Once upon a grey English day, we explored Watcombe Beach.

Life is better in hiking boots

Map of watcombe beach

Quick Stats

Time There are a couple of ways to get to the beach, down the road which is very steep but much shorter. Or through the bush and depending on your detours will depend on the time taken.

Difficulty The terrain is not difficult, however, it does get muddy after rain. 

Fitness Fairly fit as the walk back up to the carpark is very steep

Access Public carpark from Watcombe Beach Road, Torquay

bears, swings and cloud watching: a day at watcombe beach

Hello? Are you there, bears?

We decided to take the scenic route down to the beach rather than the main path down. We hadn’t gone far when we saw some caves up a small hill.

The hill didn’t look particularly safe as the incline was pretty much just mud. Now letting two very childish adults near mud and caves is not usually a good idea. The race was on to see who could get to the cave first. I lost. I blame the welly boots though, the grip on them is not ideal and a few times I took a step forward only to slide back about 3 steps.

Once we got to the top it was fairly anti-climatic as you couldn’t even hide in the cave to jump out. Let alone see any bears living in there. So we took our selfies and proceeded to slide back down the bank again. Gracefully of course.


Beautiful views off the cliff at Watcombe Beach

A swinging good time

As we walked further we came across a little clearing that had 2 rope swings hanging from a tree. Again, my childishness displayed itself and I had to have a go on the swing. Unfortunately, one swing was about 30 cms off the ground and the other 1.5 m. Putting one at a normal height must have been an oversight by the swing makers.

Sadly I have no upper body strength so getting up onto a swing that is at head height is quite a feat. We did try lifting me up and me swinging my legs over the seat of the swing which was a branch, not a very thick one either at that. This didn’t go to plan. All it achieved was me being thrown awkwardly up, my legs swinging in all directions trying to catch the branch and then us laughing too much to be of any use whatsoever.


I decided to try the little swing, just so I could swing (the word swing is quite fun to type, luckily that’s pretty much the most common word in this post so far. Winning). It went well on the up’s, but the downs I had to hold my legs high up or they got crushed under me, which is not an outcome I wish to happen. It also makes it hard to keep swinging when you can’t move them back and forth.

So my knight in shining armour saved me by giving me a few pushes. All was well until the tree truck got a little too close for comfort and I envisioned a team of medics trying to get a stretcher down the muddy banks then slipping on the way back up with me strapped to a stretcher hurtling back down into yet another tree.

Successful swinging at Watcombe Beach


We had to at least try the other swing once more before we carried on. This time I had a plan in my head which was successful. It involved some very unflattering poses and some laughter but we managed it. Again, rather gracefully given the situation I thought.

All was going well, I was swinging high and having a whale of a time until I got pushed. I ended up catching the swing next to me around my feet. Then it got tangled up in my swing and the rope wound itself around and around with the seat of the swing getting ever closer to my head .To finish it off the tree trunk got a little too close for comfort again.

So very daintily and nimbly I got down from the swing and we carried on our journey. Slightly more covered in mud.

Typical English Beach, Watcombe Beach

Made it 

We made it down to the beach eventually and it was so calm and peaceful there. You really did feel like you were on the edge of the world, completely cut off from everyone. We sat on the rocks and cloud watched. We found a man with a beard, a guitar, a mouse, a witch and a momma turtle with a baby turtle on her back. All in all rather pleasant.

Like a lot of beaches in England its not really a sandy haven. It is dotted with rocks that are great for scrambling over or as a perch to watch the world go by. Well, watch the waves rhythmically sway back and forth.

Watcombe beach is very secluded, well it was at the time of year we went. There is a wee beach cafe and toilet facilities that are open during the summer. Which is handy if you go in the summer. If you go in winter you are on your own in the loo department. 

Watcombe Beach was worth the stroll down. It was a pleasant walk that wasn’t too difficult. Until the walk back up but that isn’t a long walk. If you are after a family wander and are around the Torquay/Devon area, give this a go.




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a bear hunt, swings and good ole fashioned cloud watching: an afternoon at watcombe beach

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