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Hope Cove circular walk
View to Hope Cove
Looking back to Hope Cove from the coast path on the way to Bolt Tail
This is a six mile walk taking in a stretch of the South West Coast Path northwards from Hope Cove, and back again via the South Hams countryside.

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The South Devon coastline just up from the little resort of Outer Hope is dramatic - and, at the right time of year, it's full of wildlife.

This walk was done in August, when there was plenty of birdlife to see, as well as Devon hedgerows awash with summer fruit.

Park up at the car park in Outer Hope (there is a daily charge), and head to the South West Coast Path signposted to Salcombe.

Looking out at the sea views
Taking in the sea views at Bolt Tail
After Outer Hope, you'll reach Inner Hope, where there were lots of little boats and visitors making the most of a rare dry August 2004 day!

You then walk up past the old lifeboat station, leaving the village behind you.

All along this bit of coast path, there are great views back down to Inner and Outer Hope and the coastline further south.

The coast path here is in good condition and is suitable for people who are reasonably fit. But it's best not to get too close to the cliff's edge, because there are clear signs of erosion.

View up to Bolt Head
The view up the coast to Bolt Head
You can still get a good view of the little coves below.

At Bolt Tail, you can stop and take in the stunning sea views and up the coast, there is more spectacular scenery to enjoy.

This walk doesn't go as far as Bolt Head. Instead, turn off the coast path at Bolberry Down and head off down a little hedge-lined lane to the right of the Port Light Inn.

On the day of this walk, the hedges were packed with blackberries and other summer fruit.

Turn left at the junction at the bottom of the lane, and carry on until you reach a footpath signed 'Sweethearts Lane.'

Countryside and Galmpton Church
The countryside, with Galmpton Church on the right
This was a bit overgrown in August, but it was still negotiable (if you don't mind a few stinging nettles!).

Head to Galmpton, which is signed, and walk through Galmpton churchyard.

There's a gate in the top right hand corner which leads to a track and then a lane.

Keep going downhill and turn left at the junction towards Thurlestone.

Here, you'll meet up again with the coast path, which takes you back up the coast to the starting point at Hope Cove.

The top of the cliffs are being eroded along this stretch, which is home to an array of seabirds
Just before reaching Outer Hope, there's a little cove which in August was full of oystercatchers, an amber-listed sea bird which visits this part of the country during the summer.

The village has a pub and a restaurant, where you can end the walk with a drink and a bite to eat.

There are some inclines on this six mile walk, and there are also some stiles to climb over, so this walk is not suitable for people with disabilities.

It takes around two and a half hours, including stops to enjoy the views.

Article published September 2004

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