15 of the Best Things to Do in Salcombe Devon

15 of the Best Things to Do in Salcombe Devon

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An insider’s information to the most effective issues to see and do in Salcombe, on the south coast of Devon.

Welcome to Salcombe: a historic crusing city clustered onto a hillside on the mouth of the Kingsbridge Estuary, neglected by rolling hills and fluffy pockets of woodland.

After discovering the city two years in the past, it’s rapidly turn into one in all my favorite spots in Devon. There’s a little bit of a bougie, yachtie scene (Salcombe was not too long ago topped the UK’s costliest seaside city) – however the unbelievable nature right here is one thing everybody can get pleasure from.

Either side of the estuary are dotted with idyllic sandy seashores, whereas additional alongside the coast are dramatic cliffs, beautiful coast walks, and hidden rocky coves. Briefly: vacation heaven!

In search of the right self-catering lodging in your journey? I extremely advocate trying out 4 The Attain, which is presumably among the best vacation flats on the town. I’ll share extra pictures and a particular provide close to the tip of this web page – however first, let me present you the most effective issues to do in your subsequent journey to Salcombe…

Greatest Issues to do in Salcombe

Attempt your hand at crusing and watersports, go wildlife recognizing alongside the estuary, or just spend a sunny day enjoyable on a seashore beside crystal clear turquoise water. On the town, discover boutique galleries, artisan studios, and unbiased retailers alongside the historic excessive avenue – and dive into the epic native food and drinks scene.

In a rush? There’s a map and a brief model of the listing on the backside of this web page! Use the contents menu above to skip forward if it’s good to. In any other case, learn on for among the finest issues to do in Salcombe…

1. Take pleasure in Salcombe’s Stunning Seashores

view between trees of a river with a white sandy beach on the right bank and a hill with a small town on the far side on a sunny day with turquoise water and blue sky. Sunny Cove on Kingsbridge Estuary near Salcombe.
Sunny Cove Seaside – throughout the estuary from Salcombe

One of many major causes individuals go to Salcombe is for the city’s beautiful coastal location and the various stunning seashores dotted round it. The closest are North Sands and South Sands, simply south of the city centre – hop on the favored South Sands Ferry to avoid wasting your self a hilly stroll.

It’s also possible to take a ferry throughout the estuary to East Portlemouth, the place you’ll discover a string of fairly white sand seashores – the additional south you stroll, the quieter these seashores get! Try my information to the most effective seashores in Salcombe for more information.

2. Impartial Purchasing on Fore St and Island St

whitewashed stone cottage with a shop front, there are green and pink flowers growing around the grey front door and the sign above says NIKA
shop with a bright pink stripey fexterior and pink and white striped awning above the window that says Cranch's
Don’t miss Cranch’s Candy Store!

Fore Road is Salcombe’s excessive avenue, working parallel to the river and lined with historic fishing cottages and conventional pubs. Look out for the brilliant pink facade of Cranch’s Candy Store – established in 1869, it’s Devon’s oldest sweetshop. I additionally advocate popping into Bert & Buoy, Salcombe Candle Co, and Nika – to call only a few.

The indie purchasing scene continues on Island Road – the place you’ll discover distilleries, artist studios, and a few nice boutiques tucked between boatyards and crusing suppliers. Don’t miss Salcombe Gin and Salcombe Dairy (extra on each of these later), the Devon Rum Firm, and Will Bees Bespoke.

3. Take a Ferry Journey to Kingsbridge

red, white and yellow ferry boat on a river with a green hill behind on a grey day with cloudy sky - the Kingsbridge to Salcombe ferry heading towards the jetty

Fed by many tiny streams, with creeks taking pictures off right here and there, the Kingsbridge Estuary is a real wildlife haven. Seals and dolphins can typically be noticed within the estuary, and birds corresponding to herons, egrets, and curlews are frequent sightings – particularly when low tide exposes the muddy banks.

The Kingsbridge-Salcombe Ferry is a leisurely, 40-minute cruise upriver aboard the red-and-white Girl Mary – the right likelihood to take in the tranquil landscapes and spot wildlife. Spend an hour or two exploring Kingsbridge earlier than returning on the ferry (or by bus).

4. Rent a Boat in Salcombe

grey and blue RIB motorboat in a blue river with the small town of Salcombe on a hillside in the background

One other – and maybe extra romantic – approach to discover the Kingsbridge Estuary is from your individual boat. At Whitestrand Boat Rent, you may lease a small motor boat by the hour or by the day. You don’t want a licence or any expertise – and the workers can provide you all the data you want.

Get out and discover the estuary and its many creeks – retaining an eye fixed out for birds and wildlife as you sail alongside. You might head up Southpool Creek – stopping off at Millbrook Inn for lunch – or, with a full day, you can also make all of it the best way as much as Kingsbridge. The favored Crabshell Inn has mooring areas so you may pop in for a drink by the waters edge.

Simply you’ll want to test tide instances, and converse to the workers at Whitestrand, earlier than setting out. At low tide, some components of the river dry up utterly, and also you’ll typically see uninformed amateurs caught within the mud!

5. Go to Overbeck’s Backyard

interior of a blue wooden glasshouse with red tiled floor and dozens of potted plants and cacti filling the back wall

Top-of-the-line issues to do in Salcombe is to pay a go to to Overbeck’s Backyard. This can be a hidden paradise on a clifftop above Salcombe: a shocking backyard of unique crops from around the globe that in some way thrive within the South Devon local weather.

Owned and managed by the Nationwide Belief, the backyard is on the grounds of an Edwardian manor home, Sharpitor. Organized in layers on the cliffside – with unbelievable ocean views – there are a number of gardens in a single, together with an olive grove, banana backyard, and terraces full of succulents and palms.

6. Gin Tasting with Salcombe Gin

exterior of Salcombe Gin Distillery with brick walls on the lower half and grey wood cladding on the top hald. There is a large window with bottles of gin and posters on sdisplay.

Gin lovers received’t wish to miss this one! Salcombe is residence to its very personal gin distillery – residence to the award-winning (and easily glorious) Salcombe Gin.

Head to their riverside distillery on Island St for a tour and a tasting. Additionally they run a unbelievable Gin Faculty, the place you may create and distil your very personal bottle of bespoke gin. I haven’t achieved this (but) however buddy of mine visits Salcombe yearly and says it’s a superb expertise.

7. Kayak or Paddleboard within the Estuary

a man and woman on blue paddleboards on a wide blue river with a motorboat behind them and many white sailing boats in the distance

I’ve already talked about the fun of exploring the Kingsbridge Estuary from a ship – whether or not you lease your individual or hop on a ferry. However for a slower tempo, I extremely advocate renting a paddleboard or kayak to discover.

I really like utilizing paddleboarding on rivers – it’s a lot simpler to steadiness than the ocean, and shifting at water degree with out a motor provides you the most effective likelihood of recognizing wildlife up shut earlier than you scare it off. Bigger marine life together with dolphins, seals and basking sharks can typically be noticed within the estuary, so preserve your eyes peeled as you paddle.

There are a couple of rental corporations within the space – North Sands Watersports are extremely rated and have a wide range of tools to lease. Ask the workers for suggestions on the place to go – as this can rely upon tide instances and climate.

8. Stroll the Coast Path

long row of grassy cliffs on the south devon coast with two sandy beaches below in between large grey rocks with the bright blue sea on the right and blue sky above
Gara Rocks – a 4-mile cliff stroll from Salcombe

Top-of-the-line issues to do in Salcombe is to take in the epic coastal surroundings and tranquil estuary valley from a mountain climbing path. The South West Coast Path gives some attractive walks in each instructions, with routes to go well with all skills. Under are among the finest coastal walks close to Salcombe:

Bolberry Down, 1.7 mile round. Discover the wildlife-rich clifftop downs through a flat, easy-to-follow path.
Kingswear to Brownstone Battery, 5 mile round. Begin from North Sands Automobile Park and observe the coast path west to Bolt Head, returning inland via Tor Woods.
Salcombe to Gara Rock, 4 miles every approach. Take the East Portlemouth Path and observe the coast path round to Gara Rock for epic views and hidden seashores. The restaurant at Gara Rock Lodge is a wonderful stop-off for lunch.
Snapes Level, 2.5 mile round. A straightforward, accessible stroll from Snapes Level Nationwide Belief Automobile Park, offering glorious views of Kingsbridge Estuary.

9. Snorkelling within the Kingsbridge Estuary

white wooden boat in a river with seagrass visible below the very clear water and a green hill in the background
A glimpse of Salcombe’s underwater seagrass meadows

Though it’s fed by many small rivers and creeks, the Kingsbridge Estuary has little or no freshwater enter – as a substitute, it’s principally a marine system. There are some uncommon and distinctive marine habitats right here, which is why the estuary has been labelled as a Web site of Particular Scientific Curiosity (SSSI).

The decrease shores are lined with wealthy seagrass meadows, residence to marine life corresponding to seahorses, fan mussels, and stalked jellyfish (not like different jellyfish these are completely hooked up to the seagrass). Head out with a snorkel when the tides in to discover this underwater world – taking care to not disturb these uncommon and guarded habitats.

10. Eat Seafood

white bread sandwich filled with breaded shrimp next to a green leaf salad on a white and red plate on a wooden table in a restaurant with cream walls and a large window. The Winking Prawn Restaurant in Salcombe.
“Po Boy” shrimp sandwich at The Winking Prawn

Seafood followers will enjoyment of Salcombe’s unbelievable meals scene. From cosy harbourside pubs and informal cafes to high-end eating places, the seafood scene is robust on this coastal city. Under are among the finest locations to eat on the town (credit score goes to my buddy Ruth, who’s been holidaying in Salcombe for years and despatched me the BEST listing of locations to take a look at).

Crab Shed – trendy however chilled restaurant proper on the quayside with waterside views, serving up recent crab and different native seafood.
Winking Prawn – one of the vital standard spots in Salcombe, a cute little cafe in North Sands with an enormous terrace. Don’t miss their “Po Boy” shrimp sandwiches.
Oyster Shack in Bigbury – seafood value driving for! A vibrant, rustic restaurant on the Avon Estuary with a lot of outside eating specialising in recent native oysters and shellfish.
Beachhouse in South Milton Sands – one other one value driving to – gorge on epic seafood together with your toes within the sand at this attractive restaurant.
Victoria Inn – in all probability the most effective pub in Salcombe, with nice meals.
King’s Arms – one other nice pub in Salcombe. The terrace is gorgeous on sunny days.
South Sands Lodge Restaurant – relaxed luxurious overlooking South Sands Seaside with a stunning terrace in summer time.
The Jetty at Harbour Lodge – high-end eating overlooking the estuary with a deal with recent native seafood.
Rockfish – a brand new department of my favorite seafood chain is opening up in Salcombe very quickly, so watch this area!

11. Be taught to Sail with Salcombe Dinghy Crusing

wide blue river filled with several white sailing boats. there is a hill on the other side of the river with a small town on the side of the hill.

Because of its place on the sheltered Kingsbridge Estuary, Salcombe is a superb place to be taught to sail. Salcombe Dinghy Crusing provide a number of programs – together with some for each absolute newbies.

Their Degree 1 “Begin Crusing” course takes two full days or 4 half days – an ideal intro if you wish to get into crusing. I’ve not tried this one myself, however the crusing centre comes extremely advisable and Salcombe is a GREAT place to be taught.

12. Uncover the City’s Historical past on the Maritime Museum

In case you want a break from Salcombe’s seashores and coastal trails (or an exercise for a wet afternoon) head to the Maritime Museum.

This pleasant, volunteer-run museum tucked into the Previous Council Corridor is the right place to delve into Salcombe’s lengthy seafaring historical past – together with boatbuilding, wartime naval exercise, and treasures from native shipwrecks.

13. Be taught Extra on the Lifeboat Museum

exterior of a brown stone cottage with two doors and a sign that says RNLI Shop & Museum.

For much more perception into Salcombe’s maritime historical past, there’s additionally the Salcombe Lifeboat Museum.

Housed inside the Lifeboat Station on Union Road, this small museum charts the story of over 140 years of lifesaving historical past in Salcombe. Admission is free – however decide up a memento within the RNLI store on-site to assist assist the important lifeboat business in south Devon.

14. Soak Up Native Artwork at Salcombe Artwork Membership

exterior of The Drang Gallery in Salcombe with pink walls and several paintings in the windows
One of many many, MANY artwork galleries in Salcombe!

Salcombe is filled with so many artwork galleries it seems like its bordering on too many! Top-of-the-line in your listing is the Salcombe Artwork Membership.

Tucked away inside a disused sail loft close to the lifeboat quay, Salcombe Artwork Membership is a neighborhood studio for native artists. From Might to September, the studio is remodeled into an artwork gallery for the Summer time Exhibition. Admission is free, so pop in and browse works by native artists – you may even end up a novel memento to take residence.

The Artwork Membership additionally host common artwork lessons and workshops for members – so if you happen to’re an enthusiastic artist and an everyday customer to Salcombe it might be value making use of to hitch. Under are some extra nice native galleries you shouldn’t miss:

15. Unwind on the Harbour Seaside Membership Spa

rectangular indoor swimming pool with four beach chairs lined up next to it infront of large windows overlooking a grassy field

On my most up-to-date journey to Salcombe, the Nice British Climate utterly rained off my afternoon plans, so I discovered myself in want of an indoor exercise. Fortunately, my attractive vacation residence 4 The Attain (extra on that beneath) was riiiiight subsequent door to the fabulous Harbour Seaside Membership Lodge which is residence to a divine spa.

The Seaside Membership Spa is small however good: there’s a 12m pool, sauna, steam room, and a hydrotherapy pool beneath a glass roof. One of the best half is the big floor-to-ceiling home windows alongside the pool which look out onto the plush inexperienced countryside round South Sands. The proper place to unwind in any case that point exploring the coast!

High tip: company at 4 The Attain can get discounted spa entry (or a free go if you happen to drop my identify if you guide a keep of seven days or extra).

16. Don’t Miss Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream and Chocolate Manufacturing facility

exterior of Salcombe Dairy Chcocolate Factory, a blue painted building with wooden cladding along the top floor. there is a large window with chocolate making instruments visible.

In case you have a candy tooth like me, it’s good to head to Salcombe Dairy. This family-owned ice cream firm is a Devon establishment, and also you’ll see it being bought everywhere in the Southwest.

At their manufacturing facility store on Island St, you may watch the ice cream being freshly made earlier than shopping for a scoop (or three) to attempt. There’s additionally a small cafe terrace the place you may sit with an ice cream or scorching drink and watch the world go by.

Throughout the highway in Hannaford’s Touchdown, you may as well go to Salcombe Dairy’s new Chocolate Manufacturing facility. Watch the total chocolate-making course of from bean to bar via the glass dividing partitions that separate the store from the manufacturing facility. Make sure you attempt the interactive tasting machines. And, in fact, decide up a couple of chocolatey treats when you’re there.

The place to Keep in Salcombe

emily wearing pink pyjamas with a blue pattern on standing on a balcony next to a glass wall looking out to sea with a sandy beach below and grey sky above at South Sands Beach in Salcombe
Absorbing the views of South Sands

On my most up-to-date journey, I stayed at 4 The Attain, a phenomenal luxurious residence overlooking South Sands Seaside (the keep was gifted, I paid for all the things else).

Get the Tour: Click on right here to observe the video I made exhibiting a full tour of the property!

This can be a beautiful two-bedroom residence subsequent door to the Harbour Seaside Membership in South Sands – about an 8-minute drive from the centre of Salcombe. It’s model new and has been embellished to absolute perfection: a easy, minimalist fashion with a lot of gentle browns and nautical blues. There are many nods to Salcombe’s maritime scene all through, together with a number of murals by native artist Paul Barclay.

interior of 4 The Reach holiday apartment in Salcombe with a long brown leather sofa and circular leather footstool on a blue rug.

There’s a big, coated balcony (with superb views of the seashore). The huge open-plan dwelling space has all the things you want for a calming keep, but additionally a lot of cute little further touches: just like the chess set between two reclining chairs for lazy afternoons, and the document participant within the nook if you happen to fancy a celebration.

I notably liked the large, high-spec TV and sound system – preferrred for a night in after a protracted day exploring. You’ll be able to prepare dinner up a storm within the spectacular kitchen, pour your self a glass of Salcombe Gin, and cosy up on the tender leather-based couch for a film night time. Goals.

All the pieces is top of the range and splendid: high-end furnishings, Le Creuset dinnerware, Bang & Olufsen TVs, Ralph Lauren bathrobes, and a fabulously extravagant Dolce & Gabbana kettle and toaster set!

The 2 bedrooms had luxurious lodge room vibes, with plush bedding and generously sized TVs. Each bedrooms even have roomy ensuite loos; stylishly embellished with rainfall showers and double sinks.

I completely liked my keep at 4 The Attain – the right place for a seashore vacation in Salcombe.

4 The Attain Vacation Condominium Particular Supply

The property’s proprietor can be giving my followers a unbelievable particular provide. Point out my identify (Emily Luxton) if you guide a keep at 4 The Attain and also you’ll obtain a dinner voucher value £150 for brief stays – and free spa entry for stays of every week or extra. This can solely work if you guide via the Taylor Made Salcombe web site: click on right here.

Greatest Day Journeys Close to Salcombe

view of a dry harbour with several small boats moored in the mud. there is a white and black timber clad tudor building behind and pink flowers and daffodils in the foreground.
Dartmouth Harbour

Dartmouth – one other South Devon crusing city, with a big marina, a lot of historic buildings, and a terrific seafood scene. Take a cruise on the river Dart, go to Dartmouth Fort, or discover Agatha Christie’s former vacation residence at close by Greenway.

Totnes – a historic market city with a novel twist: because the UK’s first Transition City, Totnes is tremendous moral and eco-friendly. It’s filled with unbiased companies, sustainable eating places, and a few top-notch vegan and veggie eateries. Rent a kayak from Totnes Kayaks to discover the River Dart – look out for otters and seals.

Burgh Island – this dramatic, windswept little island is related to the mainland by a sandbar. At low tide, you may stroll to the island from Bigbury-on-Sea. At excessive tide, hop aboard the bizarre-looking Sea Tractor to make it throughout the now-underwater seashore. The one buildings on the island are the historic Pilchard Inn pub (which dates again to 1336) and the well-known, artwork deco Burgh Island Lodge.

white sandy beach with a blue tractor on it and a thin strip of sand leading to a small tidal island with a white building on it. burgh island is one of the best places to visit in south devon.
Take the Sea Tractor to Burgh Island at excessive tide

Begin Bay and Begin Level – in between Salcombe and Dartmouth, the broad stretch of Begin Bay is lined with a few of south Devon’s finest seashores. It’s additionally residence to Slapton Ley, a lagoon lower off from the ocean by a skinny strip of seashore. Close by, the windswept headland Begin Level is nice for coast walks and hidden coves – don’t miss Begin Level Lighthouse for superb sea views.

Issues to do in Salcombe: Quicklist and Map

Take pleasure in Salcombe’s Stunning Seashores
Impartial Purchasing on Fore St and Island St
Take a Ferry Journey to Kingsbridge
Rent a Boat in Salcombe
Go to Overbeck’s Backyard
Gin Tasting with Salcombe Gin
Kayak or Paddleboard within the Estuary
Stroll the Coast Path
Snorkelling within the Kingsbridge Estuary
Eat Seafood
Be taught to Sail with Salcombe Dinghy Crusing
Uncover the City’s Historical past on the Maritime Museum
Be taught Extra on the Lifeboat Museum
Soak Up Native Artwork at Salcombe Artwork Membership
Unwind on the Harbour Seaside Membership Spa
Don’t Miss Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream and Chocolate Manufacturing facility

Learn Extra

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Distinctive Locations to Keep in Devon

Are you aware any extra nice issues to do in or close to Salcombe? Scroll all the way down to share your suggestions within the feedback!

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