Walk the South West Coast Path
From high to low, there’s plenty to explore. Not only are we situated along the stunning South West Coast Path, we’re also located near some of South Devon’s most scenic coastal and woodland walks. Talk to our friendly reception team about the best local walks, South West Coast Path tips and dog-friendly routes. Our Reception Team are on hand to help and can offer maps, leaflets and local knowledge on the best walks to complement your visit.
South Sands - Salcombe
This gentle walk into Salcombe is our most popular walk and takes approximately 25/30 minutes. The route is mostly level walking with one short sharp hill.
Leaving South Sands, you pass North Sands (dog friendly all year), which is also a gentle surfing beach when conditions allow, then Fort Charles, destroyed after a siege during the English Civil war.
After stopping at the War Memorial for great views up and down the harbour, you are soon in the heart of Salcombe. In addition to exploring the town, you can catch the passenger ferry from ‘Ferry Steps’ (from Whitestrand in winter) across to East Portlemouth or catch the South Sands Ferry from ‘Whitestrand’ (in the very heart of the town) back to South Sands.
Our Reception Team can provide information on things to do in Salcombe.
Perched high on the cliff above South Sands with spectacular coastline views, Overbecks is a hidden paradise of sub-tropical gardens containing rare and exotic plants from around the world.
In Spring, enjoy Magnolia campbelli ‘Overbecks’. In early Summer, Japanese Wisteria through to enjoying Dierama (Angels Fishing Rods) in high Summer.
In Autumn, the Banana Garden is full of sub-tropical foliage. Overbecks is closed briefly during the Winter months. Enjoy the garden, museum (including ‘The polyphon’), tea room and shop. Open 11am to 5pm, February to October.
Our Reception Team have leaflets and information on Overbecks.
South Sands – Bolt Head
A short distance from the hotel, spectacular marine vistas unfold, both towards the harbour and out along the coast towards Prawle Point. From the soft blues of Summer to the wild landscapes of Winter, this short stretch of coastline continues to wow visitors from all over the world.
The walk to Bolt Head offers stunning views of coast and country. It is mainly easy walking with a couple of moderately difficult parts, including steep ascents/descents and uneven surfaces.
Starting and finishing at South Sands, the Reception Team can assist with information on the different circular routes around this spectacular headland. Some routes pass a former wartime airfield, RAF Bolt Head.
Highlights: the stunning views from Sharp Tor towards the harbour (from above the harbour mouth).
South Sands – Hope Cove
Walking beyond Bolt Head, many of our guests walk to the ever popular, picturesque former fishing village of Hope Cove. There is a great variety of landscapes on this walk, with dramatic cliffs, Soar Mill Cove, distant views across to Cornwall, coastal farmland and a prehistoric promontory fort on Bolt Tail, before dropping down into Hope Cove. This walk is about 10k /6 miles one way.
Hope Cove, with its family-friendly beaches, post office and shop, and pubs is popular with visitors and residents. In Hope Cove, visit Hope Cove Gallery, St Clement’s Church (a small clifftop chapel), enjoy an ice cream on the beach or lunch in ‘The Cove’.
Walk back along the coast, take a shortcut inland or walk up to the village of Malborough (on the bus routes). Approximately halfway along the cliff, Oceans Restaurant & Bar at Bolberry makes a popular stop.
Past Hope Cove, you have many more beach and walk options, including Thurlestone – Bantham.
South Sands – East Soar
Start from South Sands or park at the National Trust car park at East Soar (SX713375). A range of routes are available, including walking down to Soar Mill Cove, back to South Sands via Overbecks (National Trust) or around the coast path, taking in Bolt Head and Starehole Bay.
The clifftop walks offer fine views of the dramatic cliff scenery. Birdwatching is popular at different seasons, with many migrant birds making landfall along this stretch of coastline. Enjoy the butterflies, flora, glimpses of marine life and the passage of sea birds along the coastline.
A popular stop (on some routes) is at NT Overbecks for tea and to explore the gardens. In season, there is also a quirky ‘walker’s hut’ at East Soar Activity Centre.
East Portlemouth – Gara Rock
A passenger ferry runs from Salcombe, across the harbour to East Portlemouth all year (but times vary according to season). From the ferry, you have access to the beautiful beaches along the eastern side of the estuary, including Smalls Cove, Millbay and Sunny Cove. From Millbay, various routes take you around to Gara Rock – a conveniently placed refreshment stop and viewpoint.
The walk from Millbay to Gara Rock and back is a staff and guest favourite. It makes a natural circular walk taking in some stunning views and a range of seascapes. In season, refreshments are available at Gara Rock before the return journey, either back along the coast path or inland, down to Millbay.
Our Reception Team will be able to explain the routes and offer maps – it’s a favourite!
East Portlemouth – Torcross
For the more adventurous, the South West Coast Path continues beyond Gara Rock to Prawle Point (Devon’s most southerly point), then on to Lannacombe Bay and the lighthouse at Start Point. In Start Bay, you pass the ruined fishing village of Hallsands, then the village of Beesands, before arriving at Torcross.
This stretch of coastline is the most dramatic, with a wide range of viewing points along the walk. This is a long but rewarding walk. The village of Torcross is on the bus route back to Kingsbridge and then Salcombe.
Our Reception Team will be able to explain the routes and offer maps and information.
Bantham - Thurlestone
Driving to Bantham, one of the Westcountry’s finest surfing beaches, circular walks are available across the village of Thurlestone and back to Bantham. Although exposed to Winter storms, this stretch of coastline is gentler and less rugged, with easier walking.
Bantham was a trading centre in pre-history, with Dartmoor tin traded for Mediterranean goods. In all its different seasons and moods, Bantham and the Avon Estuary have something to offer. From the wilds of winter kite surfing in storm-driven waters to surfing, SUPing and summer sunset beach walks.
For more information, please speak to our Reception Team.