The sight which greeted the gathered multitudes at Hope Cove and nearby Bolt Tail during the summer of 1588 must have sent shivers down their spines: a vast formation of ships belonging to the Spanish Armada, on their way to spoil for a fight in the English Channel. The fleet was defeated much further east off Gravelines in France, and did a runner up through the North Sea and back down to the west of Britain. However, during heavy storms, one of the vessels, the San Pedro el Mayor, was blown off course, and came to an ignominious end at the entrance to Hope Cove, where it was wrecked and the survivors threatened with the death sentence, although they were later ransomed back to Spain. As in Dollar Cove near Gunwalloe (see Gunwalloe post), those with metal detectors may want to pay Hope Cove a visit, since relics of the shipwreck, including coins, are still occasionally washed up.
Today, Hope Cove is an ideal holiday base for those who want an unspoilt seaside location, with a clean sandy beach, crab and lobster for seafood fans, and for the energetic, wonderful bracing walks along the coastal path towards Thurlestone to the west or up to Bolt Tail to the east. The village is divided into two, Outer Hope and Inner Hope, which has a charming cluster of thatched cottages around a square.
Live streaming webcam.
Map of the area.