Keith Perry’s winter walkabout: Coastal walk with striking views across Lyme Bay
- Credit: Keith Perry
From Ansteys Cove car park take the coastal path, the first part of which is better known as Bishop’s Walk after Henry Philpotts, Bishop,of Exeter from 1831 until 1869.
Bishop Philpotts lived in a mansion known at Bishopstowe which was on the site of the Palace Hotel, itself now consigned to history.
There are views through the trees and hedgerows of Anstey’s Cove, Walls Hill and Long Quarry where the Victorians quarried limestone, used in many of Torquay’s building projects of the time, and eventually across to Hope’s Nose.
Bishop’s Walk ends at the bottom of Ilsham Marine Drive where you rejoin the coastal path which runs parallel with the road as far as Thatcher Avenue at the entrance to Hope’s Nose, part of the English Riviera Geopark, a sight of Special Scientific Interest and the most easterly point of the Riviera.
You can make a detour down the steep, and well-worn footpath to Hope’s Nose beach but it is a tricky climb at the bottom and not recommended for very young or elderly walkers. But it’s worth going part of the way to enjoy striking views across Lyme Bay as well as of the cruise ships moored off Babbacombe.
Your are also well positioned here to see the Lead Stone and Ore Stone and the sea bird colonies of cormorant, kittiwake and guillemot which have made it their home. A pair of binoculars comes in handy for close ups of the birds diving for food.
You will pick up the coastal path again a little further down Ilsham Marine Drive and follow it around the back of Thatcher’s Rock Green where you have spectacular views of the Bay’s most famous rock itself and of more seabird colonies.
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Rejoining Ilsham Marine Drive the footpath leads to Ilsham Road where you can take a break to explore Meadfoot Beach.
Alternatively cross Meadfoot Green to pick up the footpath that leads through the Victorian woodland through Ilsham Valley to Kents Cavern. Cross the road here to pick up a footpath through the field running beside Ansteys Cove Road, and returning to the car park.