15 Best Things To Do In Salcombe, England

15 Best Things To Do In Salcombe, England

By will

Salcombe, England is a charming coastal town located in the South Hams district of Devon. It’s known for its stunning views, golden beaches, and laid-back atmosphere.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure on the high seas or a relaxing day in the sun, Salcombe has something for everyone. In this article, I’ll be revealing the 15 best things to do in Salcombe.

From exploring the harbour to taking in a sunset from the lookout point, you won’t want to miss out on these amazing activities.

So, let’s get started!

Stroll Along South Sands Beach

Salcombe Estuary
Photo by Bob Shires

A stroll along South Sands beach is an absolute must-do for anyone visiting Salcombe – you won’t regret it!

The beach is situated on the Salcombe Estuary, and at low tide you can explore the sandy shoreline and rock pools.

The seascape and surrounding area is stunning, with the estuary winding out to sea, the cliffs of Bolt Tail, and the rolling hills of Devon beyond.

You can spend hours here, exploring the beach, taking in the views, and searching for shells and other treasures.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the local wildlife, such as seals, dolphins, and the odd basking shark.

With its peaceful atmosphere and stunning setting, South Sands beach is an ideal spot for a peaceful stroll or a fun day out for all the family.

Explore Salcombe Harbour

Salcombe Harbour and Jetty
Photo by Peter Jeffery

Experience a charming view of the harbour in Salcombe – a picturesque location in the south of England.

Sitting at the mouth of the Kingsbridge Estuary, the harbour is the perfect spot for a peaceful day of exploring.

Take a stroll along the cobbled streets that lead to the waterfront and take in the stunning views of the estuary as sailboats drift by.

Stop by the Salcombe boatyard and learn a bit about the history of the harbour, or take a boat tour and get up close to the vibrant wildlife around the harbour.

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to explore, so you can take a break and enjoy some delicious local food.

Salcombe Harbour is a great place to explore and experience the quaintness of this charming English town.

Discover the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary

Salcombe Ferry Jetty on Salcombe/Kingsbridge Estuary
Photo by Will Spencer

Admire the beauty of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary, where sailboats drift lazily through the river and the wildlife around it thrives.

Stroll along the banks of the estuary and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this stunning corner of South Devon.

Take in the stunning scenery of the river and its surroundings, with the rolling hills and lush greenery of the area creating a picturesque backdrop.

Look out for the unique wildlife in the Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary.

The estuary provides a haven for a variety of birds, including curlews, redshanks, oystercatchers, and grey herons, which can be seen fishing in the waters of the estuary.

The estuary is also home to a variety of fish species, such as bass, mullet, and flounder, as well as a population of seals.

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Spend some time here and you may even spot a seal basking on the banks of the estuary.

Visit the Salcombe Maritime Museum

Discover the fascinating maritime history of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary at the Salcombe Maritime Museum.

Stepping through the museum’s doors, you can explore the area’s rich coastal heritage and uncover stories of its past.

From the local smuggling industry to the shipwrecks lurking beneath the waves, the museum is the perfect spot to learn about the area’s unique history.

Inside the museum, you can find displays and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the estuary, from its earliest days to the present.

There are also regular events and activities that provide a deeper insight into the estuary’s past.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Salcombe Maritime Museum is a must-visit destination to uncover the secrets of the estuary’s past.

Take a Boat Trip to the Sandy Beaches of the South Hams

Take a boat trip out to the stunning sandy beaches of the South Hams – just a short sail away from Salcombe – and you’ll get to see a side of England you won’t forget.

From the crystal clear waters to the sun-kissed beaches, it’s the perfect spot to kick back and relax.

Whether you take a private boat and explore the coastline on your own or join a larger tour, you’ll be able to see the beautiful sights of the South Hams.

On board, you’ll also get the chance to spot some of the amazing wildlife that can be found in the area, from wild dolphins to sea birds.

An unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.

Enjoy the Scenery at Overbeck’s National Trust Gardens

Immersing yourself in the beauty of Overbeck’s National Trust Gardens is an absolute must for any visit to Salcombe. Located in the South Hams, this stunning botanical garden has something for everyone, from breathtaking views to gorgeous flora and fauna.

The gardens are divided into a number of themed areas, such as an exotic garden, a woodland garden, and a wildflower meadow, all full of carefully cultivated plants and trees. You can take a leisurely stroll around the grounds, stopping to admire the many sculptures, or take a more adventurous hike to the top of the cliffs.

During your visit, you can also explore the museum, which houses a fascinating collection of artifacts relating to the history of the gardens, as well as the life of Victorian naturalist, Otto Overbeck. The museum also has a cafe, where you can enjoy a delicious cream tea or light lunch.

For those looking for a bit of luxury, there are also a number of luxury accommodation options in the grounds. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day out, or a romantic getaway, Overbeck’s National Trust Gardens is the perfect place to visit in Salcombe.

Take a Guided Kayaking Tour

Paddle along the stunning Salcombe coastline and explore its beautiful beaches and coves with a guided kayaking tour.

Feel the exhilaration of the waves crashing against your kayak as you experience the majestic nature of this part of England.

With a knowledgeable guide, you can discover the unique wildlife of the area and explore hidden gems of the Salcombe coast.

Take in the spectacular views of rolling hills and breath-taking cliffs, and explore some of the most picturesque coves and bays.

Get up close and personal with the rugged coastline and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, a guided tour is the perfect way to explore this beautiful area.

Explore Woodlands Valley Nature Reserve

Experience the wonders of Woodlands Valley Nature Reserve and explore its ancient woodlands, meadowlands, and ponds. Get lost in the beauty of the nature reserve as you meander through the lush meadows and woodland trails.

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Keep your eyes peeled for rare species of birds and butterflies as you traverse the ponds and streams. Absorb the fresh air and peaceful serenity of the area, as the sun casts its golden rays upon the valley.

The reserve is a haven for wildlife and a great spot to enjoy a break from city life.

For the more adventurous, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Pack a picnic and explore the many trails. Go fishing in the ponds and streams, or take a canoe out on the lake.

Walk around the old mills and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The reserve is a great spot to take some time out and appreciate the wonders of nature.

Go Shopping in Salcombe Town Centre

Take a stroll through the picturesque Salcombe Town Centre and discover its hidden gems.

With its cobbled streets, quaint restaurants, and charming boutiques, this small British town offers a delightful shopping experience.

Whether you’re looking for souvenirs to take home, the latest fashion, or unique items to add to your collection, you’ll find it in Salcombe.

Explore the nooks and crannies of the many shops that line the streets, each one offering something special.

Stop for a bite to eat in one of the cafes or restaurants, or take a break in one of the many pubs along the waterfront.

You can even have a cup of tea on one of the benches overlooking the sea.

With its mix of old-fashioned charm and modern amenities, the Salcombe Town Centre is a great place to spend the day.

Dine at the Salcombe Fish and Chip Shop

Treat yourself to an unforgettable meal at the renowned Salcombe Fish and Chip Shop, serving up the freshest seafood and classic British fare.

The quaint shop is a local favorite, with delicious fish and chips made from fresh, local seafood and their own secret batter recipe.

The menu also features a variety of other seafood treats, including battered fish, scampi, and calamari.

Enjoy your meal with a side of chips or mushy peas, and wash it down with a cold beer or glass of wine.

The Salcombe Fish and Chip Shop also offers a take-out option, so you can enjoy your meal on your own time.

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, the Salcombe Fish and Chip Shop has something for everyone.

Visit Salcombe Castle

Marvel at the majestic Salcombe Castle, a centuries-old fortress nestled in the heart of Salcombe. Built in the 13th century by the de Salcombe family, the castle was strategically placed to guard the harbour and town of Salcombe.

The castle is a Grade II listed building, and its ancient walls tell the stories of its past inhabitants and their struggles.

Explore the site and take in the breathtaking views of Salcombe and its surrounding countryside. The castle is also home to a wealth of wildlife and plant life, and the surrounding park is a great place to relax and unwind.

Take a guided tour of the castle and learn about its fascinating history. And don’t forget to take a photo of the incredible panoramic views from the castle’s walls.

Take a Tour of the Salcombe Brewery

Experience the unique taste of Salcombe’s own craft beer with a tour of the Salcombe Brewery.

Get to know the unique brewing process, from start to finish, and learn the secrets of the craft beer-making art.

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The tour includes an overview of the brewing process, a guided tasting of the award-winning ales, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

You’ll have the chance to sample some of the most popular beers, as well as some special brews that are created exclusively for the brewery.

Plus, you can pick up some souvenirs and brewing equipment to take home with you.

The tour is suitable for all ages and is a great way to get to know the brewery and the local beer culture.

The knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides will provide an informative and entertaining tour and give you a deeper understanding of the beer-making process.

Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, the Salcombe Brewery tour is sure to leave you feeling inspired.

Enjoy a Day of Swimming and Sunbathing at North Sands Beach

Take a break from your day and soak up the sun at North Sands Beach, a stunning stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear water. This beach is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, situated in the heart of Salcombe and boasting incredible views of the South Devon coastline.

With plenty of space for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the views, North Sands Beach is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of the area.

The waters at North Sands Beach are shallow and calm, making it a great spot for swimming with the whole family. And with plenty of sand to build sandcastles and play beach volleyball, there’s something for everyone here.

Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll or take a dip in the refreshing water, North Sands Beach is the perfect place to spend a day.

Go Bird Watching at Prawle Point

Gaze in wonderment at Prawle Point, an ideal spot for bird watching in the south of England. Located near the village of East Prawle in the South Hams district of Devon, Prawle Point is a haven for all kinds of birds.

From the rare chough to the iconic peregrine falcon, bird watchers can enjoy the beauty and diversity of the birds that inhabit this area. Not only is it a great spot for bird watching, but Prawle Point also offers stunning views of the nearby Salcombe estuary and the sea beyond.

Take some binoculars and a comfortable chair and spend some time doing a spot of bird watching at Prawle Point. You’ll be amazed at the variety of species, including ducks, gulls, waders, and raptors, that you can observe in their natural environment.

Make sure to bring a camera too, as you’ll want to capture the majestic views of the estuary and the picturesque coastline.

Enjoy a peaceful and rewarding day of bird watching at Prawle Point in Salcombe.

Enjoy a Sunset from the Salcombe Lookout Point

Head to Salcombe’s Lookout Point for a spectacular sunset! Situated on the cliffs of the Salcombe Estuary, the Lookout Point offers a breathtaking view of the ocean and a stunning display of colours as the sun sets.

The shifting hues of pink, orange, and yellow are breathtaking, and nothing quite compares to the warmth of the evening air as the sun dips below the horizon.

With the sound of waves crashing against the shore, the Lookout Point provides a mesmerizing experience that will stay with you long after the sun has set.

Whether you’re alone or with someone special, the Salcombe Lookout Point is a must-visit spot for a memorable evening.


Now that you’ve explored Salcombe, England and all of the amazing things it has to offer, it’s time to take a break and relax. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll along the beach, an exciting boat trip, or a peaceful sunset from the lookout point, Salcombe has something for everyone.

With so much to do and see, Salcombe is sure to be a place you will want to visit again and again. So, don’t wait any longer, book your trip to Salcombe today and start making memories that will last a lifetime.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.