and the estuary from Sharp Tor

Salcombe to Bolt Head

Passing through an enchanted landscape of rocky spires and jumbled pinnacles, with inspiring views in all directions, this is a coastal walk guaranteed to lift the spirits.


Start South Sands, Salcombe
Distance 2.75 miles (3.25 miles extended route)
Circular Walk? Yes
Grade Moderate

Coastal footpath, uneven and rocky in places; surfaced road; field footpath.

Obstacles and steep gradients

2 flights of steps; 1 steep ascent (+1 on extended route).


This route is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Public transport

Bus services to Salcombe: 606 from Kingsbridge; 93 from Plymouth and Kingsbridge. From bus stop follow pedestrian signs to town centre and Whitestrand Pontoon. For information on public transport in South Hams please call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit

Refreshment stops

Several pubs, cafes, and restaurants in Salcombe. Tides Reach Hotel, South Sands serves refreshments and cream teas.


Public toilets at South Sands, also at Whitestrand, Salcombe.


Shadycombe car park, Salcombe for ferry to South Sands from Whitestrand Pontoon. Pay and display. Tides Reach car park, south Sands; cost in 2006 was £5.25/£4.20 all/half day.


Please contact Salcombe Information Centre on 01548 843927 or visit

Other facilities

Post Office and variety of shops in Salcombe. Salcombe Tourist Information Centre in Council Hall, Market St. Public payphone at South Sands and at Whitestrand, Salcombe.

OS map Explorer OL20
Grid reference SX728377


1. The ferry for South Sands leaves from Whitestrand Pontoon in the centre of Salcombe.  To get there from the car park and bus stop at Shadycombe, follow pedestrian signs into the town centre, turn left along Fore Street, and left again after 100m to the waterfront at Whitestrand.

2. From South Sands as you disembark from the ferry turn left, or from the Tides Reach car park turn right, along the road which curves uphill.

3. Continue straight on past the National Trust hut.  Follow sign for YHA and Overbecks along winding drive uphill.

4. Right in front of gates to Overbecks, turn right up footpath past sign for Tor Woods, Sharp Tor and Bolt Head.

5. At the next fingerpost turn left up steps signed for Sharp Tor, Starehole and Bolt Head.
6. Continue along footpath past Sharp Tor - marked by compass on plinth.  Go straight on at next fingerpost signed for Starehole and Bolt Head to drop down into valley.

7. Cross the stream at the bottom.  Turn left here down the valley and left again onto the coast path.

8. Alternatively, for an extended walk taking in Bolt Head itself, go straight on after crossing the stream up the steep path opposite and along the wall.

9. At the fingerpost take 2nd path left signed 'Coast Path Salcombe 2 3/4m'.  This path drops along flank of ridge.

10. Bear round to the left at the tip of the ridge to follow the coast path.  You rejoin the shorter route at the bottom of the next dip at Starehole Bay.

11. Now simply follow the coast path back into the estuary mouth and through the woods.  Bear right where you meet the road to return to South Sands.



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