outer hope to torcross

south west coast path

11th may 2014

Today's weather forecast looks to be pretty good with maybe the odd shower but mostly sun all day and it looks like the wind has died down a bit.

Dartmouth high tide 16:42

Dartmouth low tide 09:59

The beginning of the day sees me back in Outer Hope next to the Hope and Anchor Inn, where I follow the road and a path through the village to reach Inner Hope. I climb some steps out of Inner Hope and follow a woodland path out on to the open slopes leading to Bolt Tail where I enjoy the views across Hope Cove.

outer hope

inner hope

view across hope cove

I walk around the headland and then climb Bolberry Down at 395 feet. The path continues before dropping steeply from Cathole Cliff into a valley where a footbridge crosses Soar Mill Cove.

soar mill cove

I walk along The Warren where I enjoy the views back to Bolt Tail. Last time I was here it was covered in thick fog and I could barely see anything but today the weather is sunny so I reach Bolt Head without any mishaps. I pause to admire the views here before continuing along the path.

looking back to bolt tail

bolt head

I cross a stream using a stone slab to reach Starehole Bay and climb a steep slope followed by some stone steps to reach Sharp Tor with some fine views towards Salcombe.

The path continues through woods before reaching a dirt road. It's a lovely walk here and there are wildflowers everywhere.

A proper road continues to the beach at South Sands. I continue on the road, first rising uphill and then down to North Sands Beach, where I pass some red hot pokers, before rising up and down again to reach Salcombe.

south sands

north sands

red hot pokers

I walk around to the Ferry Inn (@TFISalcombe) and climb down to the jetty where I catch the ferry over from Salcombe to East Portlemouth and come ashore at the Venus Cafe. I turn right and follow a minor road to reach Mill Bay, where I enjoy find views back across to Salcombe.

ferry inn


mill bay

I walk on towards Gara Rock. There are bluebells everywhere! 


I cross a footbridge by a crumbling ruin and the path eventually leads to Gammon Head, given to the National Trust by the Rose family on the 5th of January 1965. The path zig zags to reach Prawle Point National Coastwatch Station but is poorly signposted so I get lost. Eventually I find my way to the car park at East Prawle.

The path passes in front of Maelcombe House before reaching Lannacombe Beach. I avoid falling down the crumbling cliff at The Narrows where I find my one and only orchid of the day. I'm clearly not looking out for them properly!

lannacombe beach


I head round Start Point and pass the Start Point Lighthouse.

start point

I follow the path down a steep slope to reach Hallsands. I last walked through here in April 2012 and, shortly afterwards, in May 2012, an access road, viewing platform and two houses were affected by a 200 tonne landslide. I wander down to the viewing platform to assess the damage.

view from hallsands viewing platform

The path continues to Greenstraight Beach and then on to Tinsey Head before dropping down to Beesands. I walk along the road at Beesands to reach the Cricket Inn (@TheCricketInn), birthplace of the Rolling Stones, where I stop for a pint of Otter Brewery's (@otterbreweryOtter Bitter and then continue on my way past St Andrew's Church.

cricket inn

I inspect the storm damaged beach at Beesands before heading off towards Torcross.

storm damaged beesands

A short walk takes me to Torcross where I climb down steps, admiring the view across Slapton Sands, to reach the promenade and the end of my walk. I walk past the Start Bay Inn (@StartBayInn) and the Sherman tank, honouring the memory of servicemen, and head in to the car park where my lift awaits.


start bay inn

Torcross and Slapton Sands also took a battering in this winter's storms, although most of the damage has been cleared now

In 1943, Torcross and the surrounding area was evacuated so that Slapton Sands could be used as a training area in preparation for the D-Day landings. This video tells the story of the evacuation all those years ago in the words of seven local residents who were children at the time.


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • skylarks
  • woodpeckers
  • bluebells
  • wild garlic
  • red campion
  • red hot pokers
  • little egret
  • one orchid
  • navelwort
  • dead nettles


The podcast of today's walk is now available.  You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.


Phew! What a trek!! According to my phone I've walked 26.2 miles today which amounts to 46914 steps. Although it has been a blustery day (nothing like yesterday though) the weather has been fantastic, the rain stayed away and the walking has been great. 9 out of 10.

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bolt tail