Avon estuary walk

A meander through peaceful countryside and woodlands. Downstream from Aveton Gifford, the river Avon winds through its beautiful and secluded valley to the sea. This fine walk traces its course, and you are rarely out of sight of the estuary, or its rich birdlife.

Technical sheet
No. 10032901
A Thurlestone walk posted on 01/06/21 by South Devon AONB. Update : 01/06/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h20[?]
Distance Distance : 7.68mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 948ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 948ft
Highest point Highest point : 318ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 0ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Thurlestone
Starting point Starting point : N 50.27829° / W 3.8745°
Download : -


(D/A) Walk back to the turning circle by the car park entrance and turn left down to the quay. Take the ferry from here across river (the ferry operates a seasonal service, see the ferry information panel at Bantham or the AONB website for further details).

(1) From ferry information panel at Cockleridge head inland and up steps. Follow field edge up, and then to left, then bear right up road alongside and across golf course.

(2) By a turning bay and waymarker on left, turn right over cattle grid and down drive. Walk through houses at Hexdown, then bear right down footpath. Turn left at the bottom to follow private drive.

(3) Just before you meet road, turn right into field and follow ‘Permissive Footpath’ fingerpost along field edge. Halfway across second field, turn right across field signed ‘Milburn Orchard 1 ½m’.

(4) Bear left over the stile and left again at a fork in the woods. Follow waymarked path along field and terrace, dropping gradually downhill.

(5) Turn left along the foreshore, and then right along tidal road to Aveton Gifford. At low tide jump to point 10.

(Alternative route at high tide: Turn left along foreshore as above, but go straight across at road onto public footpath over stepping stones and through grounds of Milburn Orchard above creek. Turn right along a track, bear right where you meet a fork, and turn right along the road. After 200m bear right up green lane signed ‘Drunkard’s Hill’. At top of rise, bear right onto footpath across fields and down through the dip. Turn left along the lane, then sharp right by Skipper’s Hill Cottage. Cross at the main road and take the path opposite, bearing right onto path above road. At the bottom turn right through the underpass into the car park. Turn left out of car park onto road.)

(6) At mini- roundabout turn right along main road over river. Cross by Bridge House onto permissive path alongside road. Re-join road again over bridge, then path once more, to finally cross the road and follow lane opposite at Bridge End.

(7) At the top turn right along lane. At Higher Stadbury bear left onto footpath and bear left again where you join a further footpath.

(8) Follow path along right hand field edges and then down between fences. Turn right through the gate and follow right hand field edge. Just before the next field gateway, leave the well- walked path and drop down the field to the left. Bear right at the bottom.

(9) Through two gates, cross Stiddicombe Creek via footbridge to left. Turn right through gate then bear up through field past waymarker post. Cross stile into wood and follow waymarkers.

(10) Follow path along field edges above river, through gate on to track. By fingerpost signed ‘Bantham 1/2 mile’ fork right onto the footpath down between stone walls. Go through gate and turn right at gate on to next track.

(11) At road turn right down through Bantham and back to the car park.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 36ft - Bantham Sands car park
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. 26ft - Ferry information panel
2 : mi 1.05 - alt. 318ft - Turning bay
3 : mi 2.4 - alt. 305ft - Road
4 : mi 2.8 - alt. 272ft - Stile
5 : mi 3.62 - alt. 16ft - Foreshore
6 : mi 4.41 - alt. 10ft - Mini-roundabout
7 : mi 4.66 - alt. 13ft - Lane
8 : mi 5.46 - alt. 285ft - Path
9 : mi 6.06 - alt. 52ft - Two gates
10 : mi 6.47 - alt. 138ft - Field edges
11 : mi 7.38 - alt. 82ft - Road
D/A : mi 7.68 - alt. 36ft - Bantham Sands car park

Useful Information

Start : Bantham Sands car park, or Timbers car park, Aveton Gifford.
Terrain : Footpaths and lanes, some unsurfaced paths which can be muddy in wet weather.
Parking : Bantham Sands , TQ7 3AN and Timbers car park, Aveton Gifford, TQ7 4LT.
Public transport : Buses to Aveton Gifford - see www.travelinesw.com For ferry times see link above.
Refreshments : In Bantham and Aveton Gifford..
Toilets : In Bantham Sands car park and Aveton Gifford village

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 3.24mi Vertical gain +322ft Vertical drop -325ft Durée 1h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Thurlestone - Devon

A circular walk taking in the old haunts of Saxons and smugglers. Lush coastline and glittering sea, then amble back through the green fields of South Devon.

distance 3.66mi Vertical gain +614ft Vertical drop -594ft Durée 2h15 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Bigbury - Devon

A walk that’s relaxing and bracing. Beaches with a lovely lazy feel, refreshing open clifftops, the timelessly delightful village of Ringmore tucked away, and enough ‘up-and-down’ to get the circulation going.

distance 4.73mi Vertical gain +646ft Vertical drop -653ft Durée 2h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Huish - Devon

A walk of towering cliffs, endless coastal views.Scenes and stories of shipwrecks, and the charm of Devon lanes winding between abundant hedgebanks with the beautiful, nestled fishing village of Hope Cove to start from and return to.

Aveton Gifford to Bigbury at low tide
distance 10.35mi Vertical gain +1453ft Vertical drop -1430ft Durée 6h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Aveton Gifford - Devon

A circular walk through stunning scenery from Aveton Gifford to Bigbury following the tidal road, paths, tracks and the beach. There are excellent views of the Avon estuary and of the famous Burgh Island.

distance 5.75mi Vertical gain +735ft Vertical drop -735ft Durée 3h15 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Aveton Gifford - Devon

A perfect taste of South Hams countryside. This inland walk bowls along on paths and green lanes, taking in hills and combes, gentle pasture, woodland and stream, with views across to the moor for good measure.

distance 5.57mi Vertical gain +705ft Vertical drop -705ft Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Kingston (Devon) - Devon

A wild and rugged coastline. A hugely rewarding coast and estuary walk with peerless views from some of the most dramatic cliffs in the area. It ends with a huge vista of South Devon, and the welcoming sight of Kingston village snuggled amongst the fields.

distance 1.94mi Vertical gain +151ft Vertical drop -131ft Durée 1h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Kingsbridge - Devon

Discover clues to the history of the town. A 1.5 hours easy walk around the town of Kingsbridge. Leave at least an extra hour if you wish to explore the museum, churches and pubs. There is an audio guide for this walk which is best listened to along the route via the South Devon AONB walks webpage.

distance 7.63mi Vertical gain +909ft Vertical drop -899ft Durée 4h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Kingsbridge - Devon

Creeks and countryside. This walk exploring some of Kingsbridge estuary’s creeks – Bowcombe and Frogmore. Steep in places but the views are worth the climb!

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.