Along The Coast

It is possible to enjoy Teignmouth not only in or on the sea but along the coast beside the sea.

The South West Coast Path passes right through Teignmouth from the East and West.

Below we describe a walk along the section that traverses Teignmouth and passes directly beneath the NCI Lookout at Eastcliff.

Babbacombe to Dawlish

The Babbacombe to Dawlish section of the South West Coast Path is beautiful and very accessible. The A381 main road is close to the path and there is a frequent service by number 2 Stagecoach bus, which makes this a good bus-walk section, and is handy for tired walkers or if the weather turns nasty! Teignmouth promenade and the sea-wall path is good for buggies and wheelchairs too.

Coming towards Teignmouth from Babbacombe much of the path is wooded with limited sights of the sea, but from the cliff tops nearing Shaldon the path is more exposed and the views are magnificent. If the visibility is good Portland Bill (about 40 nautical miles to the east) can be seen looking like a row of low islands.

From the Ness Headland above the mouth of the River Teign the path goes down to join the lane that passes the Ness House Hotel and continues along the side of the estuary towards Shaldon Village. On the right are the red sands of Shaldon Beach from where the Teignmouth to Shaldon ferry takes passengers to and from Teignmouth's River (Back) Beach. The path continues along the promenade on Teignmouth's seafront. For several miles the path has been a roller coaster up and down cliffs with some wonderful views, but the Teignmouth section is cheek by jowl with the sea and it can be quite exciting! However, this proximity to the sea also means that there is a need for some caution.

  • Sea wall. Heading towards Dawlish from the East Cliff end of the promenade the path continues for about 1.5 miles along the sea wall between the railway and the beach. There is no railing or barrier along the sea wall and there is a sheer drop of nearly 20 ft down to the concrete foundations and the beach.

  • Waves do break over the sea wall. For an hour or so either side of high tide the path can be very wet with spray, but sometimes, especially with high tide and an onshore wind, waves break over the path with great force. In these conditions please stay off the path.

  • Tunnel at Smugglers Lane. At the Dawlish end of the sea-wall section, the path goes through a tunnel underneath the railway and continues up Smugglers Lane to the main road. This tunnel is impassable for quite a time either side of high tide, as the path is under water. There is no other way to cross the railway and no other way around the headland. If the only alternative is to return to Teignmouth there is a risk that sea conditions may have become more dangerous, especially with an incoming tide, and it is possible to become trapped either here or at the headland, Sprey Point (with the 'Teignmouth' sign) about halfway along the sea wall.

Weather, tide and sea condition information is available at the NCI Lookout, which is conveniently situated at the point where the promenade railings end and the sea-wall walk begins. Just follow the lane behind the East Cliff Cafe for a few yards and the Lookout is on the right.

South West Coast Path

For a complete guide to the South West Coast Path including the section described above see :
South West Coast Path

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