Most of us would agree that walking must be one of the best hobbies you could consider. On holiday, finding time for walking seems a much more pleasant experience, whether it be a gentle stroll around town, a scenic ramble across the countryside or a journey of discovery along one of Britain's coastal paths, there's something for everyone:-
The Agatha Christie Mile
Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, this Torquay town walk, marks the resort's link with Agatha Christie, it's most famous inhabitant. Starting from Torquay's Tourist Information Centre it takes you around the harbour and beach areas. Covering reasonably flat ground and ten landmarks, children and adults will enjoy solving the mystery along the way, with plenty of chances to stop for an ice-cream or coffee, or even hunt for the many geocaches hidden along the route.
Totnes to Dartington
A combined interest in wildlife and trains can be covered in this 2 mile walk. From Totnes Railway Station, the sight of steam in action, an attractive route makes its path along the River Dart to Dartington. Once at Shinner's Bridge you can enjoy a well earned rest at the Dartington Cider Press Crafts Centre and Café. This route is suitable for everyone of all ages and abilities including wheelchairs.
Cockington Estate Country Walk
A circular route of around 2 miles for high energy hikers covering tracks, stiles and country paths! Starting at the Cockington Village car park, take in the historic photogenic rural scene, complete with village pub. Move onwards to hedgerows full of wildlife and seasonal flowers, then onto the farmyard. Climbing gently through the woods this area provides glorious walks before returning back down the valley. Notice the Gamekeeper's Cottage embellished with timber latticework, typical of its Tudor origins and constructed for game to be hung in readiness for cooking. A leisurely walk takes you back to Cockington Court.
Ansty's Cove to Oddicombe
Take the dog for this 4 ½ mile circular route, it's challenging and certainly not for the fainthearted! Dramatic coastline, steep cliffs and hidden coves are the essence of this walk all within the Global Geopark. From Ansty's Cove, (home to many a smuggler) head towards the Redgate Beach Cliffs and Long Quarry Point, with stunning panoramic views. Head to the plains of Wall's Hill, then take the wooden walkway over Half Tide Rock and the steps between Babbacombe and Oddicombe beach. A definite tourist attraction to see here is the Babbacombe Cliff Funicular Railway. At this point the walk is flexible so if you (or the pooch!) get tired you can easily take to the top deck of a bus from here. For the more seasoned walkers continue back along Babbacombe Cliffs (signed to the cricket ground completing the walk, by backtracking over Wall's Hill to the Ansty's Cove car park.
Of course, as an unusual alternative to getting those boots out, the newest concept of seeing the countryside is taking a 'Virtual Walk'. They can show you what the walk will be like, what wildlife you might encounter and whether suitable for dogs or children too! So even if you've only got a ten minute coffee break you can plan your trip from the comfort of your armchair!
And remember the combination of great sunshine and a bank holiday weekend certainly brings out the crowds, so if you want a quiet walk, avoid peak times of the year. Torquay and South Devon enjoy a particularly mild climate, so Spring and Autumn are also both ideal seasons to take a walking break away.