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 Bolberry and Hope Cove

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

National Trust car park at Bolberry Down (SX689385)

Ordnance Survey Map

OL20 - South Devon Brixham to Newton Ferrers.

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Distance:  6.7 miles

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(For explanation see My Walks page)

Memory Map.jpg    gpx logo.jpg  

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

  Devon walk, Bolberry to Hope Cove sketch map  

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Inrtoduction: This walk takes you around the spectacular coastal scenery of Bolt Tail with long distance views and includes the picturesque village of Hope Cove (technically two – Inner Hope and Outer Hope), with its harbour and nice beach. Refreshment can be had at the Hope and Anchor - which is open all day and the Sun Bay Hotel. The walk takes in some lovely by-ways and where there is road walking, this is kept to a minimum on very quiet lanes. In spring, the hedgerows are a plethora of wild flowers.

Start: The walk starts at the National Trust (NT) car park (honesty box) at Bolberry Down. To get there, turn off the Kingsbridge to Salcombe roar (A381) into Malborough (just before the garage). Wend your way through its narrow street and follow the road signs for Bolberry then Bolberry Down.

At the NT car park (SX689385),facing the sea, turn left and follow the coastal footpath. At the first footpath post after a gate, turn left (inland) along a path indicated with a green arrow (SX 691382). You enter the NT land of South Devon Farm.

Bolberry Down

Soar Mill Cove

Walk past the rocky outcrop on the left and follow the broad track down the hill alongside the remains of an ancient wall of large upright stones. There is a good view to Soar Mill Cove which we will visit on another walk. Bear left until you come to a fingerpost. Take the path indicated as Malborough 1½ miles. After passing through a gate, the track becomes walled for a short distance.

Pass between the buildings of South Down Farm and immediately after passing the car parking area for the farm, turn left at a fingerpost  designating  “Public Footpath” (SX700385). Follow the yellow footpath arrows past the NT workshop and on to a tarmac lane. Turn left and almost immediately right at another fingerpost.

The village of Malborough with its church spire becomes clearly visible as you cross the field. The path emerges into another footpath at a ‘T’ junction of paths (SX 697389). This path lined with hedges is called Jacob’s Lane. Turn left following the fingerpost for “Bolberry Down ¾ ”.

Jacob’s Lane exits into the road along which you went to Bolberry Down. Turn right down the hill to a road junction then left where the road sign shows Hope Cove 1¼ miles.


Jacobs Lane



At the next fork in the road, go right. The road dips past a thatched cottage on the right then climbs. Where it bends sharply right, look out for the fingerpost on the left (SX 692396) indicating “Sweethearts’ Lane” and “Galmpton ½ mile”. Follow Sweethearts’ Lane to a broad track in front of an imposing stone house and turn left. About 100 yards further on, turn right where the fingerpost indicated Galmpton ¾ mile (I cannot account for the disparity in the distances to Galmpton!).

The path climbs up the field and over the stile, turn right as indicated by the footpath arrow. Through the next gateway is a crossroads of footpaths (SX 691400)where, should you wish to shorten the walk for any reason, you can turn left to Inner Hope and the coastal path. Otherwise, keep straight ahead and follow the track down the hill but turn left at a gateway above a pond (SX 692401). Go down the field bearing left to a stile at the bottom and once there, follow the footpath arrow bearing right to a ‘V’ shaped wooden stile in the corner of the field.



At the next stile, go straight ahead on the tarmac path between the houses and along the road to the junction. Turn left and at a stone built barn on the left, turn right where there is a fingerpost. Where the broad track swings right, carry straight ahead on a narrow footpath.

At the next road, turn right and very quickly turn left into what at first glance looks like a private drive to garages. Close to the garages, on the right, a fingerpost indicates the way over a stile. Cross the field diagonally bearing right and as you reach the crest you will see a stile. Cross this into the lane and turn left.

Follow the lane for about half a mile. Where it bends sharp right, your route continues straight ahead along Beacon Lane SX 687408). The finger post indicates “Footpath Link to Coastal Path. There are good views here of Burgh Island and Thurlstone Rock (with the hole).

Burgh Island and Thurlstone Roac

Thurlstone Rock

On reaching the coastal path, turn left and follow it to Outer Hope.

Hope Cove

Hope Cove

From Outer Hope, the route continues along a tarmac climbing path behind the harbour which has good views of the village. This soon descends to Inner Hope at the Sun Bay Hotel. Turn right and follow the road behind the beach until just past the slipway on the right, a fingerpost indicates a continuation of the coastal path and Salcombe 7½ miles. Before making this turn, you might like to walk a hundred yards or so along the road to see the picturesque thatched cottages in a cul-de-sac on the right.

Hope Cove

Bolt Tail

Back on the route, you now enter NT land at Bolt Tail with great views back to Hope Cove and along the coast. On reaching the footpath post at the top of the hill for “Bolt Tail”, go right for the viewpoint. Continue on the path round Botl Tail and where it forks keep right.

Find the unusual small round plate marking a “Trig. Point” then just continue along the coast back to your starting point.

  Coast near Bolt Tail  

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.