Outer Hope to Bolberry Down
Start & Finish: Outer Hope beach carpark.
East of Salcombe, this walk leads from the village of Outer Hope, around the beach at Hope Cove and on to the blustery headland of Bolt Tail. It’s great any time of the year, although dogs allowed more freedom on the beaches outside of summer, and the infamous ship-wrecking rocks along this coastline are dramatic during storms – though it can also get muddy when wet. In summer, walk amongst the fragrant honeysuckle, enjoy kestrel and peregrine sightings and look out for rare Dartford warblers and cirl buntings.
The walk starts at the beach car park at Outer Hope; from here hang a left and trace the lane past the Hope & Anchor Inn towards Hope Cove. The rock-infested waters of the bay have spelt disaster for hundreds of ships that met a premature end over the centuries here (including the HMS Ramillie, which went down in 1760 with the loss of 700 lives). There are plenty of stories about smugglers, too, who apparently used to drop brandy kegs over the cliffs here for fishermen to retrieve with their lobster pots. The walk essentially follows the South West Coast Path for its seaside section, with a few diversions, including one to the tip of Bolt Tail to visit a prehistoric promontory fort. Keep following the path through Bolberry Down, before finally taking a left away from the coast near to the old RAF dining area, The Port Light Inn, and heading back inland towards your starting-point.
Length: Roughly 5 miles/8 kilometres.