Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk

Walking trail

History, mystery and nature combine to create a fantastic walk that takes in much of the most scenic coastline of South Devon. Beautiful and surprising in equal measure. This walk begins with a detour to the Iron Age cliff fort at Bolt Tail, but if you're after a shorter walk start at point 3.

There are stunning walks along the coast path around Salcombe, Soar Mill Cove and Hope Cove


Map route for Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk


Bolberry Down car park, grid ref SX688385


Leave your car in the clifftop parking area and follow the road (signposted Hope Cove) towards Oceans Reach. Go through the gate on the left and take the path along the field boundary. Follow the field edge, soon passing a row of upright stones; the first of several you'll see along the route. To the west are views over Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island, where Agatha Christie set two of her mysteries.

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Join the coast path above Ferryhole Point. For a 45-minute detour to the Iron Age cliff fort at Bolt Tail, turn right through the stone gateway, otherwise turn left to follow the path across Bolberry Down. Continue along the cliffs, taking the lower route where the path forks. Look for occasional bits of brick and concrete beneath your feet the debris of RAF Bolt Tail radar base, blown up after the war. Follow the path around the cliff and back towards the car park, crossing over a damp flush thronged with hemp agrimony, purple loosestrife and grey willow.

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At the car park, follow the coast path out onto West Cliff towards the ridge of Cathole Cliff, with the Warren beyond.

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Continue down the spine of Cathole Cliff. Near the end of Cathole Cliff, turn left at the waymarker and descend the zig-zag path to the valley bottom. Turn right and follow the path to Soar Mill Cove, passing an inscribed gatepost; a piece of shipwreck timber.

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After taking a break at the cove, leave the beach to the east, cross the footbridge, and turn left up the slope, keeping an eye out for sika deer in the fields.

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Emerging into a lane, follow it past the Soar Mill Cove Hotel. This low building has come a long way once a cinema in Devonport dockyard, it was transported here after the end of the Second World War to be added to the existing guest house, built in 1925. Continue up the lane into Lower Soar, and bear left along the road. At the second junction, climb the ladder stile on your left into the fields of South Down Farm.

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Cross two fields and turn right at the far hedge towards the farm. In winter, these stubbled fields are a feeding ground for migrating and resident birds. Go over a stile and onto a track, over a second stile and follow the path around the back of the barns, through a gate and onto another track. Take the path on the right along the field edge and eventually turn left into Jacob's Lane. Follow this ancient lane to reach the road, turn left and return to the car park.


Bolberry Down car park, grid ref SX688385

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Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk


Moderate climbs, uneven paths, muddy in winter. Access for all path at Bolberry Down suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk

Contact us

Telephone: 01752 346585



Oceans Reach Restuarant



Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk

How to get here

Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove, Devon
By train

Totnes, 16 miles (25km); Plymouth, 24 miles (38km)

By road

From either A381 or A379 towards Kingsbridge, then follow signs for B3197 and take that road south to Marlborough. At Marlborough crossroads take right and then second left to Bolberry Farm and Port Light Hotel.

By foot

South West Coast Path, Plymouth to Salcombe

By ferry

Daily ferry services from Salcombe, across estuary to East Portlemouth (all year) and to South Milton Sands (April to October); ferry service from Kingsbridge to Salcombe (May to September).

By bus

Totnes railway station and Plymouth city centre to Kingsbridge; Kingsbridge to Salcombe and Thurlestone; Torcross to Dartmouth, Kinsgbridge and Plymouth.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Route 2, Totnes to East Portlemouth, on the east side of the estuary. A 20 mile (32km) ride on quiet lanes. See Sustrans.

Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome
  • Oceans Restuarant 01548 562467