Skip to content

Things to do at Bolberry Down

Distant view of walkers on an accessible path at Bolberry Down, Devon
Walkers at Bolberry Down | © National Trust Images/Eric Macdonald

Head out for a walk, explore a historical landscape and take in spectacular views of the surrounding coast and countryside along the wild stretch of coastline at Bolberry Down. Discover Soar Mill Cove where you can stroll along the sandy beach, clamber over the rocks and spot seasonal wildlife.

Head out for a walk

Trails for all abilities criss-cross this wild part of the south Devon coast. Walk to Overbeck's Garden, a subtropical clifftop garden overlooking Salcombe. Stop for tea on the way at the Walkers' Hut at East Soar, or carry on past Overbeck’s Garden into Salcombe.

In the other direction head for the picturesque village and old smugglers' haunt of Hope Cove or further afield to South Milton Sands and Bantham.

Pull on your walking boots, wrap up warm and choose from one of two walking routes below – or why not come back and complete them both?

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

Amble on the Down

Head to this level-access circular trail around the flat plateau, for an easy walk and spectacular ocean views.

Accessible walk: Part of the stunning coastline at Bolberry Down is accessible to all, thanks to an initiative by the National Trust and the South West Coast Path. This relatively flat section of the coast path provides the perfect place for a smooth level trail, with plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the view.

The route takes you from the Bolberry car park, which includes disabled parking bays, to the end of Bolberry Down. From here you can discover the beautiful views of Hope Cove, and on a clear day you can see as far as Lizard Point. 

The path is an existing part of the South West Coast Path, and in 2017 the full 1.2km route was resurfaced and slightly widened with funding from the SWCP and the Veronica Awdry Charitable Trust. It is now wide enough for buggies, wheelchairs and walking hand in hand.

Bolberry Down and Soar Mill Cove

Explore the history of this magnificent corner of Devon while enjoying spectacular views out to sea on a walk over Bolberry Down and down to Soar Mill Cove.

Explore a historical landscape

Discover a 2,500-year-old Iron Age fort on a walk to Bolt Tail. Watch the waves crash onto the rocks below and look out to sea where many shipwrecks remain submerged along this section of the coastline. Spot the radar stations which reveal the part Bolberry Down played in protecting Britain during the Second World War.

A view of the Iron Age fort with a blue sky behind at Bolt Tail, Devon
Iron Age fort at Bolt Tail | © National Trust Images / Eric Macdonald

Discover Soar Mill Cove

Soar Mill Cove is a small sandy cove that can only be reached on foot or by boat. The cove is home to an abundance of wildlife and offers a quiet spot to relax or explore.

It's best to visit at low tide, when there is plenty of beach to stroll along and rocks to scramble over. If you’re lucky, you might spot seals fishing close to the shore. Look amongst the gorse and scrub and you may find birds like cirl buntings, stone chats and Dartford warblers.

Getting to the cove: Head east from the car park and the cove is about a mile away. The route is steep in places, but you'll be rewarded with great sea views.

Top tips to enjoy your day at Bolberry Down

Bolberry Down is home to a variety of wildlife and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is vital that the surrounding wildlife and environment are disturbed as little as possible.

Please keep dogs on leads and keep to the footpaths to ensure minimal disturbance to the delicate grass species, butterflies and invertebrates on the Down.

You may also see cattle and sheep grazing which are vital in helping us manage and maintain the coastal grassland.

View across fields towards the sea at Bolt Tail, Bolberry Down, Devon.

Discover more at Bolberry Down

Find out how to get to Bolberry Down, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

Scenic trail run during the South West Outdoor Festival at Penrose, Cornwall

Parkrun at Bolberry Down 

Find out everything you need to know about joining a Parkrun at Bolberry Down, from what to wear, to route details, to where and when to meet.

A view of the Iron Age fort with a blue sky behind at Bolt Tail, Devon

History of Bolberry Down 

Learn about Bolberry Down's history, from an Iron Age fort and shipwrecks still submerged beneath the waves to radar stations from the Second World War.

Birds Of Europe - Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus) by John Gould, London 1837, from the Library at Blickling Hall

Our work: saving the cirl bunting 

Find out about the measures we have taken in partnership with local farmers and RSPB to help reverse the decline of the cirl bunting, which has recovered from the brink of extinction.

The front elevation of the castle at Sizergh, Cumbria

Castles and forts 

Immerse yourself in centuries past at one of the castles and forts in our care. Uncover the stories behind these historic buildings and learn about their previous residents.

A visitor lifts a child over her shoulders at the shoreline of the sunny, pebbly beach at Bucks Mill

Coast and beaches 

Discover the 780 miles of beautiful coastline in our care. Plan your next coastal adventure, whether you want to explore soft, sandy beaches or rugged, windswept cliffs.