Bolt Head to South Sands Walk
Bolt Head to South Sands Walk

Bolt Head to South Sands Walk

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Bolt Head to South Sands Walk

Bolt Head to South Sands Walk

Distance: 5.4mi
Elevation: 1,010ft
Time: 2.5-3.5h

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The walk from Bolt Head to South Sands is a breathtaking experience that offers stunning views of the Devon Coast. Traversing the rugged terrain to the southwest of Salcombe, you will enjoy an amazing sightline across the English Channel that is all the more scenic if you are able to experience it on a clear day. While some of the terrain is a bit rugged, this trail is more than manageable for families with children, making it a perfect option for a fun weekend adventure.

Bolt Head to South Sands Walk Map

Getting there

To reach the trailhead for the Bolt Head to South Sands Walk from Marlborough, drive west on Lower Town for 0.8mi and continue onto Soar Road. Follow this for 0.6mi and make a slight left, continuing on for 0.3mi to arrive at the starting point of the walk.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites

Higher Rew Campsite, Southern Mill

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type


Bolt Head to South Sands Walk
Elevation Graph

Bolt Head to South Sands Walk Description

The Bolt Head to South Sands Walk is a fairly laid back adventure along the coast of Devon; however, there are a few sections of uphill/downhill walking that might not be suitable for less-mobile walkers. Additionally, some of the terrain – particularly along the coast – can be a bit rugged. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes for the best footing along the trail. This walk can also become very busy during the summer months, so try to arrive early to secure parking. If there are no spaces available right at the trailhead, you can try the East Soar car park located a bit further south.

Although this route can be a bit busy at times, it is for good reason, as the breathtaking scenery looking out onto the English Channel is something that everyone should experience. While out walking this trail, you will cut across swathes of open farmland to reach the water’s edge, at which point, you can simply stroll along the coast and take in the gorgeous views. What a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon on the trails!

Setting out from the parking area, head to the southwest along the road for 0.3mi to pass by a cluster of holiday cottages and pick up the footpath on your left. Follow the trail south for 0.6mi, as you work your way across the open terrain to reach the coast. From here, turn left to traverse the heights above the water’s edge, taking in the stunning views across the English Channel. Keep right for the next 1.5mi to arrive at a scenic lookout known as Bolt Head.

After taking in the views across the channel, keep right along the trail to descend the hillside along the serene and rocky landscape of Starehole Bay. Keep straight along the path for the next 1.0mi, as it meanders along the coast and offers several chances for breathtaking views over the water. After passing through a peaceful stretch of forest, you will meet up with a road that will take you to South Sands beach. Follow the road for 0.3mi and turn right to pass by the beach, stopping in at Bo’s Beach Cafe for some refreshments along the way. There are also toilet facilities directly across from the cafe if you require them.

From the cafe, continue north along the road for 220ft, where you will find a footpath on the left. Take this and follow it for 0.2mi to meet up with another road. Turn right here and continue along the road for 0.9mi, passing through the village of Coombe and making your way past the campsite to pick up the trail on the left. Follow this uphill to the southwest to arrive back at the starting point for the Bolt Head to South Sands Walk.

Insider Hints

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes for this adventure.

  • Limited parking is available right at the trailhead; however, the East Soar car park next to the airfield is a great second option.

  • Make sure to keep your dog on a lead, as this route can become fairly busy.



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