Filming locations of the BBC’s Coastal Path: Episode 4

December 12th, 2016 | By Ross Purdy

We hope you’ve been enjoying the BBC’s Coastal Path series, presented by Paul Rose. In episode four, Paul visited South Devon, setting out from Plymouth, so our locally based team took an especially eager interest.

Here’s some further information about the filming locations for episode four of Coastal Path.

Burgh Island

The land bridge to Burgh Island, as featured as a filming location on the BBC's Coastal Path programme

Paul walked from Noss Mayo to Bigbury-On-Sea, where the views of Burgh Island across the land bridge are truly spectacular. He took the famous sea tractor across the sand to the island, famous for its 1930s Art Deco hotel. While most visitors go to the Pilchard Inn for a drink, traverse the island to enjoy its special views or dine in the exclusive hotel, Paul chose to explore underwater instead, joining a marine biologist for a snorkelling tour.


Given Burgh Island’s significance for the life and work of Agatha Christie as well as its natural beauty, it’s no surprise that it was chosen as one of the filming locations for Coastal Path.

You can find out more about Burgh Island here.

Thurlestone Sands

From Burgh Island, Paul headed east. Dramatic footage of the Coast Path at Thurlestone Sands during the February 2014 storm was shown, and Esther Pearson from the South West Coast Path Association explained to Paul how the path was slightly rerouted, thanks to generous accommodations made by Thurlestone Golf Club.

Thurlestone Rock

Paul and Esther sat outside the Beachhouse café at South Milton Sands, enjoying views of Thurlestone Rock, an arch-shaped rock formation just offshore.

Thurlestone Rock, viewed from South Milton Sands

Hope Cove to Start Point

The programme skipped several more beauty spots on this length of coastline, from the two beaches at Hope Cove to the rugged beauty of Prawle Point, Lannacombe Beach and Mattiscombe Sand.

Hope Cove

This episode of Coastal Path then picked up just outside Start Point, where Paul met Jason McKinlay, an athlete and adventurer who runs the trails around this challenging seaside spot. Like Burgh Island, Start Point Lighthouse simply had to be chosen as a filming location for Coast Path, given its iconic status in the region.

A quick look at Start Bay

The programme touched briefly on Start Bay, the stunning stretch of coastline between Start Point and Blackpool Sands, before picking up at Kingswear, which faces Dartmouth across the Dart Estuary.

Start Bay from the north

With no broadcasting schedules to restrict you when you visit South Devon, we suggest making at least a few stops along Start Bay during your break, getting to know some of its sites of natural and historic interest. These include:

Find out more from our Start Bay guide.


Kingswear, seen from Dartmouth

At Kingswear, Paul climbed aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway, where he assisted the driver as the train chugged out of the station and headed along the northern bank of the River Dart towards Paignton.

The steam train entering Kingswear

The Dartmouth Steam Railway is one of two such vintage railway attractions, the other running between Totnes and Buckfastleigh via Staverton. Both provide spectacular views of the South Devon countryside, taking in woodland and riverside scenery.

The perfect holiday destination for walkers

Why not choose South Devon as the base for your next walking holiday? The walks you can enjoy in the part of the country include the spectacular seaside strolls depicted on the Coastal Path programme, but also a wide range of inland hiking trails.

Take a look, for example, at this walk along the Dart Valley Trail from Dartmouth to Greenway.

The Dart Valley towards Dartmouth, seen from the Greenway estate

Explore our extensive range of holiday homes in South Devon, including historic Dartmouth and beautiful Salcombe, which both sit on the South West Coast Path and offer picturesque walks to numerous beaches and coves.

The intrepid amongst you might also be interested in this article on secret, secluded Devon beaches you can reach on foot.

Lannacombe beach

Did you miss this episode of Coastal Path? You can still catch it on the BBC iPlayer here.