Circular walk from spot where legend says 'Devil lived in a cave'...

Torbay Weekly

Daddy is an old Devon name for the Devil who, according to local legend lived in a cave - formed when a giant chunk of limestone fell into the sea - at the foot of the limestone plateau we know as Daddyhole Plain.

Our walkabout this week begins there - 75 metres above the ‘Devil’s Hole’ - in this large recreational area once used for public gatherings and celebrations including a thanksgiving feast for the poor when Napoleon Bonaparte left the Bay in August 1815.

Other than the elegant Victorian terrace at the rear, the only building on the plain is that of the National Coastwatch Institution - a voluntary organisation dedicated to preserving life at sea around the English coastline.

You can find out more about their work here when the tower is manned.

Follow the coastal path from here and at the bottom of the steps just before Peaked Tor Cove take a short detour left to view London Bridge, a natural arch of Devon limestone which was named by the Victorians who quarried the limestone.

Peaked Tor Cove itself was designated for ‘gentlemen only’ bathing  in the 19th century and the small pebble beach is reached by 150 steps.

Above the beach is an old wartime Mine Watcher’s post, part of the Second World War defences of Torbay.

The building (363 Battery) is well hidden but has a view across the Bay and is where mines protecting Torquay Harbour would have been remotely detonated in the event of an attack by sea.

Today, it houses a colony of horseshoe bats, and has recently been the subject of a protection order.

At the end of the path beside the Imperial Hotel turn left towards Beacon Cove, once reserved for ‘ladies only’ bathing and a favourite venue of Agatha Christie.

At the bottom of Beacon Hill cross the Millennium Bridge and walk around the harbour surrounded on three sides by the late Georgian and Victorian development which shaped the town as we know it today.

At the head of the harbour turn right onto The Strand where there was once a sandy beach and which has hidden streams at each end.

At the clock tower, built in 1902 to commemorate the life and work of local magistrate and MP Richard Mallock, bear left into Torwood Street and turn right onto Parkhill Road at the traffic lights.

Follow Meadfoot Road and Meadfoot Sea Road to Daddyhole Road and return to your starting point.

This is a walk of about two miles but the coastal section involves many steps and is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

News