Winter walkabout to picturesque and tranquil corner of Torbay
- Credit: Keith Perry
Keith Perry’s winter walkabout from Broadsands Beach to Elberry Cove
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 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.
- 1 Relentless from Torquay United
- 2 Rowers - and Mr Portillo - in bid to go round world in 80 days and raise money for Rowcroft
- 3 For our 'rock' as much as anybody, everything is crossed for promotion
- 4 Woking 0 Torquay United 2
- 5 Absolutely ridiculous and selfish
- 6 United visit Woking tonight
- 7 Prince Philip's final resting place will be in tiny chapel
- 8 Overseas players set to boost clubs' promotion bids
- 9 Herbert Whitley fulfilled earlier vision of a zoo when opening Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens
- 10 Plans unveiled to demolish Torquay Debenhams store
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.
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!
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.