Salcombe 2011

Salcombe Estuary

The Salcombe Estuary is situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty, and is famed for its sailing waters and the rich ecosystem it supports. The creeks and valleys provide a stunning backdrop for a perfect holiday, whilst the towns of Salcombe and Kingsbridge provide excellent shops and restaurants.
Though it is referred to as an Estuary, the Salcombe Estuary is in fact a Ria as it is a tidal inlet with no major fresh water source flowing through it! Anyway, at the mouth of the Salcombe "Estuary", lies the town of Salcombe, famous as a sailing destination. The glistening aquamarine waters of the estuary lap at the shore lined with stone quaysides and bright painted buildings.

Salcombe is popular with visitors and locals alike, its mains street offering a wealth of shops and cafes, with beaches in easy reach at East Portlemouth and South Sands by ferry. A ferry also operates in season to Kingsbridge. For more information on Salcombe, see the Salcombe Guide. The sheltered waters of the estuary are famed as some of the countries best sailing waters, attracting numerous competitions throughout the year. The waters are also renowned for the rich ecosystem of bird and plant life they support. Due to the near mediterranean climate of the estuary, many rare species of plant, some not found anywhere else in the UK, flourish here. Dolphins and basking sharks visit the estuary, whilst egrets, herons and comorants are amoungst the bird life.

Kingsbridge lies at the head of the Salcombe estuary, and is often referred to as the ‘Hub of the South Hams.' There is an attractive quayside area of the town, with promenades down three sides of the estuary head. The quay plays host to an increasing number of events, including a fair during the Summer and Christmas Extravagansas, and Midsummer Music Festival, which has recently featured bands like The Levellers and Fairport Convention. Kingsbridge's Fore Street provides a wide range of shopping facilities, as well as cafes and numerous pubs, many serving good pub food, surround the Quay area. More information on Kingsbridge can be found here.

The estuarys' many creeks lead away to picturesque country villages, with traditional pubs serving real ale and good food, thatched houses and pretty streets.

Below on the left can be seen the view looking up Frogmore creek towards its head, whilst on the right is the village of South Pool, with its tidal ford and beutifully kept village. Here the stepping stones make the perfect excuse to persuade reluctant children that a quick walk around a picturesque country village might not be such a bad idea after all! Ohh, and there's a Pub for the parents too!

Back where we began, the estuary's Eastern shore (East Portlemouth) is lined with fine sandy beaches offering shelterd bathing in the estuary's clear, bright-blue waters and plenty of space. There is also a cafe here serving al-fresco food on a terrace overlooking the estuary, and the coast path leads to Gara Rock, making a pleasant circular walk at any time of year. The final photo, show below, is of Sunny Bay, a small cove just along the coast path from East Portlemouth with views across to South Sands.

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