Welcome to our visual guide to the walk from East Portlemouth/Mill Bay to Gara Rock Beach (also known as Seacombe Sands).
At a glance
- Distance: 4 miles
- Views: Stunning coastal and estuary views
- Terrain: Pavement, tracks, grass, muddy and rocky paths. Steep and uneven in places
- Circular? Yes
- Starting point: East Portlemouth car park, Mill Bay car park, or take the passenger ferry from Salcombe to the East Portlemouth jetty
- Destination: Gara Rock Beach, or pop into the café at the Gara Rock Hotel for a bite or a drink while you take in the view.
Your step-by-step guide
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.
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.
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 hotel and café.
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 Gara Rock Beach – South Devon Beach Bible.
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. Immediately on your right, opposite Mill Bay beach, you’ll see the Lollapalooza van, a delicious mobile creperie, where you can also pick up ice-creams and drinks.
18. Simply follow the road back along the coast to where you began.
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.
Browse our Walks pages for lots of other great walks, including:
- A circular walk to East Soar
- A leafy riverside stroll from Loddiswell
- The Dart Valley Trail from Kingswear to Greenway and Dittisham, then back to Dartmouth.
Where better for a walking holiday?
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.