The stunning town of Salcombe (part of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) unfolds before you as you drive down the hill towards its center. As soon as you catch your first glimpse of the cobalt blue harbour complete with picturesque sailboats bobbing about and teeny tiny ferries crossing from one side to the other I guarantee you’ll fall in love.
This seaside sight is just the beginning. Pastel coloured houses perch precariously beside one another on the steep inclines leading up and away from the harbour. Each has it’s own character, colour and generally a name like “The Sandcastle”. The shops stock everything from the work of local artists to sailing clobber to artisanal foods and a variety of clothes and souvenirs. Every second person will be wearing a blue and white striped top and flip flops (in the summer at least) and the laid back vibe will soon have you reaching for your sunnies and stripey tops too!
Although Devon is a part of England, this county (along with its neighbour Cornwall) seems to have its own little micro-climate meaning that, in the summer at least, this part of the country tends to be a lot warmer than the rest of the UK. Definitely worth bringing your flipflops – though I’ll give you a fair warning, the sea is still freezing all year round!
Salcombe is a town so bedecked by charm you could easily lose a weekend just browsing around or mucking about on a beach but there are several additional things that may well make your stay in this neck of the woods which I’ve detailed below.
- Visit Salcombe Dairy for an Icecream – This iceceam will blow your mind. My favourite is the Honeycomb flavour.
- Do some Water Sports – There is quite an array of watersporting to be done from Salcombe including paddleboarding, rowing, kayaking and yachting. If you’re lucky enough to be in Salcombe in August it’s worth checking out the annual Sailing Regatta.
- Take the Kids (and Big Kids) to Paper Bird Island – Perfect for a wet afternoon or even just for people that need a break from the beach you can get your craft on and make something awesome to take home with you! p.s. incase you can’t quite make out what I made; it is a bell shaped Christmas tree decoration beautifully and very skillfully decoupaged to look AMAZING!
- Check out Salcombe’s own Gin Distillery – You can stop for a cheeky tipple or two or even take part in their Gin School where you get to make your own bottle of their fancy gin! A perfect gift for a Gin-lover in your life!
- Walk the National Trust Coastal Path – A popular option is to take this path from East Portlemouth up to Gara Rock and back again. Taking a little ferry across to East Portlemouth is worth it anyway for the adventure and access to some lovely beaches including Mill Bay!
- Check out some local Pubs – The UK does one thing really really well. Pubs. And Salcombe does not disappoint. My favourite is this one: