Winter walkabout to picturesque and tranquil corner of Torbay

Elberry Cove. Photo: Keith Perry

Elberry Cove. Photo: Keith Perry - Credit: Keith Perry

Keith Perry’s winter walkabout from Broadsands Beach to Elberry Cove

The ruins of Elberry bathhouse, which was built for Lord Churston in the 18th century. Photo: Keith

The ruins of Elberry bathhouse, which was built for Lord Churston in the 18th century. Photo: Keith Perry - Credit: Keith Perry

Elberry Cove is arguably the most picturesque and tranquil corner of our inspirational Bay.

Framed by woodland and farmland, the sea is crystal clear here and reflects the blues and greens of an exotic Mediterranean seascape.

This week’s walk starts in the shadow of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s mighty rail viaduct which towers over the approach to Broadsands Beach.

While many of Brunel’s viaducts were constructed of wood, this one is far more substantial, built of limestone from Brokenbury Quarry in Churston and is still in use today, carrying the Torbay Steam Railway on its journey from Paignton to Kingswear.

The view from Elberry Cove. Photo: Keith Perry

The view from Elberry Cove. Photo: Keith Perry - Credit: Keith Perry

The long stretch of Broadsands Beach has year-round appeal for many locals and, in the corner of the car park, the K’ohana beach bar/cafe has become a popular destination in its own right, serving food, beer and wine in all but the worst of weather.

The South West Coastal Path runs along the promenade and leads up onto the headland, winding its way along the cliff top before descending to the pebble beach of Elberry Cove.

Most Read

The descent is a little steep and uneven but the Elberry Lane approach from the end of Broadsands Road is an easier route for anyone with mobility issues.

At the cove’s eastern end are the ruins of Elberry bathhouse, which was built for Lord Churston in the 18th century, when seawater bathing became fashionable after George III took a dip at Weymouth.

The walk starts in the shadow of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s mighty rail viaduct which towers over the

The walk starts in the shadow of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s mighty rail viaduct which towers over the approach to Broadsands Beach. Photo: Keith Perry - Credit: Keith Perry

Standing three stories high, with the ground floor being flooded when the tide rose, his lordship could swim into the sea through a gated

doorway, preserving his dignity.

The buildings also held a hot-bath room where seawater was heated and pumped in.

It’s difficult to walk anywhere in the area without coming across an Agatha Christie connection and, sure enough, Elberry features in her novel, ‘The ABC Murders’, as the setting of the untimely demise of Sir Carmichael Clarke!

Keith Perry

Keith Perry - Credit: Archant

If you’ve still got some gas in the tank, you can rejoin the coastal path to the right of the bathhouse and follow it through woodland, past Churston Golf Club, before descending into Churston Cove and eventually emerging at Brixham Battery on Fishcombe Road.