If you love traditional thatched buildings, then you will love Cockington. This picturesque, historic village on the Torquay borders has a beautiful country park around an old manor house.
You will find ornamental gardens, lakes an ancient church and a craft centre. This includes a working blacksmiths, a glass blowing workshop and a hand-made chocolate company.
You can walk to Cockington from Vane Tower. This is a round trip of about five miles.
From Vane Tower Penthouse walk down the steps by the hairpin bend (just below the house) to Parkhill Road. From here make your way down to the harbour and walk across the Marina bridge. With the sea on your left walk along Princess Parade, past Princess Pier. Continue past Torre Abbey Sands onto Torbay Road. You can walk along the beach or promenade,depending on what the tide is doing.
Continue along the main road next to the sea for about 0.7 miles. You will pass Corbyn Head on your left, a pretty little grassy promontory with lovely views over the bay.
Continue along Torbay Road on the pavement, past the Livermead Hotel on your right and Livermead Sands on your left. When you come to a traffic crossing, cross the road and take Cockington Lane, the next road on the right.
Follow the lane until you come to a mini roundabout where you reach the junction of Old Mill Road. Ahead of you, slightly to the right, is a wooden signpost and five bar gate opening to a path. This leads to the Water Meadows.
Continue along this path for about half a mile. It runs parallel to Cockington Lane and winds along a lovely little wooded valley next to a stream. There is a boardwalk to cross over marshy ground.
When the path starts to narrow you will come to an unusual wooden bridge with metal railings crossing the stream. You have a choice here:
- continue straight on until the path runs out and then walk along Cockington Lane. You will pass lots of pretty thatched cottages and arrive at a junction in the village centre.
Ahead of you is the Cockington Gallery and to the right of it is a large gateway. Follow the path through the gateway and there are maps to guide you around the park. There are tea shops and a pub called The Drum Inn which was designed by Lutyens. https://www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/south-west/thedruminncockington?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb
To return to Vane Tower you need to rejoin Cockington Lane and retrace your steps.
- Or: when you reach the bridge, cross over it. This will lead you straight onto Cockington Lane so watch out for traffic. On the other side of the road is a tarmac drive leading to an old gatehouse.
Walk through the arch and continue until you reach some terraced lakes. You can walk either side of the lakes and follow paths through the woods. If you keep right you will eventually come to the manor house. The craft centre and rose garden is behind the house.
There is a circular route around the park which will take you back to the village centre where you can rejoin Cockington Lane and retrace your steps.
Drive to Cockington
If you don’t feel like walking can drive to Cockington by setting your sat nav for TQ2 6XA. You will need to pay for parking unless you go in low season and find a space on the road. Be careful to park where you park though as there are cameras and traffic wardens.