Pull on your boots for the grand tor

Walk of the Month: Malborough, South Devon - Mark Rowe finds rugged scenery and Bronze Age remains along the Devon coast

We head this month to the Kingsbridge Estuary, which divides the South Hams of Devon as it tumbles towards the sea. This walk follows some of the footpaths by the sea, offering superb coastal views, and passes two enigmatic hill forts.

Start in the village of Malborough. Make your way along Lower Town and turn right down Well Hill. Just as the road bears right, keep straight ahead along the footpath. This swings round to the right, where you follow the signed path in front of the farmhouse. Follow the track across a stream and bear left uphill.

There are views to the east of the top of Bolt Head, the western edge of the jaws of the Kingsbridge estuary, as you climb before dropping down past Furzedown Farm and up again to the lane. Turn left and, after 50 yards, take the footpath signposted for Bolberry over a stile on your right. Cross the field along the diagonal path and cut across a second field before joining the field edge. Cross over a stone stile on to a lane and turn left, signposted for the coast-path link, heading down through the farm buildings and on to a grassy, winding track.

Tantalising views of the sea loom ahead, fragmented by the striking contours of Hazel Tor. At a cattle gate, pass through and head downhill. At the T-junction of paths, underneath a mass of striking granite boulders that remind you that Dartmoor is just 25 miles away, keep straight ahead for Bolberry Down.

Walk up to the gate and turn right to join the South West Coast Path. Keep on the path for the next two miles, passing the National Trust car park. Views westward suddenly open up: the coast path sweeps down to dramatic Bolt Tail; to the right is sheltered Hope Cove and beyond, crumbling rocky outcrops edge out into the sea, resembling giant windbreaks. On a clear day you can see Eddystone Lighthouse beyond Plymouth Sound, St Austell and Mevagissey, 30 miles distant by sea. To the north are the wild tors of Dartmoor.

Follow the coast path down to and around Bolt Tail and the remnants of a hill fort dated to between 500 and 600BC. The ramparts are clearly visible as you approach – they were built on three sides, with the sheer cliffs forming the impregnable fourth side.

Loop back out of the hill fort and follow the coast path down to Inner Hope and turn left, and first left again uphill, waymarked for Outer Hope. Drop down through the village – it would be a strong-willed walker who would keep their pace past the Hope and Anchor pub.

Climb uphill again, picking up the coast path and keep ahead uphill, past the last house in the village. You then turn right along a footpath signposted Galmpton and follow this straight path for a mile or so. Turn left down the road where it joins the path, and then turn right, signposted for South Huish. Follow this winding track to a junction where you turn right. You soon come to the hauntingly beautiful remains of lonely St Andrew's Church, maintained by the Friends of Friendless Churches. Just beyond the church, turn right uphill up a classic country lane. At a junction, dog-leg across, following signs for Malborough and follow this lane back to the village.

If you have time at the end, a one-mile diversion leads to Burleigh Dolts earthworks. Just before the Old Inn in Malborough turn left down Chapel Lane to a junction and dog-leg across to follow a fingerpost sign, pass through a gate and continue with the field edge first on your right and then on your left. Follow the path round to a kissing gate and open fields which are home to Burleigh Dolts. Dated to the middle to late Iron Age, between 350BC and AD50, they are less conspicuous than the workings at Bolt Tail and lie under a fenced-off mound covered with woodland. Archaeological remains below the mound are thought to include ramparts, ditches, and two Bronze Age barrows. Retrace your steps to the village.

Compact Facts

Distance: 10 miles

Time: Four hours

OS Map: OL20 South Devon

How to get there

Mark Rowe stayed at Court Barton courtesy of Toad Hall Cottages (01548 853089; toadhallcottages.co.uk).

Further information

For more details about the region call 01626 215674 or go to visitsouth devon.co.uk. For information about the South Devon walking festival, which runs from this weekend until 11 October, go to southdevonwalkingfestival.co.uk.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
    She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

    Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

    The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
    American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

    Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

    James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
    Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

    Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

    Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution