Peregrine in flight © northeastwildlife.co.uk

Peregrine in flight

A view of the sea water coming in at high tide at Scobbiscomb © David Noton

A view of the sea water coming in at high tide at Scobbiscomb

Views across from Beacon Hill and Hoist Point © David Noton

Views across from Beacon Hill and Hoist Point

Route overview

See the South Devon coast from its highest point, discover cliff tops where beacons were used to warn and celebrate, and explore coves once used by smugglers.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route map of Hoist Point, South Devon walk
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Kingston village, grid ref: SX630470

  1. From the village, head in a southerly direction along the road, past the childrens playground until you reach the National Trust sign for Scobbiscombe Farm on your right.

  2. Go through the gate and follow the path around a number of fields.

    Show/HideFarming

    Scobbiscombe Farm is marked on maps as early as 1809 and during the 1970s was developed by the Co-op. Today, a tenant farmer looks after the land and produces a number of crops for the nation to feast on, in particular fantastic potatoes and some lovely beef and lamb. Its a delicate balance of maintaining food production, whilst growing special areas for birds to feed. Sheep help to ensure a rich variety of plant and wildlife by eating and trampling grasses and scrub that would otherwise dominate the landscape.

    Peregrine in flight © northeastwildlife.co.uk
  3. As you come out of a small copse you'll get your first view of the River Erme. The path continues along field edges with spectacular views of the river and Wonwell beach.

  4. You can take a 30 minute detour along the South West Coast Path to Wonwell beach.

  5. At the cliff edge viewpoint follow the coast path up to Beacon Point.

  6. Passing through two gates the path descends into Freshwater Valley. The field is the site of a cottage that was used by hunting parties from the Flete estate on the other side of the Erme.

    Show/HideSmuggling

    Local folklore recalls smuggling as an important activity. At Westcombe beach there are caves (only accessible at low tides) where, reportedly, there are mooring irons fixed in the walls. A tunnel leading from the beach to Scobbiscombe Farm is talked of and another to nearby Ayrmer cove. Built into the cliff face at Freshwater valley is a cave (inaccessible) with a chimney, used as a lookout and a hideaway. Please be aware of the tides if you explore the caves.

    A view of the sea water coming in at high tide at Scobbiscomb © David Noton
  7. Continue up the other side of the valley and take the higher of the paths to the top of Hoist Point and enjoy panoramic views from the highest place on the South Devon coast. Mind your footing as the path from Hoist Point to Westcombe beach is very steep.

    Show/HideBeacon Hill

    At 305ft (93m) above sea level the hill was used as part of the Armada warning system of 1586. Beacons have been lit for the Golden Jubilees of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, the coronations of Edward VII, George V and George VII and the 50th anniversary of VE day.

    Views across from Beacon Hill and Hoist Point © David Noton
  8. Leave the beach by the left-hand path and walk along the valley. At the junction take the public bridleway along some fields. The path eventually becomes tarmaced. At the T-junction, turn right to head back into the village.

End: Kingston village, grid ref: SX630470

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Hard
  • Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)
  • Time: 3 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 202
  • Terrain:

    Circular walk along generally grass paths across farm fields and cliff tops, with some very steep slopes. Can be muddy after wet weather; take care when walking on cliff edge. Well behaved dogs welcome.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: 3 miles (4.8km) from Modbury along narrow country lanes

    By bus: 875, Modbury and Plymton to Kingston, Fridays only

    By train: Ivybridge, 8 miles (12.8km)

    By road: 3 miles (4.8km) from A379 at Modbury. Park on road in Kingston village

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