Relaxing dog walking in Torquay at Thatcher Rock
One of the loveliest dog walks around Torquay
Thatcher Rock is only a short distance, just a few minutes by car, from Torquay town centre yet given its peace and tranquillity you’d never know it. The view out to sea toward Thatcher Rock is fantastic and on a sunny day you could be forgiven for thinking you were abroad rather than in the UK.
As you drive up Ilsham Marine Drive, a narrow wooded road that winds its way around the headland, you’ll come to a spot on the right hand side of the road where the trees open up to reveal a fairly steep grassy slope on the right hand side of the road that leads the eye out to lovely sea views.
I’ve always known this place as Thatcher Rock as that’s the name of the large rocky and wooded outcrop that rises from the water just off the steep cliffs at the bottom of the grassy slope.
When visiting the only parking is to be found alongside the road at the top of the grassy hill. With it being such a small place there isn’t a lot of parking to be had unless you want a bit of a walk up or down the hilly road.
The area itself has a number of benches dotted around the hillside with some large bushes and shrubs planted that offer a few dotted wind breaks and a bit of peace and quiet.
The place is actually less of a dog walk and more of a place to go and chill out with your dog for a few hours. On a hot and sunny day it’s a great place just to hang out and relax. If your best four-legged friend starts to overheat there’s a great shady area at the bottom of the slope beneath the tall trees.
If you’re a keen bird-watcher make sure you bring some binoculars or a camera with a decent telephoto lens as there’s plenty of wildlife around Thatcher Rock.
Although it’s a great place for you and your dog you should note that the only ‘poo’ bins are the general waste bins situated at the top of the slope next to the road – please be a responsible dog owner!
South West Coast Path
If you do fancy a walk then also at the bottom of the slope you’ll find a small entrance through to the South West Coast Path which if turning right will take you back toward Torquay and if turning left will take you on round to Babbacombe.
The cliffs here are unstable in places due to natural erosion so when on the cliff path you might find it best to keep your dog on a lead to prevent impromptu sniffing missions taking your dog off the path – it’s probably a good idea to stick to dog walking rather than dog abseiling.
Please note that the South West Coast Path is little more than a track in places, with very uneven ground and is often wide enough only for single file. It’s also best to tackle it with decent footwear.
The views whilst on this path though are fabulous, especially on a clear day, and are a nice reward in exchange for the effort of walking the path.
How to get to this Torquay dog walk
From Torquay Harbour go on past Living Coast, which will be on your right, and up Beacon Hill and bear left onto Parkhill Road. At the junction turn right onto Meadfoot Sea Road. Follow the road down the hill and alongside Meadfoot Beach where at the end of the level area, just by a public car park, the road bears to the left and begins to climb. Take the first right and follow the road up until you see the trees open up on the right hand side where you should get a glimpse of Thatcher Rock. Park as close to this spot as you can.