logo Walking Britain

Devon Walk
Soar Mill Cove & Bolt Head from Higher Soar

County/Area - Devon

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km    Ascent - 900 feet / 273 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL20Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL20Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 202Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 202Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Soar Mill Cove & Bolt Head from Higher Soar
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

This invigorating walk includes a spectacular section of the South West Coast Path together with some pleasant inland walking with wide ranging views over South Devon. The route includes some sections of path with steep drops to one side so care is necessary with children. One section around Sharp Tor might be difficult for sufferers from vertigo although railings are in place on the seaward side of the path.

The start is the spacious free car park (grid ref. SX712375) just south of Higher Soar village, which is reached by following lanes from the A381 at Malborough. After parking, walk north along the lane towards the houses. Take the first left signed to the Soar Mill Cove Hotel and start descend towards the sea. You pass the hotel on your left (refreshments in season) to join a signed footpath leading down ton the Cove. After rain sections of this path can be quite muddy.

You soon reach the South West Coast Path running along the cliff top. Turn left and with the sea on your right start to regain some of the height lost in the descent to the cove. The views immediately improve and you are able to appreciate the rocky cliffs and wide ranging seascapes. The path levels off about 400 feet above the sea crossing an area called the Warren. You pass the Goat a rocky outcrop with Bolt Head in view ahead.

Reaching a junction of paths (grid ref. SX723363), ignore the temptation to take the direct route to Salcombe, instead bear slightly right and follow the interesting path round Bolt Head. (Note that some maps lack detail on this junction and do not show all the paths.) The rewards are a grandstand view across the bay and a superb view towards Salcombe. The onward path is straightforward and eventually turns north to descend into Starehole Bottom. Like many coastal paths all height lost in descent needs regaining and the next section of path passing under Sharp Tor is protected by railings as the path is cut into the cliff.

Having rounded the cliff under Sharp Tor the path descends towards Salcombe passing through some lightly wooded land before reaching a tarmac lane (grid ref. SX729374). There is the option here of making a short diversion to South Sands where refreshments are available in season or into the centre of Salcombe. Should you do this then return to this point to continue the walk.

Turn left up the lane which climbs steeply and rounds a sharp bend to arrive at the entrance to the Overbeck's, a National Trust property with a museum and exotic gardens. Bear to the right of the entrance and take the signed path. A little more climbing brings you to a footpath junction (grid ref. SX728373). Turn left here and continue past the trig point above Fir Wood from where there are some superb views across Salcombe Harbour, the estuary and surrounding coast. The views stay with you as you continue to Sharp Tor which you passed beneath earlier in the walk.

Turning inland descend a little towards Starehole Bottom taking care not to miss the signed footpath on your right (grid ref. SX723368) that will take you across a field to east Soar farm. Here you join the access track for the farm which leads you back to the start.


Other walks nearby

Walk 1783 Dodman Point from Gorran Haveneasy/mod5.0 miles
Walk 2342 Gribbin Head & Polkerris from Polruanmoderate8.5 miles
Walk 1031 Polruan & Lanteglos Churcheasy/mod4.3 miles
Walk 1030 Fowey & Gribbin Head from Polkerrismoderate8.0 miles
Walk 1033 Caerhays, Dodman Point & Gorran Havenmod/hard11.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - Minehead to St Ives

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - Minehead to St IvesMap of the northern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from Minehead to St Ives along the north Devon and Cornish coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - Plymouth to Poole

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - Plymouth to PooleMap of part of the southern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from Plymouth to Poole along the coastline of Devon and Dorset. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

The End to End Trail

The End to End Trail
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Walking in Devon

The County of Devon offers a wide range of walking. With two lengthy sections of coastal path along the north and south coasts the variety of walking on offer is hard to match anywhere in the British Isles. Add to this the wild moors of the Dartmoor National Park with the highest land in southern England and you soon realise why Devon has such a high reputation among walkers. Elsewhere there are many pretty villages to explore as well as vast tracts of rural farmland with a patchwork of fields surrounded by hedgerows.

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Falmouth Lodge - Backpackers
Falmouth
19.8 miles / 31.7 km away
Holiday Park Guru
Cornwall
19.8 miles / 31.7 km away
Hawthorne Dene
Falmouth
20.2 miles / 32.3 km away
Silverbow Country Park
Goonhavern
23.5 miles / 37.6 km away
Fistral Cottage
Newquay
25.1 miles / 40.2 km away

Self Catering & Cottage Holidays - Properties throughout the UK & Europe

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news. Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.