Salcombe remains unspoiled and one of the most beautiful harbour towns in this country
Growing up in Plymouth, I knew Salcombe from an early age. Even at that time, it was known to be the jewel of the South West and very exclusive. Since then far more people have become aware of Salcombe not just in this country, but internationally. However, it still remains unspoiled and one of the most beautiful harbour towns in the world. Initially its fame was largely due to sailing but the range of interests and watersports that are catered for now extend to diving, fishing, walking, riding and many others.
Although visiting regularly during the years when my children where growing up, we had no permanent base in the South West and from my knowledge of the area, I knew that Salcombe was really the only village which appeared to have everything. The landscape itself is extremely beautiful with houses layered down the steep sides of the estuary not unlike a continental hill town. The sandy beaches on both sides of the estuary are reached easily by foot (Salcombe side) or by ferry and the village itself is charming. No question then that having spent much of our early years as a family living abroad, Salcombe had to become our main home at some time.
Although some people tell me Salcombe has changed enormously over the years (which must of course happen to some extent if a village is to survive) it still retains everything which attracted me in the first place and now has far more to offer because of its increased popularity. Unlike many surrounding villages, we are still fortunate to have all the basic shops, a first rate Butcher, a Baker, two Delicatessens, a small general shop whose range of produce belies its size as well as a number of designer clothing shops which have lead to Salcombe's reputation of the St. Tropez of the South West! The village also has a wide range of restaurants, bistros, cafes and pubs. Sailors are able to obtain all the equipment and any repair work necessary for their craft from the numerous boatbuilders and chandlers in Island Street.
As the seasons change, the atmosphere in the village also changes; all those years ago the village was empty during the winter and it was quite a sad experience walking down Fore Street in January or February with all the shops closed and not a soul in sight. How different now when only one or two restaurants close for a short break during these months, but all the main shops and cafes remain open throughout the year. It is at this time of year when you can experience the real community spirit in the village. Salcombe buzzes at Christmas and New Year and afterwards a number of the local societies hold events (plays and concerts etc) running up to Easter when boat owners traditionally launch their craft for the coming season. A favourite pastime for our family at this time of year is to visit the Millbrook Inn at Southpool (one of the best pubs in the South West) for their Easter Bonnet competition and Duck race!
The spring and autumn generally are the best time for walks around the area to experience wild flowers (banks of primroses and bluebells in spring) and the colours of the woodlands adjoining the estuary in autumn. Year round, walking on the beaches at low tide is a memorable experience.
Summer probably speaks for itself as so many people now prefer to bring their children to Salcombe rather than/as well as travelling abroad. For nature lovers there are experiences at all seasons - a wide range of wild birds, seals even dolphins visit regularly.
I will try to give up-todate information on all the activities Salcombe has to offer the year round on our news/events page of the website.