Liz’s pick of the best things to do in Salcombe
Looking for the best things to do in Salcombe? This area of the UK is the perfect place to discover breathtaking natural beauty and quaint shops and eateries. It’s an area that’s teeming with life and history that’s as popular with sea swimmers as it is with spa dwellers.
Salcombe, near the Kingsbridge Estuary, is also a fantastic base from which to explore South Hams, with its bustling shopping and hospitality only a short walk from Devon’s secluded rural charm.
Read on to discover Liz’s pick of the best things to do in Salcombe.
The best things to do in Salcombe
Where to stay
Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa
Closer into the town, on the banks of the picturesque Salcombe estuary sits the Harbour Hotel & Spa. This award-winning luxury bolt-hole makes the most of its setting within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with extensive balconies and panoramic views across the water.
For foodies, the hotel offers local and seasonal ingredients whipped up into tasty dishes at the in-house restaurant. Nothing beats a leisurely afternoon tea overlooking the twinkly water and boats below.
Hire one of the hotel’s bikes to explore the thriving local area – on request they’ll even provide a picnic to take with you, so you never have to pause the adventure. Once you’re back, be sure to unwind in the hotel’s luxurious spa. Enjoy natural and holistic top-of-the-range treatments, or pop into the restorative sauna, all perfectly in tune with the gentle landscape outside.
Comfortable rooms with floor-to-ceiling views of boats passing by are the perfect way to conclude a day exploring the local area.
For something more novel and quirky, try the unique Airstream caravan at Swallows’ Flight. This authentic trailer has been meticulously restored into comfortable and characterful accommodation. The imaginative use of space means there’s room for two adults in a luxurious double bed.
Fans of vintage will love the streamlined silver look, but Swallows’ Flight does not scrimp on comfort. There are extensive shared facilities, like a family-sized table and washing machine, in the barn next door.
The best bit? The honesty freezer is teeming with delicious ice cream from Salcombe Dairy. Just the the thing after a long walk on the beach…
What to do
Will Bees Bespoke
On Island Street, a pretty destination with a long history of boat building, you’ll find Will Bees Bespoke. It’s a combined workshop and retail space where you can watch textiles turn into treasures. Each handmade accessory and bag is virtually unique. Using only the highest-quality natural leather, linens and tweeds, Will Bees fashions gorgeous bags of all sizes, and each one can be hand-embossed with your initials by a craftsman in the store.
All of the suppliers to this shop are native to the UK. Each craft uses traditional techniques in England, so you can be sure you’re supporting local businesses.
Salcombe Dinghy Sailing
The twinkling ocean that traces Devon’s expansive shoreline is the jewel in its crown. Sailing is by far one of the most popular activities in Salcombe, for both locals and tourists, and the estuary is always dotted with tall white sails rising out of the water.
If you’re keen to try it out for yourself, head to Salcombe Dinghy Sailing on the waterside. They have lessons and tuition for all abilities and ages. It’s a family business with a dedicated team to make sure you feel safe and have fun while learning a new skill on the water.
Where to eat
The Crab Shed
There is something quintessentially British about a crab sandwich by the sea and there’s no better place to scoop one up than at The Crab Shed Salcombe. This restaurant pairs sweeping views across the water with the best fresh and locally sourced crab.
Whether you choose the light and bright interior or dine al fresco over Batson’s Creek, you’ll be treated to hand-picked sustainable seafood, light salads and sandwiches.
For the very best ice creams and chocolates, don’t miss the family-run Salcombe Dairy. Made with only the freshest local dairy delivered from the creamery each morning, the products are as delicious as they are inventive.
Visit the shops in Salcombe, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge for a sorbet by the seaside or a coffee on the quay. They even offer teas grown in the South West!