you are accompanied by a qualified instructor.

Cliffs and cliff walks can offer some of the best views of the South Devon coastline, but walking near cliffs can be precarious, if you plan to view cliffs from a beach always check the tide times to ensure you don’t get cut off by incoming tides and keep an eye out for rock fall signs. Only access beaches and cliffs using paths and steps, don’t ever jump off a cliff or walk along uneven ground to gain access. When walking along the top of a cliff always stay away from the edge and never lean over to get a better view. If walking with a dog keep them on a lead so they don’t get too close to the edge themselves.

Share your snaps with us on Instagram using #southdevon or tag us: @visitsouthdevon. We may even feature your photo on our page!

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