Enjoy a 360 virtual tour of Hope Cove, once a favourite haunt for smugglers, now a picturesque hidden jewel of South Devon
Updated 18th September 2021
- Added Mouthwell Sands Viewpoint
Hope cove lies in a sheltered cove behind Bolt Tail and is a beautiful place to visit, one of those places that never seems to change. It consists of two sandy beaches, Inner and Outer Hope, one dog friendly the other not. Mouthwell Sands (Outer) is smaller but generally the most popular of the two, benefiting from a seasonal lifeguard service.
The larger Inner Hope is a wide sandy beach, especially at low tide and is perfect for rock pooling and sandcastle building. At high tide children like to jump off the harbour wall, but please don’t try this at any other time as the water is too shallow and could cause serious injury. Boats are kept on the Harbour Beach during the summer season, so expect to find trailers being pushed up and down the beach and sailing vessels moored up in the sheltered bay.
Should you want take a stroll, there is a nice circular walk to Bolt Tail which is a great spot to stretch the legs. The views from here of Hope Cove are second to none. From here you can walk the rugged coastline to Bolberry Downs, then you cut back to Bolberry village and up through the fields, returning toward Hope down to St. Clements Church and finally back to the beach via the Hope-by-pass road. You will find many viewpoints and picnic spots on this route.
The last time I came here in 2019 was with my girlfriend at the time, sadly we’re no longer together, nor even speaking as we both need some time to heal. Circumstance and jobs came between us, nothing either of us could do or did wrong, I think anyway. Though we certainly could have handled the situation way, way better had we communicated better, listened to each others feelings and compromised. We would probably have been talking again long ago had we done so. The decision to just suddenly stop talking was like hitting a brick wall at million mph after 14 months speaking everyday. I asked how long we should leave it and I asked one thing to not forget my Birthday, I never heard from you again. I even asked friends whether they had heard anything, but even they hadn’t heard from you. To this day I don’t really truly know why or what was going through your mind or even happened as you’ve never explained what you were thinking. I think we’ve inadvertently hurt each other but didn’t mean to, I didn’t anyway.
Talk people, don’t agree to stop talking because you need to talk things through to remain friends or at least stay amicable. It’s so difficult to start talking again once you’ve stopped, even if you want to and I have wanted to, but you naturally think the other doesn’t want to or even care to. I won’t go into details, perhaps that’s a story for another post one day maybe, but I will say this… If by slim chance Em reads this, It’s now October 2021 so around 2 years now and I finally feel ready to reach out. I wasn’t particularly well after things went south for a while and since then I’ve been unable to make contact as I wasn’t over you enough to just be friends. It was friends that took my phone and unfriended us on FB, to make our lives easier. Getting over you has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, which is a compliment to you if you think about it. The way things happened it was always going to take years rather than months to recover enough, for me anyway. I’ve never spoke a bad word about you, nor let anyone speak bad of you in my presence. I actually encouraged friends to keep in contact with you. The last conversation we had was that in time we’d like to be friends, but when we felt ready to do so. This still remains the same for me and I’m not sure why it would be any different for you, even if either of us have managed to move on having found someone new. However, sadly I have found I can no longer contact you as you’ve seemingly chosen to block me from every means of contact. Finding this hurt more than I thought, so perhaps I actually still need more time after all. Will I ever get fully over it, maybe not 100%.
I have no animosity, never have. Just many fond memories and I hope that one day enough time will have passed and hearts healed enough to wipe the slate clean, draw a line in the sand and rebuild a friendship. After all, it would be really sad to completely forget and eradicate our amazing, albeit forcibly shortened time together from our memories. It’s that time that has helped make us who we are today. I still hope that one day we can meet face to face again as this will be the only way either of us will be able to forgive one another, this can’t be done over messages, that’s what made things so hard in the first place. Until we can face each other morally and consciously there will never truly be any closure to what happened, which will leave a bitter taste for the rest of our lives. I would like to make things right, when or if ever you do…. We certainly won’t know unless we try.
Hope Cove is a small seaside village in the District of South Hams on the south coast of Devon, UK. It is located 5 miles west of Salcombe and 5 miles south west of Kingsbridge. It has two beaches, sheltered by the headland of Bolt Tail in the arc of Bigbury Bay and lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- The Cove Cafe Bar was named the UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar (rural) in 2018.
- The village featured in the British comedy film The Supergrass in late 1984. Directed by Peter Richardson and starring Adrian Edmondson, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and others from the 1980s alternative comedy group ‘The Comic Strip’, this was their first feature-length film and was released in the UK in November 1985.
- Strong undercurrents
- Tidal cut-off
- Large breaking waves
- Beware of falling rocks
- Beware of submerged objects
- Beware of motorised craft
- Do Not use inflatables when windy
- The Royal National Lifeboat Institution established a lifeboat station at Hope Cove in 1878. The station was closed in April 1930 until 1992 when the service was re-established under the management of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) as part of the Cliff Rescue Team (CRT), the MCA withdrew support and funding for the boat in 2010.
- During the war Hope Cove was home to numerous RAF men and women who operated the Radar and Radio Stations in the area. Many aircrews were boarded at The Cottage Hotel prior to flying dangerous missions throughout Europe.
- Inner Hope fell within the parish of Malborough until the 1970s, when it was united with its neighbour on the other side of a small headland. Both parts of the village originally developed as centres for the local fishing industry. Hope also developed a reputation for smuggling and for plundering wrecked ships.
- Hope Cope has the dubious honour of being the only place in England where Spaniards made landfall during the reign of Elizabeth the first. Many buildings in the area still bare the hallmarks of this visit, as numerous homes are built with old beams salvaged from the the wreckage of St Peter the Great, a Spanish Galleon that foundered on the Shippen Rock in 1588.
From Hotels, B&B’s, Guesthouses and AirBnB.
- Airbnb, more than likely be up the road in Galmpton or South Huish expect to pay from £100.
- Camping, nearby there are a few, Karrageen, Bolberry house or cool cow camping.
- Hostel, No hostels in the area.
- Hotel, Holiday Cottages or Guesthouses starting from £55 night.
Get up to £50 off your first Airbnb trip of £40 or more click here.
- The Cove
- Hope & Anchor
- Lobster Pod Bistro
- Hope Cove Weekend (last weekend of August)
Walking the beaches is easy as it’s mostly all on the level with slopes down to the beaches. Walking to Bolt Tail is also easy, there are one or two steps and a small hill to climb, but nothing strenuous. The circular walk is moderate, but again nothing strenuous.
- Access to both beaches is via slipways at Hope Cove and a sloping path at Mouthwell beach.
- Disabled access around the beach is usually very good.
S W Coast Path, Kingsbridge TQ7 3HJ takes you to the largest car park adjacent to the beach in Outer Hope
- Bus, 164 from Kingsbridge to Burleigh Lane End then change to the 162 to Inner Hope.
- Car, Hope Cove is approximately 23 miles from Plymouth. Take the A379 from Plymouth into south Devon. About a mile after Aveton Gifford, at the Bantham Cross roundabout go straight across onto the B3197 (signposted to Salcombe). Alternatively approaching from the Totnes direction, take the A381 and A379 until you reach the Bantham Cross roundabout (shortly after Churchstow) and turn onto the B3197. Follow the B3197 road until it meets the A381 and turn right onto the A381. After several miles turn right onto a road signposted to Galmpton and Hope Cove. Drive through Galmpton and then down to Hope Cove. There is a car park just above Mouthwell beach and also a small car park to the south of Inner Hope.
- Walking, walk the coastal path with the stunning views on a sunny day. (Don’t forget the sunscreen). It’s a short walk from South Milton Sands or Soar Mill Cove.
Tip: You may be lucky and find some free on road parking between Hope-by-Pass and Channel View Drive, but should you choose this, please do so with respect to the residents and other road users.
- Dogs are allowed on the larger Inner Hope beach all year, but must be kept on leads.
- Dog ban on Outer Hope, Mouthwell Beach (May to Sept).
- Lifeguards are present during May to September, 10:00 – 18:00.
- There is a car park just above Mouthwell beach and also a small car park to the south of Inner Hope.
- You may be lucky and find some free on road parking between Hope-by-Pass and Channel View Drive, but should you choose this, please do so with respect to the residents and other road users.
- Beware of strong undercurrents.
- Be aware of the seagulls if your outside with food.
- Beach Type: Sand & rock
- Get £25 off your first Airbnb trip of £55 or more click here.
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