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Anstey’s Cove

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Overview





Anstey’s Cove is an east-facing bay situated four miles south of Teignmouth and little over a mile north of Tor Bay on England's south coast. The small open bay offers visiting boats an anchorage in a secluded natural setting.

Tucked in below its high cliffs the bay offers good shelter north round through west to southwest even in strong conditions. Approaches are straightforward at all stages of the tide in daylight as there are no outlying dangers.



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Keyfacts for Anstey’s Cove
Facilities
Shore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 7th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Shore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 28.453' N, 003° 29.838' W

This is about 200 metres south of Long Quarry Point.

What is the initial fix?

The following Anstey’s Cove Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
50° 28.431' N, 003° 29.457' W
This is 500 metres east of the centre of the Anstey’s Cove.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern England’s coastal overview from Portland Bill to Start Point Route location. The outer approaches are clear of dangers, and the bay is steep-to to the shoreline. An approach from the east through the centre of the bay presents no hazards.


Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Anstey’s Cove for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Babbacombe Bay - 0.4 miles NW
  2. Hope Cove - 0.4 miles SSE
  3. Watcombe Cove - 0.9 miles NNW
  4. Torquay - 1 miles SW
  5. Paignton - 2.1 miles SW
  6. Teignmouth - 2.4 miles N
  7. Brixham - 2.6 miles S
  8. Dittisham & The River Dart - 4.1 miles SSW
  9. Dartmouth Harbour - 5.1 miles SSW
  10. The Bight - 5.4 miles NNE
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Babbacombe Bay - 0.4 miles NW
  2. Hope Cove - 0.4 miles SSE
  3. Watcombe Cove - 0.9 miles NNW
  4. Torquay - 1 miles SW
  5. Paignton - 2.1 miles SW
  6. Teignmouth - 2.4 miles N
  7. Brixham - 2.6 miles S
  8. Dittisham & The River Dart - 4.1 miles SSW
  9. Dartmouth Harbour - 5.1 miles SSW
  10. The Bight - 5.4 miles NNE
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Anstey’s Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Anstey’s Cove is a small cove with a pebble beach situated ¾ of a mile northwest of Hope's Nose. It opens to the east between Black Head and Long Quarry Point, nearly a ½ mile to the northwest. The cove, nestled between dense woods and dramatic cliffs, has a small central promenade above a tidal beach with a seasonal café.

The cosy bay provides a good anchorage in very good sand holding. Being small and more enclosed it is felt to offer slightly better protection than the more popular Babbacombe Bay close north.


How to get in?
Long Quarry Point's jagged rocks serves to positively identify the cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use southwestern England’s coastal overview from Portland Bill to Start Point Route location for seaward approaches. Sticking out like the lower jaw, repeat with teeth, the rugged Long Quarry Point serves to positively identify the cove. Standoff the southern entrance to the cove as there are some drying rocks that fringe the shoreline.


Small Yacht anchored off Anstey’s Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor according to draft in the far west corner of the bay in good sand holding. Land by the small promenade.


Redgate Beach is unsafe to land on owing to the danger of rockfalls
Image: Michael Harpur


Unfortunately, Redgate Beach, in the north end of the Cove, has been closed off. Earth movements and subsequently enlarged by chemical weathering, when rainwater dissolved the limestone being slightly acidic, have opened fissures in the cliffs above that beach. This has caused blocks of limestone to become detached and fall into the sea so the beautiful beach is now closed as it is unsafe.


Why visit here?
Anstey’s Cove was first recorded in a 1795 map as Anjus Cove, when nearby Torquay was noted as an insignificant village, and a little over three decades later, in 1827, as Anstie Cove. The cove takes its name from the old English word ánstíg meaning 'single track' or 'steep track'.


Anstey’s Cove
Image: The English Riviera


The scenery at Anstey’s Cove is nature at its most dramatic. It's placid waters and beach are overlooked by 90 metre high red and wooded cliffs, with the limestone precipice in its north end leading out to its hallmark jagged limestone outcrops of Long Quarry Point. Except for a group of houses clinging to the slope in the southwest corner, it would seem from seaward that all is to the largest part remains natural and untouched by time. Yet the coves' most striking feature, the raw jagged point, is not a natural feature but manmade.


Long Quarry Point's jagged rocks are the remnants of Victorian quarrying
Image: Michael Harpur


The northern headland is made up of 370-390 million-year-old Devonian limestone which produces a high-quality limestone. It was quarried to such an extent in the 1800s that the unusual point was created as a remnant of the removal. Thousands of tons of stone was taken from the point and transported by boats round to Torquay. There it was used to build some of the finest houses, civic buildings as well as the seawall along the promenade of the then growing town. The stone was so good that it could be also used in the nearby marble works where it was made into ornamental furnishings to decorate the increasing numbers of villas in other developing upmarket resorts.


Follow the line of the headland shows the scale of limestone removal
Image: Michael Harpur



To apprehend how extensively the Victorians quarried the headland look at those two pointed rocks mark the end of Long Quarry Point and then follow the line of the headland from the mainland out to see the scale of removal. Just the rock debris alone from the works, which was tipped into the sea and washed around the coast by tidal movements, left such deposits of white sea rounded stones on the north shore of Babbacombe Bay that it turned Oddicombe Beach its trademark white colour that it has remained to this day.


The 1890s tea shop and entertainements
Image: Detroit Publishing Co. via Public Domain


By the end of the Victorian period, Long Quarry Point was no longer being quarried and the resort no longer had a marble industry. By then Torquay was at the height of its Victorian Resort days and an entrepreneurial family called Thomas sought to capture some of that trade in the cove. In the 1890s they set up a tea shop above the beach so that ladies could take a carriage here to get away from crowded Torquay to the peaceful cove. Bathing machines were provisioned for these genteel Victorians with ample towels so that all was quite correct. Special provisions were made for picnics with fresh caught seafood and ladies games were all catered for. Neat pleasure boats were available for the men to hire with the best of fishing tackle so they could try their luck. Arrangments could also be made to teach young men how to swim. And so the bay followed the new trend.


Anstey’s Cove retains its café
Image: Michael Harpur


Today the cove has retained its pleasant little seasonal café serving good food at a reasonable price. It is one of the most popular spots for Coasteering, an adventure activity that combines cliff jumping, swimming and rock climbing. The beach covers at high water but at low water, it reveals unusually beautiful pebbles. Made up of its three principal rock types of this coast, dolerite, Devonian limestone and black shales they are as colourful as marbles, red and white mixed with greens. It is a particularly wonderful place to let children forage or go swimming off the bathing platform.


The view southward along Anstey’s Cove's short promenade
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, the high cliffs of Anstey’s Cove keeps the wind passing over the masthead in most all westerly conditions making it a snug anchorage with very good sand holding. Just a few miles from Torquay, around Hope's Nose, it serves boaters today, the same as it did the former genteel Victorian, as a wonderful escape from the bustling havens of Tor Bay. The promenade has a lovely little beach cafe, with the added bonus of the Carey Arms just around the corner in Babbacombe for those who want to take the coastal path or run round in a tender. Being more east facing and enclose Anstey's Cove provides slightly more northerly protection than Babbacombe Bay.


Yacht anchored off Anstey’s Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Well sheltered from the prevailing winds Babbacombe, Anstey's Cove as well as Hope Cove all make convenient tide wait locations to cross Lyme Bay, 40 miles to Portland Bill. Straight in and out these havens also provide a convenient midway stepping stone for a Portland to Plymouth run or vice versa should you want to forgo the creature comforts and delays of Brixham Marina. But similar to all the anchorages in Tor Bay, none offer a safe haven in easterlies, where only the harbours of Torquay or Brixham will provide safe havens.


What facilities are available?
Seasonal café offers good food. Public toilets available when the café is open.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, eOceanic.


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The above plots are not precise and indicative only.




Anstey’s Cove, Devon, England
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Anstey’s Cove Café and seating
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Long Quarry Point
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Redgate Beach is unsafe to land on owing to the danger of rockfalls
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Redgate Beach
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


The southern approaches to Black Head and Long Quarry Point
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Yacht anchored off Anstey’s Cove
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Yacht anchored off Anstey’s Cove at sunrise
Image: eOceanic thanks Public Domain




Anstey's Cove



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