Hope Cove – DevonI can’t remember exactly when I first discovered Hope Cove, but I suspect I was about 20 at the time. Part of its appeal is that it’s tucked away at the end of a loop of road that you wouldn’t travel down unless you were heading there. The first time I visited, I don’t remember being particularly captivated by it. I was visiting a good number of towns, villages and hamlets in the South Hams including Bantham Beach, Thurlestone, Slapton Sands, Start Point, Blackpool Sands and Beesands. Hope Cove was one of many lovely spots. It was a love of the South Hams generally that led us to Hope Cove after many years holidaying in Devon and Cornwall. We’ve stayed in places such as Ottery-St-Mary, Flushing, Kingston, Paignton, Strete and Devoran.
Coast WalksOne of our favourite activities when we’re in Hope Cove is taking a coast walk. Turning East and heading towards The Tail, past Soar and Bolberry Head, arriving into Salcombe. This provides a great walk, up towering cliffs, and down steep gulleys. Salcombe appeals to many, but not me. It’s rammed full of self-important Jack Wills’ wearing Londoners. That said, it does provide a great selection of shops, cashpoints, food outlets and access to a taxi back to Hope Cove! A longer walk further East from here has seen us starting at Start Point, passing Prawle and Prawle Point and along to the coast path to the Coastguard lookout station at Prawle. Beyond Prawle and towards Salcombe the views are simply stunning. When we walked the path most recently we found the wreck of the Demetrios, which is a bit of scramble down. It’s really weird to find a huge rusting part of the ship about 30 ft about sea level! As a there-and-back walk, it’s worth packing decent provisions!
Bantham Beach walkHeading West from Hope Cove takes in a different set of views, passing as it does South Milton Sands, and on to Thurlestone. On this section you really see the impact that the sea is having on the coast, with significant erosion and cliff instability. In places this has forced the coast path several hundred metres inland, and washed away local roads at Thurlestone. The cafe at South Milton sands is good, if busy and blinking expensive. The path takes you adjacent to Thurlestone golf course, so beware of wayward golf balls! Arriving at Bantham Beach, which looks across to Bigbury, there is the ever welcome Bantham Burger Bus. When it’s open it serves wonderful coffee, burgers, pastries, cream teas and brownies. It’s a fab place to work replenish the calories burned on the walk! You’ll need napkins to mop the grease off your chin. *nom* The beach at Bantham is flat, going out for some way towards Bigbury and Burgh Island with its famous sea tractor and Burgh Island Hotel. At certain times of the year there’s a ferry crossing from Bantham to Bigbury. Returning back to Hope Cove normally finds us in The Cove for hot chocolate and dog treats in front of the open fire. It’s small and busy, but we prefer it to the Hope & Anchor. The Hope & Anchor does reasonable food, and copes with the immense numbers of people remarkably well, but it lacks personality in our view.
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