Today we're off on a lovely dog friendly walk around Paignton; not the town itself I hasten to add, but on one of Bailey’s regular walks which, when the weather isn’t so good, my footwear lets more muddy slush in than keeping it out! We’re starting our walk from Dartmouth Road and climbing a stony path to the sweetly named ‘Sugar Loaf Hill ’, which is actually a grassy mound of volcanic origin. The path is often slippery underfoot at this time of year, but the climb is definitely worth it. It’s very tempting to belt out a rendition of something from ‘The Sound of Music’ when you’ve reached the summit, but all I can manage is ‘Bailey wait for me!’ as she disappears through some brambles on the scent of an elusive squirrel, or a pheasant, and there’s definitely no musical accolade involved!
The panoramic view is literally breathtaking, and even on a dull day there’s so much to look at and well worth getting your breath back on the conveniently placed seat situated next to the coastal path. If Torquay looks very close, it means it’s probably going to rain! Looking down from this point you’ll see the railway line snaking its way across the hilltop and into the distance, eventually running out of puff at Kingswear, but look a little out to sea on your right and you’ll see Armchair Rock. It’s a local landmark and proudly stands in an area called Saltern Cove; well renowned for its geological interest, and is also home to the very intriguing Crystal Cove. Bailey loves swimming, and with no seasonal restrictions in force here, it’s a Devonian doggy delight to go for a dip all year round on this rugged , mysterious beach.
However, we have our sights on Paignton beach, a long stretch of red sand with a Pier taking pride of place halfway along. First, we take the coastal route to Goodrington, (incorporating Young’s Park,) where dogs are permitted on the beach all year round on North, but not South, Sands (May –September), then up a winding cliff path (or a steep straight one!), across Rock Walk and down onto Fairy Cove and Paignton Harbour. Almost there, once you pass the old coastguard station (now toilets) situated above the harbour, Bailey’s tail wagging has gone into overdrive! Just a stone’s throw, or should I say ball, away from the beach – ‘Bailey, put that buoy down!’