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Wondering how to spend your days whilst on holiday in Salcombe? We’ve put together a quick list of things to do in Salcombe, with stacks of attractions and activities to help you plan a fun-filled break.
What better way to start your holiday in Salcombe than with a bit of retail therapy? Amble along the cobbled streets browsing through the diverse selection of independent stores, boutiques and local outlets – home to some famous brands which started right here on our very doorstep.
You can’t come away from Salcombe without one of Quba & Co’s bespoke sailcloth jackets. These trademark jackets are somewhat an icon of Salcombe, with no two items being the same. Originally established right here in Salcombe in 1996, Quba & Co now have stores dotted all throughout the UK. They’ve diversified their nautically themed range with sailcloth bags, holdalls, cushions and even doggie coats.
A very stylish store offering unique and luxurious fashion. This luxury boutique offers the simple excitement of discovering gorgeous, well-made things – from soft Scandi knits and easy weekend-wear to sumptuous silk dresses, French perfumes and handcrafted homewares. It’s definitely worth a visit to treat yourself to something special.
Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane at Cranch’s pantry and sweetshop. This traditional little store is adorned from floor to ceiling with jars of every sort of sweet and treat you could possibly imagine. With all the old favourites, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store with the selection of goodies. With their iconic pink and white striped store front, Cranch’s is a fantastic spot for kids of all ages, who leave with their striped paper bags filled to the brim with decadent treats. They also have a companion store which sells groceries, drinks and other things you may feel you have forgotten on your day in Salcombe.
Selling personalised bags and accessories, handmade in their Salcombe store, Will Bees Bespoke has emerged as another unique Salcombe brand. Anyone who has been in the store will tell you how welcoming the staff are as well as how beautiful the product is. With free initials embossed onto the bags, these are truly special pieces which are perfect for a personal purchase to remind you of your holiday or to give as a gift! The vintage chic style of the shop immediately makes you feel at home, so make sure you take a trip to this exciting store!
Yet another brand synonymous with Salcombe is Jack Wills. Starting with a single store in Salcombe’s Fore Street, Jack Wills has established itself as a British lifestyle and heritage brand which has grown from strength to strength. Known for its high-quality, heritage inspired wardrobe classics, Jack Wills epitomises a carefree, youthful spirit – intrinsically charming, endlessly optimistic and unapologetically British.
Take a look at our blog on Salcombe shops to find out more about shops in Salcombe high street.
This fantastic pub in the heart of Salcombe is a great place to eat all year round. Spend summer days lounging in their huge hidden garden devouring crab sandwiches, or while away the evening with friends selecting snacks from their nibbles menu.
This lively bar and grill is always bustling and serves food all day. For a fun night out, head down to the bar with a group of friends and tuck into big burgers and hearty salads, followed by cocktails on the deck watching the world go by. Take a look at our guide to the best pubs in Salcombe.
Anyone who has been to Salcombe before will recommend the Winking Prawn. This established restaurant overlooking North Sands has a quirky charm and a cool 50’s beach décor. For those who like a relaxed atmosphere and casual service, enjoy a buffet breakfast, seafood platters and scrumptious baguettes at lunch time or head down in the evening for the barbecue feast with lots of fish, meat and veggie delights.
A stunning waterside location, with an atmospheric view, the Crabshed is definitely a seafood lovers haven. Conveniently located near the Fish Quay, they specialise the very best seasonal fish and shellfish supplied directly from their Crab Factory and the local fishing boats. Take a look at our guide to 5 mouth-watering restaurants in Salcombe.
No trip to Salcombe is complete without a visit to Salcombe Gin distillery. Winning a host of international and regional awards, Salcombe Gin have refined the art of a gin experience. Whether you are a discerning expert or merely dabble in the odd G&T, Salcombe Gin Distillery is a delight to visit. Take a tour through their distillery where they make their award winning gin, or mix and match the aromatic flavours that you prefer and craft your very own special blend to take home. All rounded off by sipping a superb G&T in their stylish distillery bar overlooking the water.
What could be more exciting than taking a trip on an amphibious sea tractor. Enjoy the unique experience of taking a drive across the beach topped off with a lovely jaunt through the water. The ferry runs between Whitestrand, in the centre of Saclombe and the picturesque beach of South Sands.
The spa at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, located on Salcombe’s beautiful waterfront, has everything you’d expect from a luxurious spa facility and more, including an indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and fitness suite.
Indulge in a relaxing HarSPA Bespoke Massage using traditional techniques and body oils tailored to your needs. Treatments include a head massage, or a hot stone massage using the heat of volcanic basalt stones, which reaches deep into tired muscles, stimulating muscle rejuvenation and providing warm relief and relaxation. Salcombe Harbour Hotel is also home to the Jetty Restaurant, a popular eatery with an emphasis on fresh local produce.
For creative kids and families keen to explore their artistic sides, Paper Bird Island is the perfect Salcombe attraction.
Paint papier mâché animal shapes, boxes and hanging bird greeting cards in a fun and friendly atmosphere or sign up to a workshop for a structured session.
Kidz and co soft play is an oasis for parents and tots alike. Fun, games and entertainment for the little ones, while parents can take a load off and enjoy a welcomed cup of something warm and a treat to eat. Not only do they offer a space for kids to have fun and parents relax, but there is a crèche where you can leave your kids in great hands while you enjoy a bit of adult time.
Established in 1979 in a small stone shed at the bottom of Coronation Road, the Salcombe Dairy is home to the most delicious ice cream in South Devon. Still using the original recipe developed by the founder Peter Howard, their success story is simple – they’ve been around this long because their ice cream is just so very good! With quality milk straight from the farm first thing each morning and the double cream in fresh from the creamery, it’s no wonder their ice creams are so delightfully decadent.
Why not take the family for a dip at Salcombe’s heated outdoor swimming pool. A brilliant little facility that will have your kids whiling away the hours while you can sit and relax in the sun. Lifeguards are always on duty so there’s a safe space for kids to swim and have fun.
What trip to Salcombe is complete without a crabbing session? This seaside tradition keeps kids and adults entertained for hours. Make sure to read our blog on the ultimate guide to crabbing for all the best tips on what you will need and also a few of the best spots.
Explore the beautiful Salcombe Estuary on a self-drive boat with Whitestrand Boat Hire. They’ll show you the ropes so you don’t need any experience to take the wheel of a range of vessels, from open fishercraft to cabin cruisers. The company also offers mackerel fishing trips if you’d rather leave the piloting to someone else.
Dinghies are ideal for sailing beginners, and with Salcombe Dinghy Sailing you can (literally) learn the ropes under the watchful eye of Ross Crook, an RYA Chief Instructor, or even hire a dinghy to take out yourself (experience permitting).
Read loads more about sailing in Salcombe, from dinghy’s to luxury yachts in our blog on Salcombe sailing.
Yet more options for getting on the water are provided by Salcombe Boat Hire, who offer self-drive 12ft-16ft boats, all driven by steering wheels and suitable for beginners. They’ll provide you with lifejacks, instructions and a chart of the estuary so you can find your way around.
Would you prefer to be out exploring the water under your own steam? Sea Kayak Salcombe, based at South Sands, will either train you up, take you on a tour, or let you hire a sea kayak so you can discover the estuary yourself.
Hungry for even more ways to enjoy the clear blue waters of the estuary? Sea N Shore could be the Salcombe attraction for you, with their powerboat training, rib rides, water-skiing and wakeboarding sessions, banana boat rides, wildlife watching trips and more.
Enjoy one of the most popular pastimes on the water and explore Salcombe as you have never seen it before. Salcombe Paddleboarding provide everything you need for an unforgettable day out on the water. Take a guided tour of the estuary or have one-on-one tuition and learn to paddleboard as a memorable part of your Salcombe stay.
Where better to enjoy an invigorating swim in the outdoors. Salcombe’s coastline is peppered with secluded coves and sandy beaches. Whether you take a quick dip or a leisurely paddle, the serene, exquisite surroundings are a tonic for the soul. Read more about our favourite spots across South Devon on our blog about Wild Swimming.
Sitting high over Salcombe, the view from Overbeck’s House and Gardens is as impressive as the property itself. Now run by the National Trust, Overbeck’s is one of the most popular Salcombe attractions in our list. The quirky natural history and art exhibitions, combined with the unique assemblage of plants from around the world, are a fitting tribute to the eccentric scientist and inventor, Otto Overbeck (1860 – 1937).
Find out more about Overbeck’s life and work as you explore the house and grounds, which you’ll find close to South Sands, a little over a mile from the centre of Salcombe.
Salcombe’s little museum packs in plenty of interest for lovers of all things maritime. Through paintings, photographs, models and other artefacts, visitors can learn about Salcombe’s links with shipping and the sea, from ancient times all the way to the Second World War.
Each of the town’s beautiful beaches is an attraction in its own right. Tucked along the mouth of the estuary, in a protected bay are two of the most desirable beach locations in the South West.
Crystal clear waters and a large sandy beach perfect for families makes North Sands Beach one of Salcombe’s favourite spots. Within easy walking distance of the town and offering a large car park, families flock to the beach for hours of fun in the sun. A day at North Sands is best rounded off by visit to the Winking Prawn, with views out over the sparkling blue sea. Find out more about North Sands beach here
A little further along the coast is the unspoilt South Sands beach. Enjoy the warm sun, soft sands and clear seas. Visit Bo’s Beach Café after your day of building sandcastles, sunbathing and swimming. Sit down, relax, chat, check the delicious food menu out and enjoy the atmosphere. And don’t forget, there’s the Salcombe Ferry which takes you straight into town. Find out more about South Sands beach here
East Portlemouth beach is a series of small sandy coves that look out west towards Salcombe and the clear blue water of the Kingsbridge Estuary. While accessible by car, the journey does takes around 35-40 minutes so, why not enjoy the adventure of taking the passenger ferry from Salcombe across the estuary? Its location is one reason why the beach tends to be a little quieter and more serene than its local rivals. Pop into the Venus Café for a quick snack or a delicious ice cream.
Another great thing about this beach is that it is dog-friendly all year. Take your pooch with for a splash and a romp with the rest of the family. Read more about other dog-friendly beaches in the area.
Salcombe sits on a beautiful section of the South West Coast Path, with stunning scenery in both directions. An eastward hike from East Portlemouth(after taking the passenger ferry) will take you to Gara Rock beach, Prawle Point and onward to the rugged charm of Start Point and its iconic lighthouse. A south-westerly walk will lead you to Starehole Bay, Soar Mill Cove and you could even make it all the way to Hope Cove’s beaches and beyond (stamina and sturdy footwear are required!)
Whether you love walking, watersports, wining and dining or all of the above, why not book a holiday in Salcombe and spend your week enjoying the best that South Devon has to offer. Choose from around 150 stunning Salcombe holiday homes with Coast & Country Cottages. Like Salcombe itself, we have self-catering accommodation options to suit everyone, from large groups to young families and couples.