Salcombe is a popular resort town in the South Hams district of Devon. The town is close to the mouth of the Kingsbridge Estuary, mostly built on the steep west side of the estuary. It lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The town's extensive waterfront and the naturally sheltered harbour formed by the estuary gave rise to its success as a boat- and shipbuilding and sailing port and, in modern times, tourism especially in the form of pleasure sailing and yachting.
Salcombe has many shipwrecks just off the coast, which are popular with divers.
Towards the mouth of the estuary is the Bar, a spit of sand protruding from the east bank which is exposed at low spring tides. In this state of tide and with strong southerly winds the bar can make the entrance to the estuary nearly impassable. It is believed that Lord Tennyson's famous poem "Crossing the Bar" was inspired by a visit to Salcombe during the 19th century. The poem begins with the lines,
"Sunset and evening star and one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to sea"
The moaning refers to the noise of the water breaking over The Bar.
Salcombe Lifeboat Station was established by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1869. In 1916 the Salcombe lifeboat, an open rowboat "The William and Emma", was capsized crossing The Bar resulting in 13 of the 15 crew's lives being lost. The original lifeboat station on South Sands is no longer used and there is a lifeboat museum and shop in Salcombe town, at the lifeboat station itself.
Salcombe Crab is famous the world over and is the source of income for many businesses and families in the town. The local shops and restaurants sell fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish daily.
During the summer months Salcombe comes alive with tourists, sailors, rowers, walkers and families. Sailing, rowing and community Regatta's take place over the summer and attract crowds from miles around.
Places to visit in Salcombe:
Number one visit has to be to Cranch's Sweetshop. This is the oldest sweetshop in Devon and sells traditional sweets from jars as well as fudge, chocolate, rock and other novelties.