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Things to Do

Everything you need to get the most out of your stay

Watersports

You’d be hard-pressed to find another town in the UK that’s better suited to a life on the water than Salcombe. Below are a few excellent companies that operate in the area.

Sea Kayak Salcombe
Located on South Sands beach, this active company hires out single kayaks, tandem kayaks and SUPs (Stand-Up paddleboards). They also provide excellent half day or full day kayak tours, and also offer the chance to embark on a white water sea adventure around all the ‘rock gardens’ of Salcombe. Perfect way to spend a day in the sea!
The Old Lifeboat House, South Sands Beach, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8LN (10 minute walk)
Tel: 01548 843451, email: info@seakayaksalcombe.co.uk, web: www.southsandssailing.co.uk

Salcombe Dinghy Sailing
Zoe and Ross Crook run a great company that hire out boats of all sizes. You can either take lessons in sailing with an RYA approved instructor, or embark on your own seafaring adventure, with or without an instructor (providing you can competently sail). With Salcombe being one of the best places to sail in the country, we really advise you not to miss this opportunity!
Mob: 07809 556457, email: salcombedinghysailing@gmail.com

Surfing

South Devon is home to some nice surf beachs that have sandy sea bottoms which make it perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. Bantham Bay is the best beach to visit, with some good break spots and a great surf academy where you can hire out surfboards and take lessons. Details below.

Bantham Surfing Academy
Considered one of the best surf schools in Devon and based on the beautiful Batham Beach, the academy provides surfing lessons to complete novices through to advanced surf coaching. Families are welcome. On the beach there’s also plenty of rockpools to explore – so bring a net!
Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 3AJ (20 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 853803, Email: info@banthamsurfingacademy.co.uk

Wakeboarding, waterskiing, banana boating or scuba diving

Sea-N-Shore Salcombe
If you’ve never tried any of the above activities, now’s your chance! Please be aware that the banana boating is only suitable for groups over 10 in number. They provide the wetsuits, and also the chocolate! Sea-n-Shore also offer chartered boating trips for those trained in scuba diving. Room for 8 divers, the rib boats are skippered by licensed RYA dive instructors that will take you out to sea to some interesting dive sights.
Tel: 01548 842276, web: www.sea-n-shore.com

Fishing

Salcombe Angling
Skippered by Chris Roberts, who holds his Yachtmasters with commercial endorsement and is also fully trained in First Aid, Sea Survival and Fire Fighting, you can set sail any time of the year (providing the weather holds up). You can pick from Reef Charters, Bank Fishing, Wrecking, Shark Fishing and Mackerel Trips. If this is something that interests you please contact Chris with the information we’ve provided. Also you have the option of going to Island Street in Salcombe (8 minute drive away) and there a few boatyards will offer fishing trips.
Tel: 07967 387657, email: chris@salcombeangling.co.uk, web: www.salcombeangling.co.uk

Powerboating

Salcombe Powerboat School
With over 25 years of experience, ex-Marine Chris Stidston-Nott is a true professional. He offers taster lessons, lessons in powerboat handling, and intermediate and advanced lessons for the more experienced.
Bolberry House, Bolberry, Salcombe, Devon (10 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 560926, email: chris@salcombepowerboats.co.uk, web: www.salcombepowerboats.co.uk

Shooting

Salcombe Shooting School
Ex-Royal Marine Chris, who runs the Salcombe Powerboat School, also runs the Salcombe Shooting School, and offers lessons in clay pigeon and air rifle shooting. If you’ve never done it before, then beginner lessons are available that include gun safety and target practice.
Bolberry House Farm, Bolberry, Salcombe, Devon, TQ7 3DY (10 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 560926, email: chris@salcombeshootingschool.co.uk

Horse Riding

Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre
Riding lessons, hacks and show jumping for any ability and age, with ponies available for the little ones.
Kingsbridge TQ7 2QF (30 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 581049, www.dittiscombeequestrian.co.uk

Paintballing

Delta Force Paintball
The UK’s premier paintballing company that facilitates for any size of group.
Ledgate Lane, Sparkwell, Plympton PL7 5DA (40 minute drive)
Tel: 0844 477 5115, web: www.paintballgames.co.uk/paintball-plymouth-centre

Golf

Thurlestone Golf Club
Glorious 18-holer situated right on the coast. Undulating and sometimes tricky, the course is a mix of links and cliff-top terrain.
Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 3NZ (20 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 560405, www.thurlestonegolfclub.co.uk

Dartmouth Golf & Country Club
This is one of Devon’s best golfing destinations, having hosted the West Region PGA Championships no less than six times. It has two courses: the Championship Course which fares at a whopping 7,200 yards in length, and the Dartmouth Course which is at an easier 2,252 yards.
Blackawton, near Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7DE (30 minute drive)
Tel: 01803 712686, www.dgcc.co.uk

Pampering

The Beauty Lounge Salcombe
Modern, stylish salon. Beauty treatments include body massages and facials.
St Dunstans Road, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8AN (5 minute drive)
www.thebeautyloungesalcombe.co.uk

The Hen House
Five treatment rooms available, plus a hair salon and private gym. Choose from massage and complementary therapies or take part in pilates, yoga and zumba exercises. For pampering in the comfort of your property, there is a range of treatments available from a local therapist including massage, pedicure, manicure, etc. Please book well in advance.
Coombe Farm, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 4AB (20 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 852038

Please enquire via Glo Pamper (www.glo-pamper.co.uk) via telephone number 0207 096 0385.

Top Things to Do for Children

Woodlands Leisure Park

This is the largest family theme park in Devon. Rides and attractions, indoor and outdoor, complete with a zoo/farm and falconry displays.
Blackawton, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7DQ (30 minute drive)
Tel: 01803 712598, www.woodlandspark.com

Overbeck’s Subtropical Gardens

Palm trees, banana plants and citrus and olive trees make Overbeck’s Gardens a wonderland waiting to be explored. There’s also a interesting museum with lots of interesting artifacts on display. But children beware! There’s a ghost about, and his name is Fred – try and spot him in the secret room.
Sharpitor, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8LW (15 minute walk / 2 minute drive)
Tel: 01548 842893

Cranch’s Sweetshop

Sweet tooths will love this old-fashioned sweet shop down Fore Street. It has everything from traditional Victorian oddities to retro sweets like rhubarb and custard and sugar mice.
78 Fore Street, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8BY (30 minute walk / 5 minute drive)

National Marine Aquarium

Marvel at the ocean’s most beautiful creatures in one of Europe’s largest aquarium. Sharks, sea turtles, clown fish, octopuses and jellyfish all take up residence here, so there is plenty to see and lots to learn.
Rope Walk, Coxside, Plymouth PL4 0LF (50 minute drive)
Tel: 0844 8937938, www.national-aquarium.co.uk

Paignton Zoo

See them all – giraffes, lions, gorillas, cheetahs and crocodiles, plus cheeky meerkats, colourful snakes and amazing monkeys – there’s over two thousand creatures. There’s also indoor play areas, the Jungle Express train and six different habitats that mimic the animals’ natural environment.
Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU (50 minute drive)
Tel: 0844 4742222, www.paigntonzoo.org.uk

Pennywell Farm

A lovely farm where you can pet rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, chicks and ducklings, and see alpacas reindeer, cows, ducks and lambs.
Lower Dean, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0LT (45 minute drive)
Tel: 01364 642023, www.pennywellfarm.co.uk

Top Places to Visit

Salcombe

Without doubt one of the most beautiful places in Devon. With its brightly coloured, flower-laden cottages climbing up from the idyllic waterfront and the feel of a subtropical island paradise, Salcombe is the perfect place to escape the throes of city life. If you’re not practising your breaststroke or perfecting your sandcastles, you might be enjoying lunch out at a waterside restaurant or relaxing on an open ferry ride. Blessed with one of the best natural harbours in the British Isles, it is well heeled and comfortable – a nautical love affair (both Crew Clothing and Jack Wills started out here). Fore Street is where all the best shops are, while North Sands and South Sands beaches offer stunning views of the turquoise estuary. Be sure to try some of Salcombe’s amazing award-winning ice cream from the Salcombe Dairy – especially the honeycomb flavour.

Salcombe Beaches

North Sands is located towards Bolt Head and next to the ruins of Salcombe Castle. A lovely beach with fine golden sands, a shop and the best beach café around – The Winking Prawn – that serves local seafood. At South Sands and Splat Cove there is a lovely sandy beach with fine sand, a shop, café, a beachside restaurant and every imaginable watersport for you to enjoy. You can also take the (seasonal) ferry into Salcombe.

Bantham Beach
Surfers know Bantham as the South Coast’s premier surfing beach, home to much wildlife with its rare sand dune habitat. Also well known is The Sloop Inn serving good pub food, including lots of local fresh fish right near the beach.

Hope Cove
The pretty and secluded fishing village of Hope Cove with its fine sandy beaches and calm waters is perfect for families. Sheltered by Bolt Tail, the Cove’s sandy beaches with small waves are excellent for small children.

Thurlestone
A pretty village with thatched old stone buildings and stunning views to the sea, dominated by Thurlestone Rock just off the coast and two big beaches including South Milton Sands.

Burgh Island
Take a sea tractor across to Bigbury-on-Sea and the famous Burgh island
www.kingsbridge.info/hhbigbury

Dartmouth

Dartmouth is similar to Salcombe in its relaxed and affluent atmosphere. The town is fast becoming a very fashionable holiday destination, with lots of boutique shops and quality eateries having popped up in the last few years. However glamorous Dartmouth is becoming, though, the fishing industry still beats on here, and you can sit idly by watching the boats come in and deliver fresh fish to the restaurants lining the water’s edge. Culinary highlights include Seahorse (Tel: 01803 835147) and Rockfish (Tel: 01803 832800). To burn off your fish lunch, be sure to walk up to the gigantic Britannia Naval College, a stunning building which overlooks the town.

Dartmouth Castle
Beautiful 15th century castle nestled in the cliffs around Dartmouth, complete with a huge gun tower and some labyrinthine passages. You can get to Dartmouth Castle via a small ferry which sets sail from the town quay.

Totnes

Totnes prides itself on being different. Since 2006, the town has made every effort to wean itself from a dependence of peak oil. As a result, it has its own local currency – the ‘Totnes Pound’ – and makes every attempt at creating a strong localised community. There are lots of lovely shops here, and almost all are independent; you will find antique books, bespoke furniture, fine art, handmade shoes and market goods. Eateries are excellent, too, with Riverford Field Kitchen (Tel: 01803 762074) coming up trumps.