Hope Cove to Bantham

This is a great walk from Hope Cove to Bantham and completes a long section of the South Devon coastal path for me, this pretty much means that I have completed everything from Slapton Sands to Plymouth, except the short town walk of Salcombe and a mile or two at Mothercombe, which I am pretty pleased with. As it turns out this will be my last walk before Christmas as I’m working right up to and including Christmas Eve (get the violins out!!). Hopefully though with being off for 10 days, it will mean I’ll get at least one walk in before year end and at least a couple before I go back to work. This coastal walk however is a cracker, the coastal path section is so good that I actually contemplated heading back in reverse along the same section. Now I’m not a fan of out and back walks but the setting on this walk was perfect. The seas were rough and crashing against the cliffs, rocks and beaches, the sun was shining in the main and the path was pretty level for a coastal walk. As it was, I headed inland and one heavy rain shower came which left me hiding in woodland and within 300metres of the car hail came, very, very heavy hail. It was hurting through my jacket hood so I hid against a large gatepost in Inner Hope until it stopped. However these interludes did not dampen what was a great walk and one that will come into consideration for my favourite outings of the year. All I can do is wish you all a Merry Christmas and hopefully you can make the holidays as good as it can be.

Start – Outer Hope Car park

Route – South West Coastal Path – South Milton Sands – Warren Point- Thurlstone Golf Course – Bantham – Buckland – Thurlstone – Horswell – South Huish – Galmpton – Inner Hope – Outer Hope

Distance – 8.5 miles    Start time – 9.40am    Time taken – 4hrs 20mins Highest Point – South Huish spot height 94 metres

Weather – Some sunshine, strong winds easing, heavy seas, the odd heavy shower and hail at the end

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF
Inner Hope cove and the sun just catches the top of the rocks and the headland of Bolt Tail across the bay
The tide was in and doing a fine job of crashing against the sea wall all whipped up by a strong southerly wind
Hope Cove
This is Outer Hope cove, about 100 metres from the last photo. The large bay beyond is Bigbury Bay, the headland across the bay is Stoke Point
Looking back down to Outer Hope as I gently climb out of the village. I’ve parked in Outer Hope in a large car park which is charged at tourist prices all year round
Bigbury Bay and a first look at Burgh Island (home of the famous Art Deco hotel of Agatha Christie fame)
Heading down towards South Milton Sands and the wildlife estuary behind the beach
South Milton Sands, that’s Thurlstone across the beach
Thurlstone Rock, its an arch rock but I’m not at the best angle here. Lucky the heavy shower out to sea hit Thurlstone and missed me
The wildlife estuary at South Milton Sands
This bridge crosses a river which passes through the village of South Milton and results in this large collection of reeds
Thurlstone Rock from the bridge
Now you can see the arch of Thurlstone Rock, this section of coastline is similar to that around Sidmouth, lots of red sandy beaches and coastal erosion. Bolt Tail is the point in the distance
Part of a rainbow which disappears in to the black cloud. Warren Point on the left
The beach at Warren Point. On my right here is Thurlstone Golf Course, another that I’ve played and has one of the best opening 6 holes of any course in England according to the recently departed Peter Alliss. The section he talks about is right by the beach and the cliffs, in fact if you look closely you will see a few people on the hill stood on the 2nd green, the 3rd hole is to the left of them here, which shows how close to the cliffs it gets
Looking into the sun back towards Hope Cove
The 3rd green, the coastal path loops around the back, its only a path width between the green and a wet ball
I had a coffee on this bench before carrying on watching the waves pound on the beach
Fantastic views
Burgh Island hotel is lit by the sun along with an upstanding rock in Butter Cove
Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island
Bantham beach is below and the point where the River Avon reaches the sea. If you are walking the whole path then you will need the ferry across the river
White clouds and white waves and a bright white art deco hotel
Parasailing on Bantham beach, they were flying across here in strong winds
Looking out from Bantham Beach, this was the end of the coastal path section and I had a sit and think about walking back in reverse which isn’t like me. It had been a real treat of a coastal section
I chose against it and headed inland, first past the point where you get the ferry across to the Bigbury side of the River Avon
It was half eleven and I was 30 minutes early for opening time. It looks a good place to eat if you are in the Bantham area
I wriggled along lanes, up and down and then hits some farm fields, the rest of this walk is across fields and the odd short lane section and then paths linking the lanes. All good walking and plenty of up and down
Out to sea looking past the edge of Thurlstone village. Again Bolt Tail is in sight back left
The village of South Milton as I head towards South Huish
Now I had my ipod on at this point and the sheep was watching me closely and then Roxette, The Look came on, you know the one with the line, “She’s got the look”. Seemed as though this sheep was obeying the tune!
Thurlstone and Bigbury Bay
A small section of Dartmoor in the distance, I worked out that it is the section around Western Beacon and Three Barrows
South Huish cross, a tree with baubles and in the hedge South Huish Cross!
One final gentle uphill section and then all down hill to the car
Hope Cove is down the beyond the church spire of Galmpton
I had a go at being weatherman today but for some reason they only work Monday to Friday in Galmpton and I forgot to say it was around 10 degrees
Galmpton Church
I walked the final few hundred metres down the hill from Galmpton and was just reaching Outer Cove when the hail starting pounding down, I hid behind a tall gatepost until it passed. The result was torrents of water and hail stones running down the hills. I decided to loop to Inner Cove first and then finish the walk along the front back to Outer Hope. This is a small chapel above Inner Hope Cove, the path down is to the left of the chapel. The final photo of Bolt Tail which is the point out there
Hope Cove and the tide is now out, another 2 hours before proper low tide but its a fine view to end the walk.
Well almost. These are my Scarpa’s which I’m hanging up. I’ve had them for 6 or 7 years now and they have carried me up around 150 Wainwrights, Snowdon, Tryfan and the Bristly Ridge to Glyder Fach. Plus hundreds of Dartmoor and coastal walks here in the South West. They have been my ever present companion and deserve their rest (I may still use them in the garden!!), as you can see there has been a fair bit of glue applied to both shoes, both sides to try and make them last, however even with that they leaked for this last 3 or 4 months. I have a new pair on the way for Christmas and if they do me half as well as these have, then I’ll be delighted.

6 thoughts on “Hope Cove to Bantham

  1. Merry Christmas, Steve. It’s been grand to see your pictures and read your words on my old stamping grounds, regards John B.

    Liked by 1 person

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