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Walk 3112 - printer friendly version

Soar Mill Cove & Bolt Head from Higher Soar Walk

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km

Ascent - 900 feet / 273 metres

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SX712375
Lat 50.223445 + Long -3.8069302
Postcode TQ7 3DR (approx. location only)

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.

Walk 3112 Route Map

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