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The two Hope Cove beaches are some of the most popular spots in South Devon, thanks to their combination of beautiful natural scenery and excellent facilities.

Hope Cove Harbour Beach


Location and access

By car:

Sat nav users, use the postcode TQ7 3HQ.

From Salcombe:

The Hope Cove beaches are around 4.5 miles from Salcombe.

  1. Leave Salcombe on Salcombe Road/A381.
  2. You will come the village of Malborough. Turn left when you see the garage/Co-operative on your right.
  3. You will pass a church on your right. Turn right onto Malborough Green, following the sign to Hope Cove and Galmpton.
  4. Continue straight on all the way to Hope Cove. The car park will be on your left, opposite the smaller beach.

From Dartmouth

Hope Cove is just under 20 miles from Dartmouth.

  1. Leave Dartmouth on the A3122, going straight on at the roundabout (onto Townstal Road).
  2. After seven miles you will come to a T-junction by a garage. Turn left, joining the A381.
  3. Turn right at the roundabout to stay on the A381.
  4. Turn right at the next roundabout, staying on the A381.
  5. You’ll pass through the village of Churchstow. Half a mile later you’ll reach a roundabout. Turn left.
  6. Turn right at the T-junction, signposted for Salcombe and Malborough.
  7. Take the fourth right, signposted for Galmpton and Hope Cove. Follow this road for two miles until you come to Hope Cove. The car park will be on your left, opposite the smaller beach.

By bus:

The Tally Ho 162 bus service from Kingsbridge to Hope, via Thurlestone stops at Hope Cove.

On foot:

At just under five miles, this circular walk that starts and finishes at Outer Hope Car Park offers a moderate challenge and some beautiful countryside and coastal views.

The more ambitious could walk from Salcombe to the Hope Cove beaches along the South West Coast Path, involving about eight miles of stunning coastline and challenging terrain. Taking an inland route through Malborough and Galmpton shortens the journey to around 4.5 miles and gives a nice circular route option.


There is a large car park by Mouthwell Sands (the smaller northern beach) and some on-road parking available.


  • Toilets
  • Beach shop
  • A wide range of cafes, pubs and restaurants
  • Seasonal lifeguards


  • Harbour beach: all year round;
  • Mouthwell Sands: only between 1st October and 30th April.


  • Rockpooling
  • Typical beach activities like swimming, sunbathing and sandcastle-building
  • Sailing

Similar beaches

Beautiful Thurlestone beach is similarly split into two beaches, one little cove to the north and a longer southern beach.

Our guide to the Hope Cove beaches

Another view of Hope Cove's Harbour Beach

Hope Cove is made up of two beautiful beaches, both popular with visitors. Mouthwell Sands to the north is the nearest beach to the car park. The longer Harbour beach sits just to its south. The two are easily accessible and it’s worth exploring them both during your trip. Mouthwell Sands buzzes with happy holidaymakers during the summer and the Harbour beach offers unforgettable views of Bolt Tail.

With seasonal lifeguards and water quality designated as excellent by the Environment Agency, Hope Cove’s beaches are great for families to visit for a safe swim or paddle. The mix of sand and rocky areas means that Mouthwell Sands in particular is great for sandcastles and sunbathing as well as exploring the rockpools for sea life.

Mouthwell Sands at Hope Cove


The fantastic beaches and the proximity of the village make either of the Hope Cove beaches an ideal destination for (at least) a full day out. If you don’t fancy packing a picnic, you can choose from Hope Cove’s wide range of pubs and restaurants including:

  • The Cove
  • The Hope and Anchor
  • The Cottage Hotel Restaurant
  • The Sun Bay Hotel Restaurant
  • Sand Pebbles
  • The Port Light
  • The Beachcomber Tapas Bar & Café

Known historically as a smugglers’ haunt, Hope Cove also had a fearsome reputation for wrecking passing ships against its rocks – so often that plundering what was left of them was an important part of the local economy! These days it has other ways of ‘trapping’ visitors, simply by offering them a holiday experience they’ll want to repeat over and over again during their lives.


Drake Ho. High Res 14Choose from over 30 holiday homes in Hope Cove for an unforgettable break in this popular seaside location.

Our South Devon Beach Bible is the place to come for information about all of the best beaches in the region.