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Welcome to our guide to Malborough in South Devon, an unspoilt village with stunning countryside views and a vibrant community.
Looking for something in particular? Use our quick links to navigate the content, or read on for our comprehensive guide to the South Devon village of Malborough.
Malborough is a picturesque village in Devon’s South Hams. It sits within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, around two miles from the scenic holiday destination of Salcombe, and a similar distance from the beaches of Hope Cove. Its population, according to the 2011 Census, was 971.
As a peaceful village just a few miles from the sea, you’d imagine holidaymakers based in Malborough would spend most of their time driving back and forth to Salcombe or Hope Cove. In fact Malborough, has many attractions of its own, often bringing in visitors from the surrounding area.
These attractions include the Royal Oak, an old-fashioned pub/restaurant with an excellent live music programme, and the wildly popular pantomimes and musicals held at Malborough Village Hall. It’s also a waypoint on some fantastic coastal and countryside walks, making it a great option for walking holidays.
You’ll be surprised how much this little village offers within its own borders, but another of its selling points is the quick and easy access Malborough provides to other South Devon places of interest.
From Malborough, simply follow Salcombe Road (A381) for two miles to reach Salcombe and its array of boutique shops, galleries and restaurants. A cycle/walking path runs alongside the road, making it a popular route for hikers. By heading south down Collaton Road, it’s also possible to take a direct route to either North Sands or South Sands. Many hikers take this route before following the coast up to Salcombe and then following Salcombe Road home, creating a lovely circular walk.
The pretty market town of Kingsbridge, just 4.5 miles from Malborough, is a popular place to visit for its range of shops, restaurants and other attractions, which include a cinema, leisure centre and picturesque harbour. There are two supermarkets in the town – a Morrison’s and a Tesco – making it the most convenient place to head to take care of practicalities.
Hope Cove, around two miles from Malborough, has two popular beaches, some fantastic places to eat and a wonderfully evocative atmosphere, thanks to its history as a smugglers’ and wreckers’ haunt. For walkers, Hope Cove represents the ideal coastal starting point for a range of stunning walks along the South West Coast Path.
Malborough has two thriving pubs. For more options, you can take the short drive to Salcombe where you’ll find the Victoria Inn, the Island Street Bar and Grill, the Fortescue and the Ferry Inn, plus a wide range of bistros and restaurants. Here are some of our team members’ views about the best pubs in South Devon. Bringing your dog with you? How about these seven fantastic dog-friendly pubs.
With an attractive beer garden and roaring fire in the winter, the Royal Oak is popular all-year round, both with locals and those from Salcombe and further afield. Live music, such as the monthly acoustic jam sessions they host, adds to the sense of vibrancy around this pub, as does the local artwork that adorns the walls. The Royal Oak is dog-friendly throughout.
Known for its friendly staff and good food for reasonable prices, the Old Inn is a popular haunt, especially for locals. The bar has been refurbished recently to create an even warmer, more characterful place to visit. Like the Royal Oak, it also welcomes dogs.
The high point of Malborough, both geographically and architecturally, is the beautiful Church of All Saints, a Grade I listed building with roots in the 14th century. It was largely rebuilt in the 15th century and has undergone significant work at various times since. You can find out more from its legacy record here. The Church of All Saints is the Parish Church of Malborough, and is mostly open in the daytime. The church is a popular place for walkers from Hope Cove or Salcombe to stop and look around.
Nothing illustrates the vibrancy of this little South Devon village better than its large and well-used village hall. The hall hosts regular performances from the amateur theatrical groups, KATS (the Kingsbridge Amateur Dramatic Society) and MAD (Malborough Amateur Dramatics), whose pantomimes, musicals and other works play to large enthusiastic crowds.
There are also regular workshops and other sessions, such as yoga classes. You can find out more about what’s happening at the village hall here.
Next to the village hall are the playing fields, where you’ll find:
*The tennis courts cost £4 per hour to hire. Enquire at Malborough Post Office or by calling 07565 887767 or 07880 706521.
The nearest supermarkets are in Kingsbridge, and in Salcombe you’ll find a greengrocer, butcher, numerous delicatessens and plenty more. That said, Malborough has the facilities to take care of many of your daily needs, with a petrol station, Co-operative shop and Post Office in the village.
The Co-op and petrol station are hard to miss as they’re located centrally together on Salcombe Road, which is the main thoroughfare through the village.
The Post Office is on Higher Town, a narrow lane off Salcombe Road. Leaving the village with the petrol station on your right, take a left off Salcombe Road as it takes a sharp right and heads downhill. Follow Higher Town, passing the Royal Oak on your right and the Old Inn on your left. Carry on until you see the Post Office on your right.
Malborough is on the 606 bus route, which runs between Kingsbridge and Salcombe. The main bus stop is by the petrol station on Salcombe Road. The village of Malborough is a walker’s wonderland, and you will find a myriad of rambles that navigate rolling countryside and lead onto sweeping coastline. What’s more, you can easily walk to Salcombe on the cycle path, and from there you can enjoy a variety of walks – here are our favourite 6 Salcombe walks.
With its picturesque surroundings, beautiful walks, charming pubs and quiet yet convenient location, it’s no surprise that Malborough is a popular destination for holidaymakers.
Coast & Country Cottages offers eight holiday properties in and around Malborough.
Starboard Light is a four-bedroom detached holiday home with light and spacious interior alongside unforgettable country views. This beautifully presented two-storey property is perfect for those looking for a holiday cottage for up to eight guests.