A New Hope…Cove – 02/04/2021

After a few months off, Emily and I were keen to use our recent (government approved) freedom to get back on the coastal path this Easter weekend. Taking our car on its first longer drive (longer being further than Sainsbury’s!) we headed out early to Hope Cove, planning to arrive before the beach-goers. 

The early start paid off with Hope Cove all to ourselves

After winding through the country lanes we arrived at a car park that was empty other than a few surfers who were dedicated to the early start like us. Walking to the beach I was happy to have the place almost to ourselves. It’s pure bliss when you are in these beauty spots without other people. Soaking in the views we decided to set off on our hike, heading west across the coastline to Bantham; the last spot we reached on our coastal path hikes many months ago.

Over 70 miles of the path walked now!

Winding past sheltered coves, up and down undulating cliff faces, and crossing the the beautiful South Milton Sands we made good progress on the difficult terrain. Feeling fitter than ever before, we reached Thurlestone and powered on to Bantham in what felt like no time at all.

Thurlestone rocks are epic – I would love to kayak there

After walking around “the Ham” and soaking in the views of Burgh Island we started our loop back, choosing to take the winding country roads and farmland before re-joining the coast path. Not quite a circular route, more of a saucepan! We waved to golfers and even managed to grab a small bite to eat at a beachside pop-up, in what felt like a very normal morning out hiking and doing our favourite thing.

Picturesque detours through country villages

Reaching the car just over 3 hours after we left, we set-off out of Hope Cove and headed along the coast to Bigbury-on-Sea to meet friends Jamie and Leigh. Because nothing says bank holiday like a beach bask in the sun. Although it was a little too chilly for a beach day, we did manage a couple of hours enjoying the sunshine and our new freedoms. Leigh and I even managed the briefest of swims, my first of 2021 down, and I can’t wait for the next one. Fingers crossed it will be a few degrees warmer though!

A very cold sea!

After a white hot chocolate from Burgh Island for the road, we headed back to Plympton via a stop at Ben’s Farm shop. We returned a little sun kissed, a bit windswept but a lot more relaxed than when we left. The South West Coast Path really is a dream and these long sunny bank holidays make it all the more perfect. Par to Hope Cove; 73.5 miles hiked… 556.5 to go!

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Beautiful reed bed habitat at South Milton Sands