Salcombe - Kingsbridge Coast Guide 

Salcombe, located in south Devon, is famous as a seaside resort and sailing centre. There are several excellent beaches nearby and stunning scenery all around.  The town may be reached via the A381 from Totnes or the A379 from the Plymouth direction.


For details of Salcombe Hotels and Holidays, Guest Houses, Cottages  and Attractions.  Go to Salcombe Hotels, Guest Houses and Cottages    

The town itself is small and hugs the steep hillsides that surrounds it - a passenger ferry crosses to the sandy beaches on the far side of the river at East Portlemouth. Salcombe lies on the west bank of the Kingsbridge estuary which is a large area of sheltered water that attracts both wildlife and sailors. This area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is also a nature reserve. This is the most southerly of Devon's towns and has a warm almost Mediterranean climate; oranges and lemons can be grown as well as palm trees in local gardens. This gives the town a rather exotic feel its as if you had been transported to hotter climes.

If you walk (hint) along through Salcombe, going south you will find two very nice beaches at North Sands and South Sands (see photos). There is a car park at North Sands but it does get very busy in summer. There is also a restaurant/ shop called The Winking Prawn. Parking is very limited at South Sands but the beach is sandy and quite large it is very popular in summer. There is a small beachside cafe where you can hire a sailing boat or kayak from South Sands Sailing School. An alternative means of transport is to catch the passenger ferry which runs between Salcombe harbour and South Sands beach - takes about 10 minutes. 

     Beach on the East Portlemouth side     South Sands beach    Salcombe gardens Devon

                    East Portlemouth beach                                                       South beach Salcombe                                                   Salcombe gardens




There are also sandy beaches at Smalls Cove and Mill Bay which may be reached by car or by passenger ferry to the East Portlemouth side. Visitors should be aware that parking can be a problem in the summer months on both sides of the estuary. It is sometimes better to park at the East Portlemouth side (this is where most of the beaches are) and catch the passenger ferry back into Salcombe. 

Kingsbridge lies at the head of the estuary and is a pleasant market town with an attractive water front area. There are no beaches here but there is access to East Portlemouth where there are several good beaches. 

What to see in Salcombe

Salcombe Powerboat School - Salcombe (01548) 842727

Salcombe Dinghy Sailing - Salcombe(01548) 842786

Ferry Inn - Ideal place to await the ferry with great views along the river!

Shops - there are lots of upmarket clothes shops including Jack Wills which started off in Salcombe. 

Overbecks - Sub-tropical gardens overlooking the estuary. Phone: 01548 842893 

Bolt Head - walk along the estuary to Bolt Head - you can walk further along the south west coast path to Bolt Tail. 

Tourist Information Centre - Council Hall Market Street, Salcombe Devon TQ8 8DE

   Salcombe estuary    Crossing to East Portlemouth and Salcombe yawls



Sorley Tunnel Adventure Worlds - Children's adventure park in Kingsbridge. Phone: 01548 854078

Nearby are the resorts of Thurlestone and Bigbury.

Map of the Salcombe area

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< Torcross Guide                                                                                     Bigbury Guide >


Other sections of the guide you might also enjoy - see below.


There is a wide selection of activities that can be found on our coastline - these range from a gentle stroll to the next bay, to swimming and snorkelling, to more energetic activities such as sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kite sailing. See Activities section.


Attractions - see listings pages

national lobster hatchery padstowA huge selection of attractions are available within the coastal area and this section will have details of many of them. From piers and harbours to fun fairs and roller coasters, the listings will have details of what's available in your chosen area. For details of attractions look in the resort pages. 

 The National Lobster Hatchery - Padstow

Beach Pub

Pubs, restaurants and shopping guide

The listings section will also have details of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and shops available in the locality. Restaurants and shops coming soon.....

                                                                                                                                            The Beach Pub - Exmouth


We will bring you feature  articles  about the coastline and  news items about life in the coastal area. contributions to this section are welcome.

Photo Gallery

South west coast






Ukcoastguide 2019