Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
Slapton Ley, on the South West Coastal Path in Devon, is a unique habitat where a freshwater lake meets the sea
South West England
Field Studies Council
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 71355
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Slapton Ley, on the South West Coastal Path in Devon, is a unique habitat where a freshwater lake meets the sea. It is the largest natural lake in south-west England, separated from Start Bay by a narrow shingle beach called Slapton Sands. The lake is surrounded by reed beds, marshes and woodland habitats. Abundant with wildlife, this natural environment makes a fascinating place to study and explore.
The undulating SWCP trail hugs the coast as it meanders through the Slapton Ley nature reserve, making it a great place to start a ramble, passing through small hamlets with just a pub or café to mark their presence, over linear sandy beaches, and atop craggy cliffs, all with spectacular sea views and rolling, expansive countryside vistas, and a few wild horses, as you go. The sea is a wonderful companion as we walk, whether shimmering in the sunlight or when dark and moody as a storm brews out to sea.
FSC Slapton Ley offers the perfect spot to explore the area. The centre is quietly located in lovely gardens, with the beautiful stone-built village of Slapton just five minutes walk away, where you will find two pubs, a small shop and picturesque scenes that are worthy of a photo.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Independent travel to the FSC Slapton Ley. Check in is from 4pm. Dinner each evening is taken on site and will be served at approximately 6 - 6.30pm.
This a lovely walk to start our holiday, taking in the coast and shoreline. From Slapton Ley we walk down to the nature reserve on the lagoon behind the beach. Keep a look out for the abundant wildlife. At Torcross Village have a look at the Sherman tank war memorial, which represents the part that Slapton Sands played in the preparations of the US forces for the D Day Landings. Our path then heads up and along the coast until the lighthouse at Start Point comes into view.
Continuing from Start Point we turn west and follow the cliffs around over Prawle Point, the most southerly point of Devon. We pass secluded beaches to East Portlemouth overlooking the Kingsbridge Estuary to Salcombe on the west bank.
We continue to explore the coast on another classic stretch of the SW Coast Path, more akin to the Cornish stretches with rugged granite rock structures. Today we walk to the west of Salcombe. From Soar we walk down to the coast and round, passing Bolberry Down. From Bolt Tail look out for Burgh Island and its famous hotel to the north west. We finish in the village of Hope. Transport will meet us outside the pub.
Continuing west we walk from Mothercombe, where we cross a small beach before heading up onto the cliffs, around to the pretty little sailing village of Noss Mayo, with the sea our companion all the way. Breath taking views await with far reaching views out to Plymouth Sound and beyond to the Cornish coast. A perfect lunchtime stop is next to the ruins of St Peter the poor fisherman church, which is well worth a look. Noss Mayo offers a couple of pubs for that well earned glass of local cider!
Departure from the centre after breakfast. Check out is by 9.30am. We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Departure dates for your selected tour
24th Oct 2021 - 29th Oct 2021 (5 Nights)
Private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included.
The nearest railway station to FSC Slapton Ley is Totnes station, (South West Main Line) approximately 13 miles away from our property. Taxis can be contacted to transfer from Totnes station to Slapton Ley at 01803 840009.
The 3 Bus Service from Plymouth to Slapton via Kingsbridge and from Dartmouth to Slapton is operated by Stagecoach. The bus stops on Slapton Line and at the village bus stop outside the Centre.
If you are driving to Slapton Ley to join our holiday, there are car parking facilities on site.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
FSC Slapton Ley is located within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is an ideal location for bird and wild life lovers and for taking picturesque coastal walks along the South West Coast Path.
The property offers simple accommodation for those who want a convenient base for good walking. The centre offers a range of room types, split between different buildings, with layouts ranging from single and twin bedded rooms up to dormitories with bunk beds. We are offering en suite accommodation for this holiday on a single occupancy or twin occupancy basis and the style of room you receive will be split amongst the rooms types noted above. If you book a single occupancy room, you will have ample space and often various beds in the room as usually the room would be multi occupied.
Rooms are very simple in style, with limited facilities (no TV, no hairdryers, no telephone) with bed linen and towels provided. Kettles, tea and coffee are provided in the rooms. The centre has a dining room offering breakfast and evening meals and spacious common areas. There is complimentary Wi-Fi on site. Tea & coffee making facilities can be found in the communal areas of the centre. Whilst the centre does not have a bar, guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic drinks with them for consumption on site. There are also two pubs in Slapton village, approx. 5 minutes walk away.
There is car parking on site and check in is from 4pm on the day of arrival, with departure after breakfast on the last day by 9.30am.
*Please note that this accommodation type is different from the majority of hotels we choose for our UK holidays. The accommodation is more hostel than hotel and as described above is simple which is reflected in the holiday price*
This is a grade 4 walking holiday which includes full day walks with minimal amounts of ascent and descent as we follow the undulating coastal path. The paths are generally good, well maintained and sign posted. Full days can be up to 4-5 hours of walking and there are hamlets and beaches on the way for refreshments and rest stops. One of the routes has some vertiginous drops close to the path, please refer to the itinerary for information. The highest point normally reached on this programme is not more than 150m. See the itinerary section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Travelling by Train?The nearest railway station to FSC Slapton Ley is Totnes station, (South West Main Line) approximately 13 miles away from our property. Andsome Cabs can be contacted to transfer from Totnes station to Slapton Ley at 01803 840009 UK rail information: www.nationalrail.co.uk
Travelling by Bus? The 3 Bus Service from Plymouth to Slapton via Kingsbridge and from Dartmouth to Slapton is operated by Stagecoach. The bus stops on Slapton Line and at the village bus stop outside the Centre. UK coach information: www.nationalexpress.co.uk
Travelling by Car? If you are driving to Slapton Ley to join our holiday, there are car parking facilities on site. The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel: www.rome2rio.com
During the holiday, private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
This holiday is provided on a full board basis starting with dinner on your arrival day and finishing with breakfast on your departure day. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the Centre and lunch will consist of a packed lunch provided by the Centre.
Packed lunches will be arranged by the leader each day. These generally consist of a sandwich, water, fruit and a piece of cake. As kettles are available in the communal areas, you may wish to bring a flask to make up a coffee/tea flask to accompany your picnic lunch.
Dinners consist of a two course (main and dessert) set menu with a choice of a meat dish and vegetarian option. Tea and coffee will be served with dinner. The centre does not have a bar, so you are welcome to bring alcoholic drinks to consume on site. There is a village shop next to the centre and two pubs a short walk away in Slapton village.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
You will find plenty of useful and interesting information on the South West Coast Path official website at www.southwestcpastpath.org.uk to help you in planning your trip.
Guide books from Cicerone, Walking the South West Coast Path, and Trailblazer's "Dorset & South Devon Coast Path are both good reads
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
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