The beautiful waterside town of Salcombe, with its outlook across the stunning harbour to golden beaches and the sparkling sea beyond, is one of South Devon's most desirable holiday cottage destinations. A mecca for sailors and water sports enthusiast, and a playground for the rich and famous, Salcombe is the UK's answer to Saint-Tropez.
In the summer months, traditional sailing boats race past the Princess Yachts moored in the harbour, while sports cars cruise through Fore Street, past buzzing designer clothes stores and local boutiques. The shops and restaurants located by the waterfront exude the perfect nautical vibe, complementing the boatbuilding heritage that has long served the local townsfolk lucky enough to live in this scenic, naturally sheltered harbour.
Strolling down Fore Street you will find a tempting selection of cafes, delis, restaurants, and pubs to frequent, whilst children (and adults!) will insist on a trip to the old fashioned sweet shop, Cranch's, or treat them to delicious local ice cream at the Salcombe Dairy. The recently refurbished, family and dog-friendly pub, The Victoria Inn, serves excellent food and also operates a 'man crèche' that may be useful for more relaxed shopping trips!
A little ferry makes the short trip back and forth to the golden sands of East Portlemouth and the dog-friendly beaches at Mill Bay and Sunny Cove, whilst the energetic can pick up the South West Coast Path from here to enjoy unrivalled scenery from the rugged clifftop trail. The beach at North Sands is an easy stroll from town, where you'll find The Winking Prawn, a child-friendly institution amongst locals and holiday makers alike, where diners can enjoy delicious food and drink for breakfast, lunch or dinner... or all three if you fancy a full day on the beach.
The exquisite Overbeck's National Trust, just a little further along the coast at South Sands, is well worth a visit for the spectacular views and world famous gardens, capable of growing a broad range of rare and exotic plants not commonly found on these shores thanks to the site's unique location, perched high on the coastline and open to the Gulf Stream.
Outside of the peak season, visitors can expect to find a much quieter town more akin to a sleepy West Country village. However, the shops and restaurants generally stay open throughout the year, and the natural beauty of the area is so abundant that Salcombe remains a fantastic holiday destination all year round.
A holiday cottage in Salcombe has all the ingredients for a relaxing seaside holiday in a simply stunning area of outstanding natural beauty.
Everything in Salcombe revolves around the water, and Whitestrand Boat Hire offer a fleet of self drive boats aswell as skippered mackerel fishing trips so you can experience more of the beautiful estuary and coastline. Book a boat by the hour, day or week and the friendly staff can advise on the best beaches, wildlife spots and pubs to visit. No prior experience necessary.
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Hiring a traditional Salcombe Yawl or launch is a fabulous way to explore the Salcombe estuary taking in the beaches and wildlife along the way. The Salcombe Yawl is an attractive 16ft dingy unique to Salcombe suitable for racing or cruising with the family, or alternatively, less experienced sailors can hire a sturdier harbour launch with inboard engine to potter from beach to beach. Both are available on a weekly basis along with everything you need to have and enjoyable yet safe time on the water. Sailing tuition in a Salcombe Yawl, or leisurely skippered sails around the harbour are also available in the safe hands of experienced local sailor Scratch Hitchen.
Yawl & Launch Hire Salcombe (T: 01548 561619 M: 07966 840436)
Salcombe is known for its unique sailing opportunities thanks to the spectacular coastline. A favourite destination amongst some of the best in the sailing community, getting out on the water is very much part of the South Devon holiday experience, and at Salcombe Dinghy Sailing, owners Zoe and Ross are a highly skilled, warm and friendly duo who make you feel safe, happy, confident and well prepared on the water whether you’re having lessons, hiring a boat, are a beginner or a practiced sailor looking to sharpen your skills. You can opt for taster sessions, bespoke private tuition, or RYA teaching courses with up to four students per instructor. Just make sure you bring warm, waterproof clothing with you – it can get nippy our there!
(4)View all Reviews
Fantastic place to while away a few hours with the children entertained. The decoupage was really good and prices pretty reasonable.
The kids loved it here, really creative and a great rainy day activity
The whole family love this place
My four year old son and I spent an hour here quietly absorbed in decorating some elephants for his grandparents. There were other children present, but the place was so quiet and peaceful. Great experience for children, but equally enjoyable for adults.
Following on from the success of Salcombe Gin and their onsite Distillery Bar you can now attend Gin School at the Salcombe Distilling Company on bustling Island Street. Here you take charge of a copper mini-still and a range of different ingredients to develop and distil your very own bottle of gin. Great fun and a unique souvenir to take home and remind you of your holiday …. if you don’t drink it first that is ! No children for obvious reasons
Salcombe Gin School The Boathouse, 28 Island St, Salcombe TQ8 8DP (T: 01548 288180)
Enjoy 10% discount at Salcombe Gin School and Salcombe Gin online with code TOADDISC10
(1)View all Reviews
My Gin School experience was a real highlight of my holiday in Salcombe. From the delicious (& very generous!) G&T served on arrival, to the fun of selecting my own unique blend of botanicals, and the the final joy of taking my beautifully presented, personalised bottle of gin home, the whole afternoon was interesting and enjoyable. Highly recommended!
A warm and friendly pub in the centre of town with plenty of seating and a pretty rear beer garden. The menu is made up of quality pub classics such as fish and chips, burgers and steaks which can be washed down with a range of local beers and ciders. Kid friendly with children’s menu and outside play area.
The Victoria Inn Fore Street, Salcombe TQ9 9BU (T: 01548 842604)
(9)View all Reviews
Good service, lovely food and very accommodating if you have young children. Would advise to book as always very busy.
Saturday night meal on our first day of holiday, they managed to squeeze us in upstairs - stunning view of the harbor and lovely menu.
Loved this place so much, great staff made all of us feel very welcome including our little dog. Brilliant atmosphere and the food was great too x
We had lunch in here and it was very good. Service good as well.
Best fish & chips I Have ever had.Staff very friendly & attentive .Very dog friendly.
Friendly and welcoming pub with lovely food and staff. Good value for money and dog friendly too.
We had drinks here and lovely children’s play area outside great for families
Fave place with our dogs!!! Sunday lunch is great and the sticky toffee pudding a must! Always welcoming cosy inside and lovely garden when it’s sunny :)
Well worth a visit, very friendly and excellent food.
Enjoy stunning views of the Salcombe estuary whilst sipping the signature ‘Salcombe & Tonic’ made of course with Salcombe Gin, a high quality gin made on site in traditional handmade copper stills. A great spot for a few drinks after a day on the water, or before heading out for dinner in Salcombe.
Salcombe Gin The Boathouse, 28 Island Street, Salcombe TQ8 8DP (T: 01548 288180)
Enjoy 10% off drinks in the Distillery Bar with your Toad Hall Cottages Discount Card
Sit back, relax, watch the world go by and have a cuppa and cake!! Brilliant location - especially if you like shopping!!!
Great location on the harbour where you can enjoy a fabulous breakfast and light lunch.
A centrally located waterside pub and restaurant with lovely views over the harbour from its sunny terrace. Fresh local fish and seafood features heavily on the menu along with other pub classics and freshly made pizzas. A great location for a quick bite whilst browsing the shops, or drinks and dinner after a day on the water.
The Kings Arms 18 Fore Street, Salcombe TQ8 8BU (T: 01548 842202)
(3)View all Reviews
Lovely staff and great fish and chips
We had a lovely meal here. Very relaxing and the staff were very friendly and even made our dog very welcome too.
Get your chips here and not the takeaway fish and chip shop!
Good greasy spoon, nice spot by the water.
Good food well presented. Ideal location with outdoor seating over looking the harbour
Great place for a brew and a bacon butty. Love the outside benches on a sunny morning.
Accessed either by boat, via a 10-minute walk through the woods from parking at Mill Bay, or a stroll from the Salcombe to East Portlemouth Ferry, Sunny Cove is a sandy beach which, as you might expect, catches the sun throughout the day, weather pending. It’s on the East Portlemouth side of the Salcombe Estuary opposite North Sands beach and Fort Charles, the ruined fortification that was originally constructed during the reign of Henry VIII to defend the Kingsbridge Estuary against French and Spanish Pirates. It’s a relatively gentle spot for swimming and ideal for picnics, lazy summer afternoons, and reaching on kayaks and paddle boards from other nearby beaches as well as being the perfect spot for building sandcastles. That said, the tide can come in quite quickly so make sure you don’t get caught out and be careful of the swell when bringing boats into the beach. Head there for the day in the summer or as a stop off en route to the café at Gara Rock or a longer walk along the coast path towards Prawle Point. Dogs are welcome all year round but keep in mind that there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity (it would be a 10-15-minute walk along wooded footpaths) so take your sandwiches with you!
(2)View all Reviews
amazing beach, dog friendly, only downside is the toilets near the National Trust hut are very poor
Lovely beach well worth a visit. Dog friendly as well. Well worth the £7-50 national trust car parking fee.
The first beach as you walk along the Cliff Road out of Salcombe, North Sands sits in a valley and is a sandy horseshoe shaped beach that’s expansive at low tide. Thanks to its shape and location, it’s extremely popular in the summer because there’s plenty of space to set up camp for the day with buckets, spades and fishing nets in tow for avid marine biologists and sand castle connoisseurs. The beach has a fresh water stream running through it from the top of the valley, which, aside from providing hours of entertainment for accompanying dogs and a marvellous place to wash the sand off your feet, also means that the beach is largely wet sand, so don’t forget to take something to sit on if you’re heading there for the day. Popular with swimmers, despite the chilly water, North Sands provides a wonderful view out of the mouth of the Salcombe estuary and into the deep blue yonder so, for keen photographers, it’s ideal. If the weather is right then it’s a favourite amongst body boarders or even surfers on choppier days, and it’s a great place to take the paddle boards and kayaks if you happen to have them. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, unlike many of the beaches in the area, there are toilets over the road and there’s a car park with charges from £1 throughout the year. The cherry on top of this beautiful location is The Winking Prawn café and restaurant that’s right next to the beach. Open all year round they serve everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to coffee, tea and cake, and in the summer they provide a barbecue in the garden overlooking the sea. It is popular though so leave a little time to queue for that Salcombe Dairy honeycomb ice cream in the height of summer!
(3)View all Reviews
Superb safe and stunningly picturesque
Gorgeous, just stunning! Brilliant beach, fabulous cafe (Winking Prawn) and good priced car park! Love, love, love it!!
Very nice beach for dog lovers and good café.
(1)View all Reviews
A beautiful sandy beach that is superb for children as you have to go out quite a way before the water gets deep. Water sports available. Access is via very narrow lanes so be prepared to reverse and parking is very limited.
(1)View all Reviews
Lovely beach. We arrived early after a steep walk down the cliff path. Had the beach initially to ourselves! Starts to get busier as the day goes on.