South Devon National Landscape
Follaton House, Plymouth Road,
Totnes TQ9 5NE


Tel: 01803 229330


Dartmouth Castle, Gallants Bower and Compass Cove (1.8m)

Easy to Moderate
About This Project

Dartmouth Castle, Gallants Bower and Compass Cove

– Defences of the Dart

A peaceful woodland walk up to the earthworks of a Civil War fort, then around the headland to enjoy views along the coast and out to sea.


This walk includes one hidden National Landscape geocache – ‘Your South Devon Landscape 7’ . Information about our geocaches and how to find them here.


Dartmouth Castle, TQ6 0JN
1.8 miles
easy to moderate. Some steps and inclines
Surfaced and unsurfaced paths and lanes.
Dartmouth Castle car park. TQ6 0JN
OS map
Explorer OL20
Grid Reference
SX 886 503
Public transport
Buses to Kingswear and Dartmouth –; Steam train to Kingswear Ferry details at
In Dartmouth and at the Castle
Public toilets in Castle car park


    1. Follow the path up to the left of the old ruined castle, signed ‘Coast Path Stoke Fleming 3 ½ m’ and go up the steps .
    2. At the top, cross road to left and take the path up to the right into the woods, past the National Trust ‘Gallants Bower’ sign.
    3. Follow the path which climbs steadily as it wends its way up through the woods, until you emerge into the open and reach the old earthworks. The site is fairly small and easily explored.
    4. Retrace your steps then take the next path on the right to lead back down to the lane, turning right to follow it along.
    5. After 400m, past the old Coast Guard cottages, go straight on through the gate ahead and around the top of the scrubby field.
    6. Just before the gate at the far end of the field turn left and follow the hedge down for 100m then turn left again along the Coast Path
    7. The path drops steeply down the field. Towards the bottom bear left following the Coast Path waymarker along open area. At the fingerpost you can follow an optional detour right down the footpath and steps to Compass Cove. Retrace your steps
    8. At the fingerpost go straight on. Go through the gate into the wooded area and follow the rocky path up the hill.
    9. Follow the path as it begins to climb again, and passes through woods.
    10. When you meet the road turn right. After 300m turn right back down the steps to Dartmouth Castle

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