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Culture, Festivals and History

Hope Cove has a friendly, creative community. The old fishing village now offers a relaxed form of tourism that encourages visitors to embrace its maritime history, appreciate nature and simply spend time in the great outdoors.

Art Galleries in Hope Cove

Although Hope Cove isn’t home to many shops (if you are after a day’s shopping, you are better off visiting the neighbouring towns of Kingsbridge or Salcombe), it boasts a brilliant little art gallery, demonstrating how it is a community that supports local and wants its visitors to do the same.

Hope Cove Gallery

The Hope Cove Gallery is owned by local artist Allie Fredericks and provides a beautiful space for people to both create and sell their work. The gallery can be found in Outer Hope and exhibits over 40 local artists from across South Devon. 
The Finest Stays team highly recommends that you visit the Hope Cove Gallery at least once during your visit and take a little piece of the South Hams back home with you, whether that is in the form of an original painting, pottery, glassware, or jewellery. In 2018, Hope Cove won the Muddly Stilletto award for the best Devon gallery. Although it is open all year round, please note that the gallery is closed on Fridays and opening hours may shorten in the winter months.

Hope Cove Weekend Festival

The Hope Cove Weekend festival has taken place annually since 1973 over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The festival is a jamboree of live music, children’s games and races, street entertainment, treasure hunt, sandcastle competitions and water-based activities. There are also plenty of stalls offering a range of local produce. To top it all there’s a firework display on Saturday evening. 

If you are lucky enough to be staying in the village during the Hope Cove Weekend, you will be treated to some of the best entertainment in South Devon. With plenty to do for kids and adults alike, the whole family will be kept busy. Best of all, the festival is free!

National Trust near Hope Cove

When staying in Hope Cove, you will be lucky enough to have some of the best National Trust properties and outdoor areas in South Devon on your doorstep. From protected beaches to gardens with a view, there is plenty to see and explore. Make sure you keep an eye out for the various events put on by the National Trust throughout the year.

South Milton Sands

South Milton Sands is one of the most popular beaches in the South Hams, and it is easy to understand why. Its long, golden stretch of sand and rocks makes it the perfect place for families to visit. 

For lovers of water sports and all things active, this beach offers a wide sheltered bay that is perfect for paddleboarding, windsurfing, or canoeing. Safely swim in the calm waters with your family and friends. There are also plenty of pools on either side of the bay that your children can rockpool in and explore. 

For most people, one of the joys of visiting a National Trust place is being able to call at the cafe or beach hut for a refreshing drink and a well-deserved bite to eat. Whether that is for a hot chocolate or cold lemonade, it offers the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring. The Beachhouse cafe at South Milton Sands offers breakfast, lunch and dinner to beach visitors and specialises in local, freshly caught fish and seafood for those wanting more than just a snack!

Bolberry Down

Bolberry Down is a wild stretch of coastline with paths that are well-tended by the National Trust. From Bolberry Down car park, there are fantastic coastal walks in both directions – either towards East Soar Mill Cove or to Hope Cove. National Trust members get parking free (which is always an added bonus) but if you are not a member you can pay-and-display for just £3 for the day. 

Bolberry Down is unspoilt with stunning views across the cliffs and sea. Walking is relatively flat from the car park and it is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs too. If you go down into any of the coves, there are some steep and narrow paths but if you keep to the top it is easy going.

Overbeck’s Garden

Overbeck’s Garden is a hidden paradise on the clifftop above the Salcombe Estuary. With unusual plants from across the globe, this spot is a must-see if you plan to visit South Devon. Make sure you get tickets if you are planning to visit this property as it is only available for walk-ins. 

The views from Overbeck’s Garden are truly stunning. On a clear day, the water looks crystal clear and incredibly appealing, even if cold! From Hope Cove, it takes just 20 minutes by car to get to the garden. If you are feeling adventurous, you can walk the approximate 10-mile round-trip from Bolt Tail (Hope Cove) to Bolt Head (Overbeck’s Garden). 
Read our blog for more on the best National Trust places to visit in South Devon.

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