Thursday, 2 January 2020

How To Spend A Weekend In Salcombe

The British seaside is great: there's no doubt about it. Fresh sea air and ice creams and pasties and cute puppies and happy Brits aplenty. But I must admit, there's something about the seaside on a grey winter's day - when there are just a handful of people around and hardly a holidaymaker in sight - that feels extra special and peaceful.

My boyfriend grew up in South Devon, so we're lucky enough to spend lots of time by this beautiful stretch of coast. In the winter the waves crash noisily against the cliffs and the sea looks icy and uninviting. I find the drama and hostility of the seaside in the winter truly invigorating.

Whatever the season, this is fast becoming one of my favourite parts of the world. If you're considering visiting Salcombe and Devon's South Coast any time soon, here are a few things I highly recommend you put on your 'to do' list. Maybe I'll see you down there!

North Sands, Salcombe
1. Go for a stroll or a paddle board on North Sands 

North Sands is Salcombe's prettiest beach. In the summer it's always packed with tourists, so I'd recommend visiting out of season if you want to experience it when there's peace and quiet. I wouldn't suggest paddle boarding in the winter, but if you're heading to Salcombe in the spring or summer this is a nice place to do it. The sea is relatively still and there are some lovely views along the coast line when you get past the outcrop of rocks.

2. Have a mooch around Salcombe's shops 

A trip to Salcombe wouldn't be complete without a stroll down the main thoroughfare and a mooch around the shops. There are lots of nice independents as well as a couple of chains (the likes of Fat Face and Joules): more than enough to wile away a couple of hours. 

3. Try a pasty from The Bake House 

The Bake House sell the best pasties in Salcombe without a shadow of a doubt. I love the cheese and onion one, my boyfriend is a fan of the beef. On a busy weekend you should get down there early as sometimes they do sell out! But whatever you do, don't go home without trying one! The cheese straws are pretty great, too.

4. Visit The Winking Prawn 

The Winking Prawn is a characterful little cafe / restaurant on North Sands. You can sit outdoors in the summer or indoors if it's chilly. They have a huge menu featuring lots of fresh fish and locally caught crab. It's a lovely little place for lunch or a coffee. The crab baguette is my fave.

5. Cosy up with soup and scones at Sailor V

Another recent discovery of ours was Sailor V, which is incredibly cosy and welcoming with a great menu, too. If you're looking for somewhere in Salcombe to sit with a book and cuppa for an hour or two, this is your haven. I'd also highly recommend the scones.

6. Head to Bantham for a beautiful beach stroll 

Bantham is just twenty minutes' drive from Salcombe, and is home to a huge stretch of beach that's great for a walk and some salty sea air. It's dog friendly too, and a great place to let the doggos run free. If the weather is good, take a picnic (and your surfboard if that's your thing) and make an afternoon of it.

Bantham Beach
7. Take a day trip to Dartmouth and walk to the Castle and Sugar Cove 

Dartmouth is a little further afield - around 45 minutes in the car from Salcombe - but if you're in South Devon for a long weekend and fancy a change of scene, Dartmouth can make for a pleasant day trip. It's a little bigger than Salcombe with lots of nice shops, cafes and restaurants to pop your head into. You can also do a lovely short walk from the centre of town along the coast to Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage) and Sugar Cove, where you can grab a coffee or a hot choc before strolling back.

The view from Dartmouth
8. Visit Kingsbridge for tapas at The Old Bakery 

Kingsbridge is another lovely tourist hub nearby Salcombe, home to great pubs and a pretty stretch of estuary. If you fancy heading somewhere different for a tasty meal, look no further than The Old Bakery. It's a beautiful old building with wooden beams and a cosy, romantic feel in the centre of Kingsbridge. The tapas are to die for and the staff are lovely. Book ahead as the restaurant is only tiny. You don't want to risk being disappointed.

9. Explore Dartmoor National Park

Last but not least, one of my favourite parts about this part of the country is the sprawling and dramatic moors of Dartmoor. It's very Great Expectations. If you have time and the weather isn't too wet, head to the moors for a drive, a walk and a climb (clambering up the tors is a lot of fun). You might be lucky enough to spot some wild ponies, too.


Have you been to Salcombe or South Devon? Are you planning a trip? I'd love to hear about your favourite things to do there in the comments.


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