Broadsands to Elberry Cove and Churston

Broadsands to Elberry Cove and Churston

My final post about Paignton covers the area between Broadsands and Brixham, and includes the short walk from Broadsands to Elberry Cove and an extension to Churston for those who want it. The village of Churston Ferrers, technically speaking, comes within the boundary of Brixham, but I think it makes more sense to include it here.

You don’t need to belong to Mensa to work out where Broadsands gets its name from. It’s the last major Paignton beach before reaching Brixham (which doesn’t have any major beaches incidentally), and is another safe place for toddlers to paddle in. Unlike the beaches nearer to the town centre, there are very few amenities, and that’s the reason why some people enjoy coming here.

Broadsands Beach
Beach Huts at Broadsands

I don’t suppose it’s much more than half a mile from Broadsands to Elberry Cove, but this stroll along the grassy path next to the sea around Churston Point is ideal for those who aren’t able to walk too far and just want to be able to enjoy the sea views and breathe in some fresh air.

Walking towards Elberry Cove from Broadsands
Walking towards Elberry Cove from Broadsands

Steps lead down to Elberry Cove which is shingly rather than sandy, but a pleasant spot if the water skiers aren’t around.

Elberry Cove from the Footpath
Elberry Cove from the Footpath

At the far end of the small beach are the remains of Lord Churston’s Bath House: Built in the 18th century, this 3-storey building allowed the ground floor to be flooded as the tide came in, and enabled His Lordship to go for a swim without losing his dignity even if he lost his swimming trunks. Come to think of it, he probably wore a swimming costume back then – or perhaps he didn’t wear anything at all, who knows?

Lord Churston's Bath House
Lord Churston's Bath House

The coast path between Elberry and Churston Coves involves a steepish climb to begin with, and then a walk through Marriage Woods, and for those with mobility problems, it’s probably best to call it a day at Elberry if I’m being honest.

Churston Cove as seen from Fishcombe Cove
Churston Cove as seen from Fishcombe Cove
Churston Cove
Churston Cove

The village of Churston Ferrers lies just inland between the two coves and is easiest to access from Elberry if you’re walking.

Churston Court, or Churston Manor as it’s now called, was the home of Lord Churston and has had a presence here since Anglo-Saxon times. Obviously, there’s a lot of local history attached to it, but you’ll be relieved to hear that I’m not going into that now: What I’ve always liked about it though, is that ever since I’ve known it, it’s somewhere that you can go into just for a drink.

In 1967, after a thousand years of aristocratic life, the manor house was sold. I don’t know who bought it, but when I first came here the owner was Peter Malkin, a man I previously came across when he restored Boringdon Hall, another historic building on the outskirts of Plymouth. He did a magnificent job there, and he did another one here.

He was a very amiable character and so it came as a bit of a shock to see his face on TV with a warrant out for his arrest. Without going into all the details, his marriage had broken down and he was wanted for abducting his son. After a world-wide search, they eventually caught up with him and he went to prison for 8 months. He no longer owns Churston Court, but I still enjoy going there, and I think he deserves to be part of its history.

Well, that’s it as far as Paignton is concerned. I came here on holiday when I was a kid and loved it – so much so, that I think that’s why I’ve ended up here. Times have changed, and although Paignton isn’t quite the same place as it was (like most other places I suppose), I still have a fondness for it.

I’ve changed as well: Travel and different interests broaden the mind no end, and as much as I love visiting all these other places, when I wake up each morning and see a beautiful sunrise, or go to bed and see the moon shimmering on the water, I thank my lucky stars that I live in somewhere like this. Paignton isn’t perfect by a long way, but it’s still a place that families love to come to – and I can think of a lot worse places to live.

POSTED – October 2020

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17 thoughts on “Broadsands to Elberry Cove and Churston

  1. starship VT

    This area of England is so very appealing with its lovely coastal paths, sea views, tucked away almost secret coves and yet being so near historic estates, green fields and woods. Lord Churston’s Bath House is a unique little building with an interesting story! I really never tire of seeing England’s many splendid sights, but I especially appreciate the perhaps less well known places that you continue to bring to light, Malcolm. You’re a lucky man to live where you do! Thanks for the great photos!

    Reply
    1. Easymalc Post author

      I’ve always been grateful for what I have and not what I haven’t got. It helps me appreciate the simpler things in life such as comments from people like you Sylvia. It makes writing these things all the more worthwhile. Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Toonsarah

    This looks a lovely walk. I’d enjoy photographing the beach huts, and I do like my beaches to be relatively empty of other folks! Sounds like you’ve landed in an ideal spot for you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Easymalc Post author

      Even though I’ve lived in a city, a town, a village, and in the back of beyond, I think with circumstances as they are now and the age I am, it’ll do for me, even if it’s not perfect 🙂

      Reply
      1. TheRamblingWombat

        Absolutely, it does Malc. Though I have travelled a lot and seen a lot around the world it is the little things like a beautiful sunrise or sunset that make me the happiest – that and a nice red 🙂 I will never tire of simplicity.

        Reply
  3. Alli Templeton

    Paignton looks pretty good to me, Malc, and as you can probably imagine, Maddie would be in her element beside a coastline like that. The walk looks so beautiful, and it must be a real tonic to be able to access scenery like this so close to home. The coves remind me a bit of Lulworth Cove, which of course we sailed to on the Moonfleet this year, but then they are coves too, I guess. They look like little havens to me. And as for your last shot – that could rival Zadar’s sun-shows! Thanks for showing us more of your enticing neck of the woods. I’ve really enjoyed it. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Easymalc Post author

      Thanks again Alli, and I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed following me around Torbay. Zadar may have the sunsets, but we get some wonderful sunrises here, and as long as there’s another sunrise, that’s all I ask for 🙂

      Reply
      1. Alli Templeton

        Indeed, that’s all we can ask for at the moment, really, isn’t it? And it does the soul good to see a spectacular sunrise-or-set. Helps put things into perspective somehow. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Easymalc Post author

          Doesn’t it just? I have a great respect for those who work WITH nature rather than trying to tame it 🙂

          Reply
          1. Alli Templeton

            Me too, absolutely. I get the same sense of perspective from being up high on ancient hills and looking across the vast landscape into the far distance. 🙂

            Reply
  4. Simone

    Always so enjoyable to read your pages Malcolm! Looks like a lovely place to live! With ‘beautiful sunrises, or go to bed and see the moon shimmering on the water’, that doesn’t sound bad to me 🙂

    Reply
    1. Easymalc Post author

      Thanks Simone. Your comments are always enjoyable to read too. What I like about living here is not just the fact that we’re close to the sea, but close to some lovely countryside too.

      Reply

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