Oh what a beautiful day! 
Perfect October Indian Summer, and a perfect Devon walk from Slapton to Torcross, along the beach there and along the shore of Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve on the way back.

The contrast of crunching on pebbles with silently padding over rich, reedy, soft loam; salt sea and musty marsh edge with reeds whispering in softer waves than at the shoreline.  Cicadas still in the grasses …

It was hot and sunny, a breeze to refresh but not to chill, and the sloping October afternoon light gifted fabulous colours.

And just a five-seven minute drive from the valley tranquillity of Watermill Cottages.  The Gara Brook runs through our land and feeds into the Higher Ley, which is why we’re so careful about what happens to our water and land.

Higher Ley
Lower Ley

This is a level walk apart from the slight slope from the free Slapton Park and Walk car park, on the right as you leave the village and head to the sea, and is beach/shingle one side so not great for pushing wheels of any kind.  There are loos at the memorial car park five minutes from Slapton and at Torcross which has a village shop, tea rooms, restaurant & pub.  And the tank of course…  and a seat with a view over the Ley by the Slapton Ley sign – this is another nature-rich diversion.

Start Bay towards Strete Gate and Dartmouth

This walk forms a short stretch of the South West Coast path – you can continue beyond Torcross, over the crest to Beesands and Britannia on the beach fish shack/café and The Cricket Inn (dogs welcome in the bar). Or the other way, to Strete and Dartmouth – the bus route here runs regularly through the day so it’s easy to go one way (it doesn’t reach Beesands…).

Or you can walk a long loop from Watermill Cottages, up the 4WD track between Quack Cottage and Rose Cottage behind it, via Strete, the beach and Slapton.  Good refreshments on the way!

And the whole length of Slapton Sands from the flowery, grassier end at Strete Gate to the narrower beach at Torcross is dog-friendly all year round, all 3 1/4 miles of it! 

You can see why it’s designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Ley, sea and Torcross