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)
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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
A super friendly water sports company offering RYA courses, events and family friendly days out on the water around Salcombe. A popular choice is the thrilling Fast Rib Ride, a 75 minute 007 style high speed rib ride taking in the magnificent South Devon coastline and its wildlife. Or groups can try the exciting half day treasure hunts where teams are challenged to carry out fun tasks culminating in a raft race. Other options include more relaxing rib rides up the Salcombe estuary taking in lunch and drinks, coasteering trips, wakeboarding, water skiing and banana boat rides.
Sea n Shore are very flexible and can tailor courses and activities to your requirements. They can also provide lunch time hampers, or decadent cream teas with champagne to enjoy on your day out.
Sea n Shore (T: 01548 842276 M: 07713 745609)
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Had a brilliant ride on the RIB. Saw seals out near Start Point and the remains of the lost village of Hallsands. Good information and great fun on the boat. Suitable for kids and adults
We had a brilliant time on the fast rib with Sea and Shore. Great fun and an amazing way to see the coastline.
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)
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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.
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)
Sit back, relax, watch the world go by and have a cuppa and cake!! Brilliant location - especially if you like shopping!!!
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)
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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.
Good greasy spoon, nice spot by the water.
Good food well presented. Ideal location with outdoor seating over looking the harbour
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!
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Superb safe and stunningly picturesque
Gorgeous, just stunning! Brilliant beach, fabulous cafe (Winking Prawn) and good priced car park! Love, love, love it!!
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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.