The Lookout and the Daymark.

Start. Kingswear.

Route. Kingswear - Alma Steps - Beacon Road - Church Hill - Beacon Lane - Castle Road - Mill Bay Cove - The Warren - Inner Forward Point - Lookout Station (Brownstone Battery) - Daymark Tower - High Brownstone Farm - Home Farm - Pinewoods - Castle Road - Beacon Lane - Church Hill - Kingswear.

Notes. Historic Kingswear on the east bank of the River Dart marked our starting point for this short but rewarding ramble through the pages of Devonshire history, we dipped our toes in the clear water of hidden coves most certainly used by 18th and early 19th century smugglers, strolled over cliff top paths, through mature woodland and pastoral land to visit a lookout and 300year old navigation beacon. Sunken lanes and ancient tracks ushered us back to a very 21st century Kingswear.

After stepping from the ferry we passed under the archway between the Post Office and a gift shop, this allowed access to Alma Steps and the South West Coastal Path. Many steps ushered us between brightly coloured houses depositing us on Beacon Road, we turned right, after a short walk our way was blocked by a wooden fence, signage announced the road was closed due to a land slip. After scanning the map sheet we re-traced our steps to Church Hill, ascended the hill to access Beacon Lane which in turn lead to Castle Road.

Over the tarmac of Castle Road we wandered, between many stunning properties. After passing the final house, whitewashed and walled with some amazing plants in the garden we reached a welcome finger-post inviting us to Mill Bay Cove, so named because a mill once stood at the head of the bay. The steep descent through woodland that followed ejected us into said cove, a picturesque little inlet with plunging cliffs on two sides and it's very own Napoleonic fort. We sat a while soaking up the atmosphere, our minds drifted back to the 18th century when this picturesque little cove was most certainly used for illicit purposes.

Rested we made the steep ascent through Warren Woods the South West Coastal Path still under foot, pine needles on the forest floor made for a springy passage. On exiting the woods dizzy views over Newfoundland Cove to the rocks off Inner Forward Point welcomed us, Shooter Rock, Shag Stone and Mew Stone proudly breached the surface. Once at Inner Forward Point we were welcomed by a number of squat concrete buildings, the remains of Brownstone Battery, a reminder that 75years ago this beautiful coast was a battle ground, the buildings we stood amongst were built to repel a German invasion. Also at the point and far more interesting a National Coast Watch Lookout Station.

After a long interesting conversation with the gents on duty we turned in land, the access lane to the Lookout guided us between hedgerows guarding crop fields and cow pastures, looming to the south a Gothic tower. The Daymark stands on a number of arched legs, constructed of limestone this hollow octagonal tower reaches 80ft into the air, built in 1864 as a navigation aid, owned and managed by the Dart Harbour Commissioners. This amazing tower is visible from miles around, it reminded me of something from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

We left the tower via the lane that guided us there, up hill we walked, when the lane swung right we joined one of Devon's many green ways for the short walk to High Brownstone Farm. West passed the farm we wandered, ancient tracks and sunken ways guided us passed Home Farm before a steep slippery descent deposited us at Pinewoods on Castle Road, all that remained, to let this narrow quiet tarmac lane guide us back to Kingswear, the ferry and the delights of Dartmouth.

view route map.

home.

Bayard's Cove, originally Dartmouth's only wharf, we crossed the river from here on the car ferry just coming into shot.

Alma Steps, Kingswear.

Dartmouth Castle as seen from Beacon Road.

Sue strides into Mill Bay Cove.

Folly or fortification who knows, it all adds to the mystique of Mill Bay Cove.

Mill Bay Cove, just drinking in the atmosphere.

We,ve just escaped the tree cover into this stunning view, looking over Mill Bay Cove to Dartmouth Castle and the mouth of the River Dart.

Above Newfoundland Cove viewing a distant Start Point.

The cliffs and rock architecture of Combe Point as seen from the South West Coastal Path above Newfoundland Cove.

Rising from the English Channel just off Inner Forward Point the rocks of Shooter, Shag and Mew.

The Lookout Station once part of Brownstone Battery, a line of defense against German invasion.

Another look at the grouping of rocks off Inner Forward Point, Shooter Rock , Shag Stone and the bigger Mew Stone.

Between the hedgerows in the lane leading to The Lookout, looking across the Dart Estuary to Combe Point.

The Daymark a navigation aid since 1864, can be viewed from miles around from ether land or sea.

Descending one of Devon's ancient rights of way.

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