Salcombe lies on the south Devonshire coast on the banks of the Kingsbridge Estuary. Unsurprisingly, it’s within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you read on, you’ll see why. The iconic image of Salcome is one with beautiful turquoise waters scattered with colourful bobbing boats, and a backdrop of rolling countryside. It’s a hub for sailing, and a beautiful seaside town that’s perfect for holidaying. Having never visited before, I thought it would be the perfect stop-off on my way down to Cornwall, and how glad I am I did.
An Evening in Higher Ashton, Devon
Following a long day celebrating a birthday in Broadway and catching up with friends, we had a long drive ahead down to Carbis Bay. I hadn’t driven in quite some time (before moving to Canada), and so was a little wary of driving. In order to break up the journey, I therefore looked at places to stay on the way down, and found a little beauty in Higher Ashton, near Exmouth in Devon.
Called the Old Bakehouse, it’s set in the rural hamlet of Higher Ashton, right in the heart of the Devon countryside. A converted bakery next to a fifteenth century thatched cottage, it has gorgeous views across the peaceful Teign Valley.
I loved that you can swing open the door to acres of glorious countryside.
Inside, it’s cosy with everything you could possibly need.
Our hosts kindly provided a welcome pack of food too. There was everything from fresh bread to yoghurts to organic eggs for breakfast.
The perfect stopover, and even better when you can enjoy this view from bed in the morning.
Unfortunately starting the day with some miserable drizzle, we hit the road. I was keen to dodge the worst of the rain, and to arrive in Lelant in Cornwall before it got too dark. One stop I was keen to make on the way for lunch was in Salcombe. I’d seen beautiful pictures of the harbour and wanted to witness it firsthand. So off we set.
Parking up, it may not have been the glorious sunshine I wished for, but it was still pretty. We walked along a street with views across the Kingsbridge Estuary before heading into the town.
The town centre of Salcombe is lined with boutique shops, adorable cafes, seaside attire, and more. It reminded me a lot of St Ives with its winding cobbled streets. It’s easy enough to turn a corner and come face to face with another gorgeous view of the harbour.
The town also has a number of local art galleries and gift shops to pick up treats for loved ones, so it’s well worth a few hours of browsing. You can expect to eat well too, with so many cosy pubs and restaurants serving up fresh seafood, Devonshire cream teas, and pasties. Don’t miss the Salcombe ice cream shop, and for a little tipple head to Salcombe Gin.
Things to Do in Salcombe
Salcombe has always been about the sea. Up until around a century ago, most inhabitants of Salcome made their money from fishing, boats, shipbuilding, and even smuggling and piracy. Nowadays, although there are less pirates, it still has a thriving harbour.
We meandered the small streets, walking past holiday cottages and lobster vendors. Of course, there are also sandy beaches and calm turquoise waters to enjoy in the summer months. Salcombe even has its own microclimate, meaning there’s a balmier temperature with warmer summers and mild winters.
Salcombe is also a paradise for those keen on water sports. From kayaking to paddle boarding, there are classes and opportunities to get stuck into the beautiful waters. Don’t miss a mackerel fishing trip, or an adrenaline fuelled RIB ride along the coast. There’s also the Salcombe Town Regatta each August, with opportunities to celebrate your favourite teams.
Walking back towards the car, we picked up a pasty ready for our Cornish adventure. Of course, we had to take the long way round to take in those lovely views again when it wasn’t so rainy and misty.
Salcombe, you’re a Devonshire dream! I’ll be back soon to see more of what you have to offer.
That’s my overview to Salcombe! Where are your favourite seaside towns to visit? Let me know in the comments below.