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View of a kissing gate into the fields around Soar Mill Cove, near East Soar and Bolberry Down, Devon
Soar Mill Cove near East Soar and Bolberry Down | © National Trust Images/Eric McDonald

Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk

Discover a circular walk that takes in some of the most scenic coastline of South Devon. Find out more about the history of the area and enjoy far-reaching views out to sea and along the coast. Much of the area is listed as being of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its insects, bird and plant life. Don't forget to bring your binoculars to make the most of your visit.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

Bolberry Down car park, grid ref SX688385

Step 1

Walk along 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, you will soon pass a row of upright stones which are called orthostats; the first of several you’ll see along the route. To the west are views over Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island. This is where author Agatha Christie set two of her mysteries.

Step 2

Join the coast path above Fernyhole 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 paths forks. Follow the path around the cliff and back towards the car park.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

A close up of a small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire
Small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly at Bolberry Down, Devon | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Step 5

After taking a break at the cove, leave the beach to the east and cross the footbridge. Turn left up the slope.

Step 6

You will merge into a lane. Follow the lane past the Soar Mill Cove Hotel. 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 Southdown Farm.

Step 7

Cross two fields and turn right at the far hedge towards the farm. Go over a stile and onto a track. Go over a second stile and follow the path around the back of the barns. Go 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 where you started.

End point

Bolberry Down car park, grid ref SX688385

Trail map

Trail map for Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk, Devon
Trail map for Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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