Man Sands, Coleton Fishacre and Kingswear

Another in this years’ series of coastal walks, this one however is a lot harder than last weeks’ walk from Polperro to Polruan. Even though the distance last week was much further, the terrain here is a lot tougher, much more up and down. The start was again along country lanes, very little traffic but lots and lots of butterflies. In all I saw at least 8 different types on this walk, managing to get a picture of 7 of them, some of them not great photos, but I’m not the best with things that move. The start of my coastal path section, this time, was Kingswear, the start of the path away from Kingswear is within woodlands for a fair stretch, pretty much all the way to the Lookout station at Inner Froward Point, but after that it really opens up until you get to the National Trust site at Coleton Fishacre. After that the path is high on the cliffs with views down to the beaches at Scabbacombe. The only issue with these views is it means steep drops and then steep climbs that follow, by the time I reached Man Sands I was pretty tired. I had planned on carrying on to Sharkham Point but looking at the climb after Man Sands made my mind up. That’s for another day.

Start – Man Sands NT parking
Route – Woodhuist Farm – Kingswear – South West Coastal Path – Mill Bay Cove – Inner Froward Point – Outer Froward Point – Coleton Fishacre – Scabbacombe Sands – Man Sands
Distance – 8 miles    Start time – 10.30am    Time taken – 5hrs    Highest Point – Kingston 145metres
Weather – Some cloud, then sunshine and blue skies. Breezy.

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF


My parking spot showing the initial walking area around here, there is a nice circular which goes down to Man Sands, along to Scabbacombe Beach, up to the car park above that beach and then back along the lanes to here. However I’m heading a bit further, firstly towards Kingswear

Woodhuish Farm, this would have been the cider making barn

Shame there isn’t any product here, however if there was I might not have walked much further!

The sign explaining the setup and the wheel behind which would have had a horse pushing it around

That’s Sharkham Point out there as I get my first glimpse of the sea

Plenty of farmland as I walk the lanes

What was apparent was the amount of butterflies here. I’m guessing July is a strong month for them. This one is a Small White I think

Lots of these guys, a Meadow Brown

This one was very skittish and wouldn’t sit still. This is a Comma

The tower up there on the left is a good landmark to have on this walk as you will see it as you walk the coastal path giving an idea to your progress

Another lively butterfly. A Peacock taking off

A classic Red Admiral, all these butterflies photos were taken within about 100 metres of each other. I had a choice of hundreds of the Meadow Browns and Small Whites

Approaching Kingswear and starting to descend now, I get my first view of the Dart estuary, with Dartmouth on the other side. You can see the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth on the right

A better view of the Dart estuary and also of the Britannia Royal Naval College, some esteemed people have been trained here as a Naval officer including King George V, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and King Juan Carlos of Spain. The college is also the second largest consumer of Pimms!!

I’m in Kingswear now, the lower road is normally the start of the coastal path, so I need to go down these steps. However after going all the way down I found out that the road left at the bottom was closed, which meant a huff and puff back up. A simple road on my left here takes you to the same spot and saves the legs!

A church and castle across the estuary guarding the entrance to the River Dart

There are gaps in the woodland giving a good view of the English Channel and the Dart estuary

I’d heard about a fire back in April/May time around this area, but it was much worse than I thought, lots of damage to the Scots Pines here and the gorse. Caused by the extra dry weather a couple of months ago and possibly some glass or something similar. The smell of the burning wood is still strong in this area.

I’m now at Inner Froward Point, which was a WW2 battery point, covering the whole of this bay. That’s Start Point away on the left hand side across the sea.

The Mew Stone is below, a haven for birds

The photo above is of the higher gun position, this is a track which took the heavy shells down to the lower gun position. The guns covered 14 miles so had plenty of range across the bay

A sign gives all the info you might need

A place for a coffee and a lookout towards Start Point, I was over there with the boys a few weeks ago

A speed boat below out looking at the birds on the Mew Stone

It was pretty breezy along here but it was most welcome and the sun was out

This is Outer Froward Point, below me I could hear a seal barking away, then all of a sudden I saw it, a large black male seal which disappeared before I could get my camera out

I’d walked around to this point and could see a guy with a camera sat on the lower rocks above the seals watching them, there was a couple sat to my left here who confirmed it was a seal with young hidden away nice and safe, they were making a racket so everyone could hear them

The trees on the left are part of Coleton Fishacre and that’s were I’m heading next

Now around this part there were more butterflies, lots and lots of them. More of what I’ve already shown and then this fella a Marbled White

I’m now walking around Coleton Fishacre, that’s Eastern Black Rock in the distance

A bit further on and you can see the Mew Stone

Sharkham Point in the distance and plenty of ups and down in between. There are two cruise ships in the distance off that point

Scabbacombe Beach comes into view as I round Scabbacombe Head, to the right of Scabbacombe Beach is Long Beach and the steep cliffs

I’m looking less at the beach but more at that incline after it. The path wriggling up the other side

There were a fair few of these about as well. A Small Skipper

Long Beach below and Sharkham Point in the distance

There was a guy in the water below me here (you might be able to see his head in the water if you look closely). There’s no way he climbed down and on my left is a point sticking out which would mean a fair swim around. Perhaps he came from the right here along Long Beach

Finally Man Sands, the steep up on the left put me off continuing I headed along the lane towards the car

An overgrown lane to walk back along, this is me looking back down. The track was a steady climb all the way and I was glad to get back to the car


11 thoughts on “Man Sands, Coleton Fishacre and Kingswear

  1. I well remember when there was no right of way over much of that, though many of us walked it anyway. When they opened it I was freelancing for the BBC and walked it “officially” carting a great Uher tape recorder, all the way pretending to my interviewee that it was all new to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really do need to get down South. Your walks are always so stunning, especially your recent coastal ones. Loving all the butterflies. I think the only type there I haven’t seen myself is Marbled White.


    • Took me a while to get a picture of the marbled white, I’d tried about 10 different ones before this one stayed still long enough for me to capture it. The coastal path is fantastic and the parts around north Cornwall and Devon are even better than what I’ve been walking on the south coast


  3. More great views and what a day you had for butterflies! I’m slightly jealous of your Marbled White – we don’t see them up here. The continual up and down of coastal walking is really sapping isn’t it? Surprisingly so.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing this, I was looking for info to walk from Mansands to Coleton Fishacre, but this circluar sounds great. Did you park in the small spot right on the beach – or is there more parking further inland?

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are two National Trust car parks inland from the beach one named Man Sands and the second Scabbacombe Sands. If you look at the map at the top of the walk you can see the location of the Man Sands one where I started (red flag), its a couple of pound donation or free for NT members. The lane down to Man Sands beach itself after the car park is very rough and I wouldn’t drive down it, so the car park is the best spot. Check the OS maps or google maps to see the parking spots marked. Hope you enjoy the walk


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