Salcombe Town Guide
Salcombe Harbour provides a 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’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 water’s edge.
The main street is lined with many shops, including basic facilities such as newsagents, butchers, bakers etc. as well as many designer stores selling clothing brands such as Fat Face, Virgin, Quicksilver and Rip Curl to name but a few. Salcombe Dairy produce their famous and delicious ice cream in Salcombe, and it is sold at many outlets along Fore Street. In addition, many new, quality brands are setting up in Salcombe to manufacture and sell a variety of products such as Coffee and Chocolate.
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 as well as the ICC’s land office. The Island Cruising Club (ICC) is world famous 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. 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.
Two beaches, South Sands 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 (smalls cove pictured right), connected to Salcombe by passenger ferry. A ferry also runs to Kingsbridge in high season. The coastline gives often breathtaking views in both directions, and there are numerous secluded coves and pretty beaches, suchs as Sunny Cove and Gara (shown below left) to the East and Starehole (shown below right) to the West.