East Portlemouth, round Prawle Point to Lannacombe Beach

Recently it seems as though heading to a beach, national park, moorland, lake, reservoir or beauty spot for a walk/sit/picnic has been the thing that gets people’s blood boiling. The fact that it is now allowed in England after the lockdown lift a couple of weeks ago seems to have not changed some opinions. I can understand those heading to an outdoor spot, it is the only outdoor thing that anyone can do currently, at the time of writing. You can’t go to a pub, theatre, cinema, leisure park, gym, sports centre, bowling alley, cafe, restaurant, amusement park, funfairs, friends house, shopping centre, most shops, hairdresser and the list goes on. All these places would normally have a large amount of people at them, yet some instead have chosen to go outdoors to places. And people are then surprised and scream at their tv when then see photos of busy beaches and national parks. Where did you expect them to go? They can’t do anything else, and for 8 or 9 weeks most haven’t done anything. Anyhoo, for us that have walked before and know where to go on a busy bank holiday weekend, we find these situations easy to navigate. For me I chose a walk around Prawle Point, a great area of coastal path walking with the odd beach to pass and check out the crowding (I saw none!!). Once round Prawle Point the path drops to sea level and you walk between rocky outcrops, fields of crops and the stony beaches, which is a lovely part of the path. This was wasn’t as hard as my previous walk around Bigbury. The terrain didn’t rise and fall as much as that walk and it was nice to walk for a few miles without the need to stop and catch ones breath!! I’m getting the hang of this coastal walking.

Start – East Prawle
Route – West Prawle – East Portlemouth – South West Coastal Path – Gara Rock – Gammon Head – Prawle Point – Langerstone Point – Lannacombe Beach – Higher Borough – East Prawle
Distance – 11 miles    Start time – 10.20am    Time taken – 5hr 40mins    Highest Point – Higher Borough 133metres
Weather – Blue skies, sunshine and warm. Breeze on east facing coast

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF

The village I started in, East Prawle. There’s a pub and a village cafe which would have done a decent trade today if they had been open. There is a small area for about 10 cars by the toilets (also shut currently), and if you carry on towards Prawle Point there’s another National Trust car park down there

The area inland from Prawle Point is farmland and lots of it, lots of lanes like this leading to farms. I’m heading to West Prawle and then down to East Portlecombe

Red Admiral. I’m pretty rubbish at photographing wildlife as I tend to be on top of it before I notice it. And therefore it flies off, I’m also not great at creeping up on the ones I do see. This one however landed next to me as I was taking the previous photo!!


This made me giggle, the tractor/digger thing went past and then I saw the dog stood up on the back

East Portlecombe church

There is a car park here, which was full (about 8 cars) but the views towards Kingsbridge across the estuary are glorious. Kingsbridge is away in the distance and that is Salcombe down there on the left

This is Mill Bay. Its a National Turst car Park behind me, which is apparently closed because of a landslip, but was pretty full with cars but even then the beach is hardly rammed. Its about 11.30am at this point and the temperature is rising a bit. I’ll be glad to get out on the coast where there is a breeze

Picture postcard view, Salcombe left and Mill Bay right

Looking back to Salcombe as I head out of the estuary. For those wanting to do a full coastal path walk in one, you will need the ferry from East Portlecombe to Salcombe to carry on otherwise its a walk inland to Kingsbridge

Salcombe Castle on the point opposite or Fort Charles as it is sometimes called. Built during Henry VIIIs time, to defend against the spanish and french, it was also (like Plymouth) one of the last strongholds against Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War

Sharp Tor with Bolt Head behind, the razor sharp stacks sticking upwards. A fantastic walk can be had from Bolt Head to Bolt Tail

Turning east now, the coastal path stays at around this altitude for the duration to Prawle Point. Some rise and fall but nothing too lung busting

Bolt Head across the bay. This section of coastal path is littered with small beaches. On a day like today they looked gorgeous as did the water. All the beaches had a small number of people on them, all nicely distanced.

Gara Rock, the hut above is part of the hotel behind the high ground

A cove, a beach and Decklers Cliff beyond

And looking back, there were a few down on the beach, and others heading down. Bolt Head again on the left

Gammon Head ahead. There’s also Pig’s Nose and Ham Rock along there as well. Love the names. The Pigs Nose is the name of the pub in East Prawle which is a great pub to visit.

Cove after cove after stunning beach, amazing walking. The path down to the beach is on the left and the beach had about 10 people on it, that was good for me, so down I went for lunch, shoes/socks/tshirt/trousers off and in. Luckily I had planned for this and wore swimming shorts underneath, it was cold but refreshing.

After the swim the tricky part was getting changed out of the wet shorts. Back up to the coastal path and a perfect large rocky outcrop did the job. Refreshed, fed, watered, changed and carry on. This is Gammon Head

Over Gammon Head and this view to Prawle Point

The toothy outcrops on Gammon Head. Again another beach down to my right

The profile of Gammon Head with Bolt Head in the distance

Prawle Point lookout station, this is the most southerly part of Devon

Two guys doing their duty inside, socially distanced obviously

The route ahead drops down to pretty much sea level. I was making good time so chose to walk further along this section before looping back to East Prawle

Looking back to Prawle Point. Down here you have narrow fields of grain sandwiched between the sea and rocky outcrops on the right. Farmers making the most of the land

Horse’s Head arch at Prawle Point

There was a nice breeze along here which was drying my shorts hung on my bag nicely. And enough to make a few waves crash against the rocks

A lovely bit of coastal path towards Maelcombe House

That’s Ballsaddle Rock out to sea off the point, another giggle from me.

Lannacombe Beach, again the parking was full but only about 15-20 on the beach. I turn inland here to pick up the lanes and fields back to East Prawle

I could have done with another dip in the sea at this point. I climbed up from the trees down there, no breeze and sweat dripping off my nose

Lannacombe Beach is down there in the dip

Finally back to the fields and farms of this part of the world. Blue skies throughout and a great way to spend a day.

13 thoughts on “East Portlemouth, round Prawle Point to Lannacombe Beach

  1. Magical, the sea, the cliffs, the rock formations, the colourful names. A great walk and a swim and sunny weather to boot. It doesn’t get better than that. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was very, very good. The walk wasn’t too difficult or tiring, not too much up and down which meant it was very enjoyable all the way around. The swim was a bonus but that beach looked too good not to have a little look!!


  2. It’s a grand bit of coast. I think re the other matter they should have gradually increased the distance people could travel by a few miles a week, in response to the figures. That would have got people out without overwhelming the same old honey spots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now John that sounds like common sense, Agree 10 miles and then another 10 etc Then perhaps within your county and onwards. Once you start allowing people to go further you open other things to compliment and spread the people around a bit more

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning seascapes. The sea colour is beautiful. I think the butterfly looks like a painted lady, I could be wrong. Well done on spotting the dog on the back of the tractor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those beaches looked very inviting. I did think of heading into the water at that point and then drying off on the rest of the walk. Heading coastal again this weekend if the weather stays as is forecast

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A fine walk. It’s good that you have the variety of moorland and sea shore within easy reach. Re. getting out for a walk, I’m in a vulnerable category, but I go out for walks. I’m careful to keep my distance best I can – unfortunately not everyone does, and that is a problem.


  5. Hi there,
    A lovely article for a lovely area.
    I wonder if you could give me an idea of how long the walk is from Prawle point to Lannacombe Beach and maybe Mill Bay to Rickham beach (Gara Rock) please.
    Looking to do something a bit different to our normal visits to Lannacombe, Beesands, Gt Mattiscombe, Rickham etc and thought these would be a good bit fairly short walks, not too strenuous and still based around favourite beaches.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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