By: Blonde Two
I have come to the conclusion that building lots of shorter walks into my weekly schedule is far preferable to my previous pattern of no walking at all, followed suddenly by walking up a massive hill. Of course, when you have ‘knees’, walking down the massive hill can be more difficult than getting up it (I still regularly forget this) but when you are on a shorter walk, the ups and downs all tend to be fairly short-lived. All of which is why I have become more interested in searching out a few local loops or walks that will fit, including travel to start points, into a morning or an afternoon of spare time. This one is my first, it takes me around 30 minutes to drive around the coast to Brixham (90 minutes in August) and, as well as boasting one of the two shortest lighthouses in the UK, Berry Head has some stunning views (sometimes even dolphins!)
Devon Local Loop Walk – Berry Head, Brixham
Distance: 6.65 km (including The Breakwater)
Terrain: Easy grass, track and road. Some height gain at the start of the walk
Time: Allow 3 hours to include bench, view and coffee stops
Parking: The Breakwater car park (smallish but no height restriction) or Shoalstone Pool car park (bigger with no height restrictions)
Things to look for: A trig point, a fort, a cannon, some ramparts, a cold war bunker, a cafe, a short lighthouse, a rock called ‘Cod’, a sea cave, a dolphin and a quote from a hymn
Park at one of the two car parks or along the road between The Breakwater and Shoalstone. Walk along the sea front until you come to the Shoalstone sea-filled lido, dip if you dare, it is a lovely but chilly experience. Follow the lane up past the Berry Head Hotel and left into the woods. Carry on up until you reach the road down to the quay and quarry (interesting if you want an extra hill). Follow the tracks up to the fort and onto the headland. Visit the lighthouse and marvel at how short it is. Look out for signs of sea creatures and enjoy the stunning views, then sup hot chocolate at the fabulous Guardhouse Cafe.
Once you have explored, found some of the treasure listed above and worked out exactly why this fort seems to be pointing inland, head down to the main car park, along the lane towards the holiday camp and then turn left on the footpath towards Sharkham Point. This is a lovely stretch of the South West Coast path but don’t go all the way to Sharkham today. You are going to turn right once you have passed the holiday village and just before the houses and follow the road northwestish back down to the seafront. From here you have some choices, walk out on The Breakwater and enjoy the views, amble into Brixham and find some fish and chips or return to your car and congratulate yourself on your excellent completion of a local loop walk.