Winter walkabout: Paignton Harbour to Goodrington
- Credit: Keith Perry
This is a relatively easy, wheelchair, pushchair-friendly walk with Paignton Harbour a convenient starting point.
With the harbour behind you take the first left into Cliff Road passing the Holocaust Memorial Garden which was dedicated with a service and olive tree planting by Holocaust survivor Leslie Kleinman in 2017.
The next garden is the Burma Star Memorial Garden, remembering those who fought in Burma and South East Asia during the Second World War, which was the subject of a voluntary restoration project by South Devon College students in 2016.
The West Coastal Path resumes at Roundham Head and a short way along it you will see another memorial - to Torquay-born war hero Lt Cmdr Arthur Leyland Harrison who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the daring raid on Zeebrugge in April 1918. Harrison and 214 other naval personnel lost their life in the raid, the back ground to which is described nearby.
The path leads down through Cliff Walk which has a tropical flavour thanks to Paignton Zoo founder Herbert Whitley who donated the plants.
Goodrington is divided into north and south sands by a small headland and its long stretch of beach is popular with walkers year-round.
Behind south sands is Young’s Park which contains another memorial known as The Major’s Grave which is marked by a granite headstone. It is assumed he died in action and being English and a major was granted the privilege of a headstone.
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Unmarked are the last resting place of the 300 French sailors reputedly buried in the park. It reasonable that this assumption is correct as what is now The Premier Inn was originally a hospital during the Napoleonic War run by Roman Catholic nuns.
The park is now well cared for by the Youngs Park People action group.
Return to Roundham Head via Roundham Gardens where you will find the Spitfire Memorial Garden which is dedicated to Fl Lt Frederick Denston who flew over the Bay in his Spitfire shortly before D-Day and vowed to one day make it his home - which he did.
If you’re feeling energetic you can return to the harbour via the Burma Star garden to the steep steps leading down to Fairy Cove.