Paul’s Mansands Circular – Saturday 24th October

10 people gathered in pretty evil weather for the 6 mile+ circular walk to Mansands and St Mary’s Bay Beach.

Skirting out of Brixham, we took the farm track to Mansands, collecting mud along the way. A coffee stop at Mansands watching wind-whipped wild waves crashing on the shore, before the long ascent onto the coastpath back towards Brixham.

Our ever knowledgeable local historian, Peter, talked to us about Napoleon’s time in Brixham and pointed out what was believed to be Napoleon’s last view of English shores. He also talked about the Napoleonic prisoners of war sent to Dartmoor prison. The French officers were allowed the freedom of Princetown and many started to court local Devon maids. Being given the option to remain in Devon or return back to France, many elected to stay in Devon.

A windswept walk then took us onto St Mary’s Bay beach,  traditionally called Mudstone Bay/beach where the lunchtime cabaret was provided by 2 seals swimming close to the shore . We then cut through residential streets for some stunning views of the harbour with Peter pointing out the cottages where many Belgian fishermen settled having fled with their boats to Brixham on the outbreak of WW2.
Many thanks to Peter for all his local knowledge and for making this an extremely enjoyable walk.
Paul S