Hope Cove is a small seaside village within the civil parish of South Huish in South Hams District, Devon, England. It is located some 5 miles west of Salcombe and 5 miles south-west of Kingsbridge.
This is one of the nicest little spots to go paddleboarding in South Devon that I have ever found. A well protected little harbour offers conditions suited to absolute beginners, but head out and you have the whole expanse of the English Channel in reach.
The day I paddled out from Hope Cove was a really mild summers day, 13mph winds and very minor sea state so in all it was perfect.
You can see from my map that point 1 is my launch spot. This is east end of what is a massive bay reaching right across to Plymouth.
Launching out of Hope Cove couldn’t be easier as it is a very protected little harbour even in very testing weather. The main thing to look out for is rocks, even mid harbour when the tide isn’t totally high. They could easily take a fin off so be very aware of where they are. Once oyu are out the harbour there is nothing else to worry about as far as rocks go.
In rougher waters the headlands either side of the harbour split the waves so not only do they come in at you but they peel across causing a cross over wave pattern that can be tricky.
Heading out to point 2 on the map takes you towards Burgh Island. Passing by Thurlestone, Bantham and Bigbury the conditions were pretty mellow but it can get very rough out here. There was a bit of a headwind for me and the incoming tide had quite a strong effect of dragging me towards land so be aware of your position when your out there.
Finally making point 2 I decided that the most fun way home way to use the small bumps but I needed to head out to sea first so the wind and swell gave me a good run in.
Like any open water paddling you often come across rougher patches then glassy areas – never worked those glassy bits out – but for me this day was very mellow.
Making the run in was not quite perfect with very small glides and an ever reducing wind so the water/swell was getting less by the minute. That said it isn’t all about the craziest times and with the sun on my back it was just great to be out there.
By the time I made it back to harbour the tide had come in and a lot of kayaks, sailboats and small powerboats were on the water so it goes to show that we are a nation of water lovers.
Obviously this is very exposed water so be very aware of your abilities and make sure you carry water, energy drinks or bars and preferably a vhf radio just in case.