A cove is an area of coastline that is generally shaped like a horse-shoe with a narrow opening that opens out into the land line in a circular shape. This kind of area is also often referred to as a bay.

Coves are formed in areas where the coastline is made up from a mix of hard and soft rocks. The cove itself will initially have been a soft rock coastline sandwiched between hard rock formations. It will have been eroded over time to make the cove or bay area. The edges, sides and sometimes the back of the cove will not be eroded in this way because they are usually made from harder rock.

Nanjizal Cove, Lands End

The UK coastline is full of coves of all shapes and sizes. Some coves are tiny bays whilst others can stretch for a long way and may also have the added advantage of a beach area that does not get completely covered by water when the tide comes in.

Some of these kinds of coves are actually well known and popular beaches whilst others are more secluded areas where few people visit. Some coves are fairly easily accessible down cliff paths or man made paths that have been cut into the surrounding areas. Other coves are almost impossible to access for most people as they are surrounded by steep cliffs.