Salcombe 2011

Salcombe Guide

Salcombe Harbour provides a stunning, natural haven for nature and humans alike. Birds flock here in thousands and the estuary supports a wealth of plant and fish life, some of which is extremely rare. The region's warm (almost Mediterranean) climate enables many species of plant to flourish here, even if they are found nowhere else in the United Kingdom. Dolphins and basking sharks are just some of the frequent visitors to the estuary waters, which also form one of the UK's most popular ports for yachtsmen.

The town itself is highly popular with all, boasting many high-quality shops, restaurants and cafes as well as quick access to beautiful beaches through the ferry links to East Portlemouth and South Sands.

The town's main street (Fore Street) runs parallel to the waters edge, frequently sending alleyways out up the steep hillside to the rest of Salcombe, or to small quays dotted along the estuary foreshore. The street is narrow, the buildings seeming almost to fight for space! As well as the wonderful cafes and boutiques lining the main street, don't forget to check out the alleyways, featuring small jewellery stores and galleries.
Island Street is the other main street in the town, and is linked to Fore Street by a wide waterside pathway, with superb views across the Estuary. Island Street provides a home for the many boatyards of Salcombe. Here, Salcombe Dairy produce their famous and delicious ice cream in Salcombe, as sold at many outlets along Fore Street. High-Quality chocolate is also produced by the town's two chocolate companies.

Many Sailing schools also operate from the town, and there are several boat hire shops dotted around Salcombe if you feel the need to take to the water. Of these, the The Island Cruising Club (ICC) is the most famous, mainly for its base, Egremont, an Ex-Mersey ferry now moored permanently just out of sight up the estuary. From here, quality sailing tuition and holidays are provided for all ages and the ferry now has numerous facilities such as a Bar.
Two beaches, South and North Sands are to the South of Salcombe, linked by road or regular passenger ferry to Salcombe Town. There are many facilities at each beach including Cafes, Boat Hire and Hotels. Overbecks house and Garden lies high above the beaches on the cliffs above Salcombe Bar. In summer the garden is a stunning sub-tropical rainbow of scents and sights, and the amazing backdrop of the Salcombe Estuary completes the picture. The house is partly open to the public in the form of a small museum and cafe. The rest of it makes up the Salcombe Youth Hostel.

On the Eastern Side of the estuary is East Portlemouth and its many small coves which line the foreshore, looking out on the clear, aquamarine waters of the Salcombe Estuary. The best way to acess these beaches is by passenger ferry from Salcombe - there is parking on this side of the estuary, but it is very limited, as is the capacity of the road leading to it! A ferry also runs to Kingsbridge in high season.

The coastline to the East and West of the harbour mouth gives breathtaking views, and there are numerous secluded coves and pretty beaches, such as Sunny Cove and Gara to the East and Starehole to the West. Circular walks can be completed on both sides of the estuary.

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