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Walking Feedback and Reviews -

Plymouth to Brixham South West Coast Path Holidays

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Walk Reviews and Customer Feedback

Route: South West Coast Path - Plymouth to Exeter
Name: Doreen and George
When: 19 May 2017

United Kingdom flagWe arrived back safely on Thursday evening having spent a day looking round Exeter before we came home.

The final section of the walk was lovely - no rain again for the whole fortnight and a lovely on-shore breeze most of the time which made for ideal walking conditions. This section was not so urban as I had expected but still contained a lot of ups and downs. The books always say that the North Cornwall section is the hardest but we have found the two sections from Falmouth to Exmouth to be equally challenging!!! Must be getting older.

The coastline was very attractive and the drowned rias were very picturesque in the sunshine with the boats floating on the deep blue water. As always the accommodation was all very good and all different. It was lovely having breakfast at Beesands with the folding doors wide open - just like being on the continent. The Sea Tang B&B have refurbished all their bedrooms this year and they are now very smart. It was also lovely to go back and see Anne in Plymouth for a couple more nights. George insisted on taking the ferry across to Exmouth to make sure we completed the route. We also managed to get some really good photos of a cirl bunting which was a first for us. No problems with the luggage transfer - they even managed to deliver a 'lost '  fleece to another group of walkers that we picked up en-route.

We have thoroughly enjoyed doing the walk - we are quite sad in a way to have finished it but maybe we'll look at the new Somerset walks when you have had more time to sort them out.

Thank you so much for organising all 6 of our trips. Knowing how difficult it can be to get one - night bookings at peak holiday times must make booking accommodation quite time consuming. It's been lovely exploring this part of the country for the first time - in no small part to your help. We will continue to recommend you to anyone who is interested in walking in the South west.


Route: South West Coast Path - Wembury to Brixham
Name: David
When: 16 May 2017

At last a rare free moment (it's raining outside) since our return to answer this.

The walk was excellent thanks. The weather was very kind overall to us, with the heavy rain on arrival and also day 1 soon replaced by sun. The walking was not really demanding (even the last day when the terrain was a bit tougher but mileage low), with quite low daily distances (driven clearly by accommodation locations and ferries).

The accommodation was uniformly very good, with the highlight for us both being Bayards Cove Inn, closely followed by The Fortescue Inn both of which were excellent.  We didn't bother with packed lunches due to the short distances, but perhaps should have done on day 1 with hindsight. A few updates for your guide notes:

The two taxi trips on day 1 with Kevin worked very well.
The cafe at Mothecombe is currently closed for renovation (hence my comment above re packed lunch) which made waiting for the taxi in the rain less comfortable than it might have been. And all the places in Bigbury were closed by the time we arrived!

The Sloop Inn only opens at 6pm although we could get earlier access to our room - but no beer until later!  They have some renovation work ongoing too impacting the restaurant, but the food in the bar was very good.
No problems getting a table at Cricket Inn either with very good food - and there is the option of the Britannia further along the beach which looked very good (and popular).

The Kings Arms pub in Strete is currently closed and up for sale. The village store there only had limited provisions (including some out of date sandwiches!) - we would have done better to wait until the (very good) Green Dragon in Stoke Fleming.

The ice cream shop in Dartmouth no longer sells packed lunches - but there is an excellent coffee shop called Woodroast in town (other than the Bayards Cove itself) for which we delayed our leaving until their 10am opening time! Bushell's Riverside proved to be a very good choice for dinner.
The best coffee in Brixham is at Port Espresso (we arrived just in time for their 4pm closing time) and we dined well at Beamers.

Hope this is of use.



Route: Fowey to Dartmouth
Name: Brenda and Kent
When: 03 September 2016

New Zealand FlagHi Damon and others,  We have just finished our itinerary today in Dartmouth. We have been going for 16days and have walked almost 200mls on the coast track with several diversions to places where I lived, was evacuated and grew up along the way. The trip has far surpassed my expectations. The weather has been excellent -if somewhat stimulating at times:)Only 1 hour of rain all the time. The scenery is unbelievable...still unspoilt and much of it as I remember it from over 70 years ago. The villages and accommodation were so excellent and interesting and we met some lovely and eccentric locals in all the pubs!

The walk is the best that I have ever done....varied at every turn and historically interesting.

we are now staying a few days with my brother in a beautiful converted church in N Cornwall. We will spend a couple of days on Dartmoor too, using your info supplied to us earlier.

We would not hesitate to recommend this to others. We were most impressed with the help and efficient service that your company supplied...and especially the luggage support service. No problems to report. We had a few diversions which were tricky when the Coast Path gave choices, but did not indicate why (eg tidal routes etc) but nothing major.We would love to return and do another area some time, Thanks for all your help in planning and supporting us ,


Route: Plymouth to Torquay
Name: David
When: 06 July 2016

UK FlagWe had a successful and enjoyable walk from Plymouth to Torquay, thank you. The itinerary information was fine, and all the B&B accommodation was very good.

The only problem we encountered was with some of the way-marking, where it wasn't obvious which way we needed to go. Two In particular were: over the fields between Strete and Matthew's Point, and from the Torquay Marina to Daddyhole Plain then Cove.

Route: SWCP Plymouth to Lymington
Name: David Coulson
When: 01 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomMy walk was from Plymouth to Poole. It was for the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association. I needed the help of encounter to plan my walk to suite my abilities. Without their help I could not have completed the 266 mile walk. The location of accomadation was perfect and the planned route worked. I was aware of all diversion on the way, I got lost a few times mainly down to myself. The scenery and views are stunning. It's a perfect way to enjoy a few days away. I finished by walking from Poole to Lymington a 26 mile walk to help the sufferers and families of this terrible disease. With out the help of Encounter Walking Hoildays and their professional approach I could not have finished this walk. Thank you

Route: Plymouth to Lyme Regis
Name: Sally
When: 09 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThank you for once again organising a glorious walking trip for me.  The weather – despite the very inaccurate and gloomy forecasts – was fantastic for walking – even the supposedly awful Wednesday did not materialise.  I only had my waterproof trousers on for two brief periods and the wind was kind. Crossing the Erme was quite an adventure but with the advice from the lovely Jackie at Worsall Barton I was armed with walking sandals and a towel and made it.  Thank you so much for organising the walk to correspond with the tides – it was fun.  

Arrived at Starcross Ferry at 2.50 ferry at 3.10 so pretty perfect.  Few worrying moments waiting for the ferry at Bigbury but eventually someone waved from the other side and ferried us across.

The walking was fabulous right up there with the first section despite the urban bits.  Badly signed I felt from Torquay and I missed Anstys Cove.All accomodation was up to the usual good standard.  I loved Dukes in Sidmouth.
All in all I had a fabulous time.

Route: Plymouth to Brixham
Name: Chris and Maureen and Amanda
When: 09 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomYet another excellent holiday. The accommodation was all very good or excellent. The luggage transfer was , as ever, faultless. You even got the weather in good order. Thank you again. We will be back next year

Route: SWCP Plymouth to Poole
Name: Pauline and Frans
When: 24 June 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsYes, we made it! 15 sunny walking days, just some showers at the beginning. One day of rest in Plymouth, one in Lyme Regis. We even made it to watch part of the Holland versus Chile football match in the Haven Hotel in Poole, even though we took a sandy path through the heather dunes close to the finish in South Haven Point! We just hadn't seen the coast path signs:-)

Compliments for Damon of Encounter Walkings who organized it for us, the luggage transfers were 100% oke, the B&B's/hotels were good, the owners friendly. Nicest moment of the day was usually the shower in the B&B/hotel:-) We managed to catch all taxi and ferries in time, sometimes just in time:-) Damon warned us. We got what we asked for; 15 miles on average a day, which turned out to be pretty heavy with all the ascending and descending. 15 miles sounded easy to us even though we knew it's 25 km, please take into account the climbing you have to do, because twice I was too tired to go out for diner in the evening. Next time we would surely try to find more time to look for fossils f.e. in Lyme Regis or look for dolphins near Swanage, we didn't sees any dolphins because we hadn't enough time to stand still and watch the sea I guess. I only swam for 1 minute in Weymouth! We used to visit nice things like Drakes' ship 'the Golden Hind' in Brixham, St. Catherines Chapel near Abbotsbury, the evacuated village of Tyneham, the ocean aquarium in Plymouth, the museum in Lyme Regis, etc.

Making 1000 pictures cost some time too. Twice we reached the next B&B/hotel at 7pm, which was rather late, the first time because we visited Drakes' ship and I lost the map on the terrace where we had coffee afterwards (which cost us another 40 minutes delay:-(), the other time was when we arrived in Portland, too tired to notice there was a more quiet footpath some 10 meters from the road along Chesil Beach.

We did the first part of the SWCP in June 2010 from Westward Ho! --> Penzance, Cornwall is more quiet than Devon and Dorset, you probably knew that but we didn't:-), holiday camps and military zones are not just an improvement from a walkers point of view. Besides that heavy rainfall caused some serous damage and erosion to the coast, there were more diversions compared to 2010. You know the Durdle Door picture on the walking guide? Well, when we reached it the beach was pretty crowded on a sunny saturday:-) People swam and canoed through the door, ofcourse I understand people enjoy to be there, it just wasn't the quiet place I expected.
The diversions were clearly marked, plenty of warnings about erosion, diversion, danger here danger there, on the whole the SWCP was clearly marked. We discussed a shortcut to Abbotsbury, somewhere in the fields/meadows you can see a path to the right straight to the village, it was a hot day, afterwards we agreed we should have taken the shortcut but we were not sure at the right moment to take the shortcut. Mostly the path is maintained oke, sometimes long trousers are handy against nettles and thisles.

We had to catch a few ferries and several taxis in time. To make the trip more relaxed (it shouldn't feel like work:-)) we would suggest to give walkers the opportunity to call the taxidriver/company at the moment you reach the location where the driver should pick you up. Advantage: No stress for walkers, disadvantage: waiting for the taxi after the call.

Places to eat: there's always at least 1 good restaurant in the neighbourhood, we recommend the Eastern Eye Indian Cuisine in Plymouth, fish and chips plus peas with minty sauce (I'll try this at home) in the Ship Inn in Noss Mayo, Masala Indian Cuisine in Swanage, sticky toffee pudding in the Ox in Poole. And plenty of carrot cake on the way. All B&B's/hotels served a good breakfast; you can always combine/choose English and/or continental breakfast, that will take You up the hills!

Compared to the Netherlands: the public toilets in Great Britain are good; clean, well maintained and available in most villages/towns!

In short; we had a great time!

Route: Salcombe to Brixham
Name: Andrew and Liz
When: 06 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomEnjoyed our 3-day trip; good weather for most of the time (one very wet and windy morning), good accomodation, especially The Cricket Inn at Beesands, and a varied mix of coastal scenery. We dined on fresh fish every night; the Rockfish restaurant in Dartmouth was excellent! All the planning, logistics, maps and guidance provided by Encounter was perfect, as always.

Route: Falmouth to Brixham
Name: Thea - Denmark
When: 10 August 2013

Flag of DenmarkAs always, everything was arranged to fulfil my needs. Very good accommodation and beautiful walking. Diversions were not a problem, neither in number nor length. In many places I had a number of restaurants to choose between, and the food was often more up-scale compared with further west. Maybe because this area also seemed to be popular with the sailing people. I can only recommend this stretch on SWCP. Even the weather was more or less perfect, only two rainy days in 15 days walking.

Route: South West Coast Path - Plymouth to Dartmouth
Name: Annette and Elisabeth (Germany)
When: 07 July 2012

Flag of GermanyOn the whole, it was a wonderful walk again, and we were lucky to have four almost dry days! After crossing by the ferry or surrounding by taxi the estuaries I now understand what you meant when you said this section was a bit tricky....... We found everything alright, only the B and B Revelstoke Combe in Noss Mayo was difficult to find. My most preferred day was the day from Hope to Salcombe, because it was wonderfully quiet and sunny. The worst day was the next day, because there was heavy rain all the time and we could not walk at all.......On the whole we walking a lot slower than the estimated times!..... The best pub was the SHIP INN Noss Mayo, they have excellent food!..... On the whole the accommodation was ok. The Sea Breezes Guest House and the Queens Court Hotel were very good! The Hope and Anchor was good with nice rooms. So was the Dolphin Inn where the rooms were not only nice, but also well heated! In Revelstoke Combe, which was also good, we had a lovely experience with the landlady. When she understood how exhausted and hungry we were, she drove us down to the Ship Inn, and later back home again. That was very special!....... All the information was very useful. Especially the information about the Bay Cafe in Bigbury helped us a lot. I think everything was well organized. I think we will come back next summer, and then we just walk on! Thank you very much for everything. It was a lovely holiday!

Route: South West Coast Path - Plymouth to Brixham
Name: John, Christine & 2 friends (UK)
When: 05 July 2012

Flag of the United KingdomHad no problems finding the routes, the day by day booklets were brilliant, very informative....... Can only say the best walking were the sunny days, Hope Cove, Salcombe & Beesand, only because we saw these places at their best, the rest of the walk probably would have been very pretty, only didn’t really notice it, due to having to concentrate so hard on feet placements...... Worst days were the first two day and last two, purely down to the weather, rain, rain, mud and more mud, making the going hazardous underfoot...... We were walking faster than estimated times, but we do walk fast and the weather encouraged this...... The info you supplied about rest stops & cafes along the route was very helpful. We did find some lovely Restaurants: Barbican Kitchen in Plymouth; the Boatswain in Salcombe; Taylors in Dartmouth & the Poopdeck in Brixham. All excellent for Fish...... All accommodation you provided were excellent, : The CRICKET INN, this was one of our favourites, beautiful accommodation, very clean & the evening meal gorgeous, lovely breakfast too:  The only thing we found was that with having two couples walking, one couple always ended up with a small room. I know there's always the problem you are only there for one night, but it can get difficult with the bags. We do appreciate there's not a lot you can do about it. It is not a complaint, just a fact...... Despite the weather it was great...... You did a great job, thankyou very much we will definitely use you again.