Boat house

at Bantham

Avon Estuary walk

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 river, or its rich birdlife.

'Hidden Estuaries' Audio Clips

To enhance the information on this estuary self-guided walking trail, we have recorded audio descriptions about the hidden and past world within the estuary.

The hidden estuaries audio clips are best listened to at the key positions around the walk, all of which are marked on the downloadable walk map (link on the right) and physically on-site by small plaques.  You can download the clips from the audio player on the right of this page, onto an MP3 player or simply call the local no. 01548 802315 on-site and then the 3 digit number shown for each position.


This walk includes four hidden AONB geocache, however, be prepared to go off the beaten track to hunt for them!

Information about geocaching and the exact locations of the full series of South Devon AONB geocache and the GPS coordinates required to find them.


Start Bantham Sand car park, Bantham
Distance 7.5 miles (8.5 miles at high tide)
Circular Walk? Yes
Grade Moderate

Footpaths, with some muddy sections in wet weather; green lanes; surfaced roads.

Obstacles and steep gradients

10 stiles (+3 at high tide); 3 flights of steps (+1 at high tide); 1 steep ascent; 1 steep descent.


This route is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Public transport

Bus service 93 to Aveton Gifford from Kingsbridge, Modbury and Plymouth. Join route at the bridge at Aveton Gifford. For information on public transport in South Hams please call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit

Refreshment stops

Aveton Gifford: Fishermen's Rest pub 01548 550284; Sloop Inn at Bantham 01548 560489. Bantham Stores includes a small coffee shop, 100 metres back up the hill from the Sloop Inn.


Public toilets at Bantham Sand car park.


Private car park at Bantham Sand. Cost in 2006 £5.00. Free parking by the bridge at Aveton Gifford; join route from there.


Please contact Kingsbridge Information Centre on 01548 853195 or visit

Other facilities

Public payphone and village stores just off the route in Bantham. Public payphone on main street in Aveton Gifford.

OS map Explorer 0L20
Grid reference SX665437


This route follows the blue 'Avon Estuary Walk' waymarkers.

1. 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 details about the river Avon ferry on our ferry timetable page for further details).

2. 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.

3. By 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.

4. Just before you meet road, turn right into field and follow 'Permissive Footpath' fingerpost along field edge.  Half way across second field, turn right across field signed 'Milburn Orchard 1.5 miles'.

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

6. Turn left along the foreshore, and then right along tidal road to Aveton Gifford.

7. 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'.

8. At top of rise, bear right onto footpath across field, round field edge, 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.

9.At the bottom turn right through the underpass into the car park.  Turn left out of the car park onto road.

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

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

12. 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.

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

14. Follow path along field edges above river.  Cross a track and continue.  Turn right along the next track after stile and steps.

15. At road turn right down through Bantham and back to car park.



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