Our top Dartmouth walks navigate not only the South West Coast Path, but also the River Dart, rolling countryside,...
Welcome to our visual guide to the walk from East Portlemouth to Gara Rock Beach (also known as Seacombe Sands). This exquisite circular route takes you from the picturesque Salcome Estuary along the Salcombe Estuary to meet the breathtaking sight of the wide open sea.
OS © Crown copyright 2018 CS-49390-P7H3Y2
To view the OS map for our East Portlemouth to Gara Rock walk, please click here.
1. Head towards Mill Bay National Trust car park: from East Portlemouth Beach, head inland and take a right, then go straight. You’ll see Mill Bay on your right and the car park in front of you.
2. Go right at the car park, up the hill. Keep to the right for the coastal walk.
3. You’ll soon come to Sunny Cove, giving you the choice of either popping down to the sand for a detour or carrying on along the coastal path. From the path, look back towards the water for stunning views of secluded coves.
4. You’ll pass blackberries, sloes and even a plentiful supply of crab apples overhanging the path – great for foraging if you time it right.
5. You’ll come to a gate, which signifies that there may be sheep grazing in this area, so please keep your dog under close control.
As the path veers back towards the coastline, you will be able to see the beaches of North Sands and South Sands, the opposite side of the estuary.
6. The trail will take you past a memorial plaque, dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in the Salcombe Lifeboat Disaster of 1910.
7. Before long, you’ll catch your first glimpses of the beach ahead.
8. When you come to the Gara Rock signpost, head right to go down to the beach or left to make your way to the Gara Rock restaurant for a well deserved bite to eat or refreshing drink whilst watching the magnificent scenery from their restaurant or outside seating area.
9. If you’ve chosen to visit the beach, you won’t regret it! Gara Rock Beach (Seacombe Sands) is a beautiful, unspoilt sandy cove. Find out more from our full guide to Gara Rock Beach.
10. Head back up the trail towards the white building above. When you reach the top, take a right, going along the left side of the hotel.
11. With the hotel on your right, walk up the road until you come to a Coast Path sign, pointing to a stile to your left. Go over the stile.
12. Cross the car park to the next sign, almost directly opposite.
13. Follow this trail.
14. When the trail reaches a muddy track, cross the track and go through the gate opposite.
15. Follow this path, which will lead directly back to the Mill Bay car park.
16. Turn right at the end of the car park.
17. Option 1: simply follow the road back along the coast to where you began.
Option 2: at low tide, you can walk along the beach back to the East Portlemouth ferry slipway.
There’s a Venus Takeaway at East Portlemouth beach, another great option for picking up a bite or a drink as you enjoy the stunning view of Salcombe across the estuary. Alternatively, take the ferry from the slipway over to Salcombe, to enjoy a choice of pubs, restaurants and shops.
Download our FREE South Devon Walking Guide for lots of other great routes, including:
With miles of unbroken paths on the South West Coast Path, the stunning Dart Valley Trail, and acres of unspoilt woodland and farmland to explore, South Devon makes a wonderful base for a walking break.