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The Devon Riviera

Explorations in south Devon - coast, cliffs, moors, beaches, history & literary connections.

  • South West England

  • 5 nights
  • Half Board
  • Coast & Islands

    Landscape

  • Jul

    Sep

  • Average group size: 10-12

Moderate

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Walking grade

Grade 5

Trips comprise of day walks with plenty of ups and downs, some steep and rough ground will be encountered at times and walks averaging 7 miles with 650m of ascent / descent. Some holidays will cover longer distances on easier paths, others will be shorter walks but have more demanding ascents and terrain.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 7 miles; Ascent/Descent 650m; Terrain: generally decent paths and tracks with some steeper sections; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s keys walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Rambling along the open coastal trails with dramatic seascapes, hidden coves secluded beaches and river valleys that meet the sea.
  • Walking in deep Devon woodland and secluded country lanes.
  • Exploring historic towns and villages along the picturesque River Dart.
  • Travelling by steam train along wooded valleys to start our walk.

The Devon Riviera, composed of the vibrant towns of Paignton, Torquay, Brixham and Babbacombe has long been celebrated for its sunny climate and picturesque coastal beauty. Victorian travellers likened it to the French Riviera, and with its sheltered southerly aspect beneath the majestic Dartmoor uplands, it truly earns its reputation. Your hotel, ideally situated on the Paignton seafront, offers the perfect base for exploration, both inland and along the captivating coastline.

Paignton, with its Victorian pier, sandy beaches, and iconic beach huts, serves as a delightful introduction to the charm of the Devon Riviera. Further along the meandering River Dart, Dartmouth and Totnes beckon with individual shops, galleries, and cafes set against the backdrop of wooded landscapes.

Designated as a Global Geopark by UNESCO in 2007, the Devon Riviera stands as a testament to the unique geological features of this coastal region. This recognition places it among only eight Geoparks in the UK and 140 worldwide.

The Tor Bay coastal strip, stretching from Brixham to Torquay and extending to the untamed terrain of Dartmoor, boasts one of the UK's best sunshine records. A popular resort area since Victorian times, the English Riviera is not only renowned as the birthplace of the famed crime writer Agatha Christie but has also inspired literary greats like Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley, and George Bernard Shaw.

As you explore this beautiful region, you'll discover that few experiences rival a leisurely stroll along Devon's sea cliffs. With birdlife soaring overhead and sweeping coastal views, each walk promises to be a rewarding journey through the captivating landscapes of the Devon Riviera.

  • En suite four-star hotel accommodation on a half board basis
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach, public bus, steam train & ferry boat
  • Dartmouth Steam Railway ticket from Paignton to Kingswear followed by ferry boat to Dartmouth
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Lunches
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

79215

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent arrival at the Mercure Paignton Hotel in Paignton. Check in is from 3pm. You will meet your tour leader and group members prior to dinner for a briefing and welcome. Dinner each evening is taken in the hotel restaurant.  

Day 2

Dartmouth, Churston & Paignton

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    8.4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    370m

Today you will take the Dartmouth Steam Railway train from Paignton to Kingswear. It is a beautiful heritage railway with the Greenway Tunnel, Broadsands Viaduct and riverside approach to Kingswear. You will then board a passenger ferry to the opposite bank of the river. Despite Dartmouth having a train station, permission to build a bridge over the river Dart was never achieved and as a result, it has never seen a train passenger arrive here. 

There will be some time in Dartmouth to purchase lunch provisions before walking up river to use the ferry to get to the East side, then after oak woodlands and meadows, you will arrive on the coast south of Paignton. Walk along the beach before arriving directly to the hotel. 

Day 3

The River Dart from Dittisham to Totnes

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    410m

A private coach will collect you in the morning from the hotel to take you to the start of the walk at Greenway ferry pier. You will use the short crossing and walk from village to village, sometimes right next to the river itself. Lunch can be taken in one of the public houses along the river. You will finally arrive in the market town of Totnes with some time to explore, before taking the service bus back to Paignton. 

Day 4

Hillhead to Kingswear

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.25 hours

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    600/740m

You can easily catch a public bus to Hillhead which is the start of your walk today. Walk across rolling pastureland to Mansands beach and following the South West Coast Path to Scabbacombe, before lopping inland to the most southerly point you will reach of the holiday. Continue along the rugged coast path until you reach Kingswear. You will be able to take a public bus back to Paignton and you can wait for the bus in the local public house for a refreshment. 

Day 5

Paignton to Berry Head & Brixham

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

  • Time

    5.25 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    370m

Your final walk of the holiday follows the coast path along beaches, hilltop meadows and past surprise coves to Brixham. You can walk directly out of the hotel front door and arrive at Brixham in time for lunch. The walk then continues up to Berry Head with its visitor centre and café, however you could stay in Brixham if you wish. You will be able to catch a public bus back to Paignton. 

Day 6

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Independent departure from the Mercure Paignton Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. 

We hope you have had an enjoyable holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

15th Jul 2024 - 20th Jul 2024 (5 Nights)

16th Sep 2024 - 21st Sep 2024 (5 Nights)

Travel Details

Public buses will be used, where necessary, to reach the start and finish points of walks. A private coach is necessary on one walk day. The cost of transport is included in the price of your holiday.  

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Mercure Paignton Hotel

A new four star contemporary seaside haven nestled along the stunning Paignton Beach. The Mercure Paignton Hotel opened in April 2023. 

Our allocation of bedrooms includes the Classic styled rooms and we cannot guarantee a sea view. If you would like a sea view please contact us and we can request this with the hotel (a supplement may apply). All single rooms are double rooms for sole use. 

The thoughtfully designed and contemporary bedrooms include TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, hairdryer, safe deposit box, eco-friendly toiletries and walk-in shower room. The windows do not open for guest safety, however there is air conditioning in place to control the temperature of the room. There is also complimentary water and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel has no bedrooms with baths. 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

Trips comprise of day walks with plenty of ups and downs, some steep and rough ground will be encountered at times and walks averaging 7 miles with 650m of ascent / descent. Some holidays will cover longer distances on easier paths, others will be shorter walks but have more demanding ascents and terrain.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 7 miles; Ascent/Descent 650m; Terrain: generally decent paths and tracks with some steeper sections; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s keys walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

As you plan your holiday budget, it's essential to account for expenses such as drinks, meals not covered in the holiday price, entrance fees not included, optional local excursions, and any souvenirs or additional services like laundry. For a rough estimate, budgeting around £10-£20 per person per day for lunches and drinks is a helpful guideline.

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organised they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organised group programme, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

To reach the hotel…

by car: If you’re planning to travel by car, the main motorway which runs into Devon is the M5. Then you can drive along the A38 and A380 to reach Paignton. The hotel is located next to Paignton Pier. 

The hotel has an outdoor car park, limited to 50 spaces on a first come, first served basis. The car park is £15 per day, payable directly to the hotel. You may be able to find cheaper parking in a multi storey car park at the opposite end of the street for around £10 per day. Parking is at your own risk. 

by train: The nearest train station is in Paignton and only one mile from the hotel. To get between your station and the hotel, use a taxi or walk approximately ten minutes if you are able to with your luggage. The address is Paignton station, Station Square, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 5EF. Paignton is served by CrossCountry and Great Western Railway. For more information and/or to check train times and prices, please visit: gwr.com or crosscountrytrains.co.uk

by bus/coach: Paignton Bus Station is a popular National Express bus station in Paignton. The bus station address is 37 Station Lane, Paignton, TQ4.  

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel;

www.rome2rio.com 

Route planning to and from the hotel at Paignton:

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at:

www.theaa.co.uk 

www.rac.co.uk 

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Meals

This tour is offered on a half board basis, with breakfasts and evening meals taken in the hotel's restaurant. Lunches are not included in the holiday cost, however there will be opportunities to purchase lunches prior to your walks. Lunch supplies can also be purchased from the hotel if ordered the day beforehand. 

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWH17 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

The walks are covered by the following maps:

Ordnance Survey Explorer series 1:25,000

OL20 South Devon

OL28 Dartmoor

110 Torquay & Dawlish

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.


Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust is passionate about making the outdoors more accessible for more people from all communities. We grant funds to many organisations and have recently partnered with Mind Over Mountains, Adaptive Grand Slam and other groups to create an enduring impact on people’s lives and to support them to enjoy the outdoors. In addition, the Trust makes many small grants to local organisations such as Ramblers Groups, Walkers are Welcome, My kind of Books and recently provided a small grant, via his scouting group, to enable a young man whose family had fallen on hard times to complete his DofE Gold award.

Patron of the Trust is the renowned explorer, Mark Wood. Over 20 years Mark has undertaken expeditions to some of the most remote parts of our planet. Our shared values make for an exciting partnership, and we believe that by standing shoulder to shoulder we can encourage people from all communities to enjoy being active outdoors in whatever way suits them best.

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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