Our top Dartmouth walks navigate not only the South West Coast Path, but also the River Dart, rolling countryside,...
This visual guide takes you along a picturesque walk from Hope Cove to Salcombe, a popular route where you can find hidden coves when the tide is out. Favoured by many locals and visitors to the Salcombe area, this walk offers an exhilarating way to enjoy spectacular views from the South West Coast Path. The dramatic, rugged coastline contrasts with the gentle South Hams hills to create an unforgettable backdrop to your walk. There are many viewpoints, picnic spots and eateries to stop at along the way.
This is a linear route, so either be prepared for the hike back or park a car at the start and one at the finish line, or arrange transport back to Hope Cove. Other than a couple of steep climbs, this is a relatively gentle walk. The views over the sea are second to none and there are plenty of coves to explore and little detours you can take off the path, including one where you can see the remains of an old Iron Age fort at Hope Cove.
Showcasing South Devon’s clear turquoise waters from start to finish, this coastal walk is ideal for nature lovers with spots known for wild ponies, pretty hidden beaches and regional wildlife. Also popular with foodies, discover a range of fantastic eateries throughout the trail, from The Cove Café Bar in Hope Cove to The Winking Prawn at North Sands in Salcombe.
To view the OS map for our Hope Cove to Salcombe walk, please click here.
1.The walk starts on the sea front at Hope Cove, from the edge of Mouthwell Sands in Inner Hope. From Inner Hope, take the coast path steps near the Lifeboat station which will lead up a steep hill towards Bolt Tail.
2. From Bolt Tail, enjoy fantastic views back down towards Hope Cove.
3. Continue along the coast path from Bolt Tail towards Bolberry Down.
4. Once you’ve reached Bolberry Down, stop for refreshments at Ocean Reach bar and restaurant or continue along the coast path for just over a mile until you reach Soar Mill Cove, a much-loved local beauty spot. The beach itself is right next to the path, making a quick rest at the water’s edge irresistible – you may even spot some wild ponies!
5. From Soar Mill Cove, cross the bridge at the top of the beach and follow signs towards Bolt Head and Salcombe.
6. Along this trail, you will be able to see some beautiful secluded coves when the tide is out. And keep an eye out for the wild ponies!
7. The coast path continues to follow the dramatic cliffs to Starehole Bay, where you will be spoilt with stunning sea views.
8. As you follow the path, the Salcombe Estuary will come into sight boasting views across the water towards Gara Rock on the other side.
9. Follow the path for around a mile until you reach the National Trust sign for Bolt Head. From here, you can glimpse the sandy beaches at East Portlemouth through the trees.
10. Eventually you will reach the road which leads downhill towards South Sands. Before continuing to the beach, we would recommend visiting the National Trust property Overbecks, home to a fascinating collection of art and artefacts that were once owned by the scientist and inventor, Otto Overbeck.
11. Stop at South Sands to enjoy the beach, or continue along the road to North Sands, where you can visit the fantastic Winking Prawn restaurant for a hot chocolate or an ice cream, located just a stone’s throw from the sand.
12. The final stretch of this walk is from North Sands beach to Salcombe town centre, which follows the road along the estuary for just under a mile (around 15 minutes’ walk). Once in Salcombe, explore the boutique shops, relax on the waterfront or indulge in a choice of fantastic restaurants and cafés.
If you’ve left your car at your starting place in Hope Cove, you can catch the bus from Salcombe to nearby Malborough, then on to Hope Cove – make sure to check the bus times!
Book a holiday cottage in Hope Cove, where you can tread the South West Coast Path until your heart’s content, from the comfort of your doorstep. At Coast & Country Cottages we boast a wealth of properties situated in Hope Cove, from luxury apartments to traditional cottages situated just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Keen to get out on foot when visiting Salcombe? Why not try more of our routes – we would recommend the circular walk from East Portlemouth to Gara Rock, or for those looking for a shorter stroll, popular routes include those around Snape’s Point and Bolberry Down.