There are too many fantastic smaller offshoots of the glossy, better-known areas of Torbay to mention that really should demand a visit from anyone wishing to witness Devon’s true beauty; locals have these treasures on their doorsteps and, like myself, may often overlook these beauty spots when pondering a place to visit on a lazy weekend.
Galmpton seems fairly normal as British villages go on the surface, but its location next to the River Dart opens up so many walking opportunities. The following walk and its pictures require a starting point somewhere within Galmpton, so perhaps parking your car in the village or taking a bus to the main road in Churston from either Paignton and Brixham is necessary.
Galmpton is located off the main road between Paignton and Brixham, and can be accessed easily via Manor Vale Road or Greenway Road, depending on whether you arrive from Paignton or Brixham.
As a residential area, there are plenty of places to put your car for a few hours, particularly on weekdays when residents may be at work. Consider turning into Galmpton Glade (opposite the school) to see if you can find a space, and loop around Barnfield Close if nothing is available.
Starting from Galmpton (near the school), head down Old Road and turn left at the end onto Stoke Gabriel Road. Soon, take the next left and head down Kiln Road – this is the road that will take you directly to the creek.
(Alternatively, head further down to Mill Lane from Galmpton Village if you want to approach the creek from another angle.)
At the creek itself, there is an information board, as well as some local businesses and a smattering of small boats. In the right conditions, it’s a truly beautiful scene.
The beautiful views, however, don’t stop at just the creek. A short walk around the creek and through some fields offers even better views of the area.
Heading back up to Kiln Road, it is possible to continue and walk around the eastern edge of the creek.
The road is narrow and linear, and eventually becomes impassable for most cars, leaving you free to walk up the hill and on to the mill without worrying about traffic. The hard surface may give way to mud if the weather has been wet, but it is still passable.
Heading up the hill means being able to look back on the creek. On my visit, I was fortunate to have the sun behind me, meaning the creek (and the rest of the Dart) were shining back at me.
The ‘road’ eventually comes to an end, and at this point the public path goes (according to most maps) into the river! In reality, one should expect to head along the stones (providing the tide is far enough out) and occasionally hop over the occasional stream. Decent, water-resistant footwear certainly helps here, but I had no problems at all in my cheap trainers.
Once you head down the steps (seen above), follow the ‘path’ all the way along to the kiln itself (a beautiful mill house will be on your left), where you will find another signpost indicating the next part of the walk.
The kiln sits at the end of the bend, and the next part of the walkway is tucked in next to it.
The next part of the walk is a simple walk up through the field until you reach Greenway Road. There are two possible exits onto the road.
We were very lucky with the conditions on our walk. We visited in January, meaning the low light played a role in producing some really lovely photographs both looking back at the Dart and of the field itself.
Ultimately, you finish on Greenway Road, at which point you have a choice. Before making this choice, you might be interested in visiting Greenway Halt Station, which is a port of call for the local Steam Railway service.
The small lane can be found at the second exit to the field (see the above map) and the station itself is quite pretty. It is also the nearest train station to Greenway, the former home of Agatha Christie.
The choice at this point depends on how far one wishes to walk. Other possibilities include following the road to Greenway House and Greenway Quay, going through Greenway Woods, which are an enjoyable addition, or simply heading back to Galmpton, where this walk began.
Should you choose to walk back to Galmpton, be sure to look our for steam trains as the road includes a bridge from which you can see the line in both directions (to Greenway Halt and to Churston).