Route Highlight


It’s easy to bypass the SW660’s biggest and busiest resort but we think there are plenty of reasons not to – starting with some sensational coastal driving.

The A379 cliff road from Teignmouth is good, detours to wooded sandy coves at Maidencombe, Watcombe and Babbacombe are even better. Drive the loop of Ilsham Marine Drive for a Mediterranean-style experience curving round rocky coves with luxury homes hidden in the trees.

Sweep round the final headland into Torquay’s inner harbour. There’s still a hint of Riviera glamour about the whitewashed villas and palm trees overlooking the sea here. If it’s sunny you’ll wish for an open top car.

Head inland to the ridiculously pretty tourist village of Cockington or follow the seafront A3022 on the coast. Divert on to Paignton and Goodrington’s esplanades, with less period charm but good bay views.

Despite traffic and parking obstacles, Brixham’s bustling fishing harbour is a genuine attraction – and there are plenty of enticing seafood options.

During your trip

Other Route Highlights

Dawlish Warren

Locals roll their eyes at the mention of ‘The Warren’. But the unappealing swathes of chalets and amusements can be bypassed easily for the sake of a walk on the extraordinary one-and-a-half mile sand peninsula poking across the mouth of the Exe.


The promenade, sandy beach, lido and pier seem standard classic seaside offerings – but exploring a narrow maze of old streets behind them leads to one of Devon’s most bohemian spots.

The Exe Estuary

If you followed our recommendations along the east side of the Exe estuary, you’ll need no persuasion to visit the west side. This is one of the southwest’s largely undiscovered gems.


With one of the West’s best waterfronts and yachting harbours, try to approach Dartmouth from the water using one of two car ferries crossing the estuary.

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