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The great escape


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This Devon fishing town’s winding streets offer glorious views of the Kingsbridge estuary and easy access to sandy beaches.

Places of note There’s plenty to occupy the active, with scenic hikes, sailing, sea-kayaking and surfing on one of the many local beaches. Have a drink at the Salcombe Distilling Company, on the harbour, where you can watch the gin being produced. Overbeck’s is an Edwardian country house on the cliffs south of town, with stunning sea views, three hectares of subtropical gardens and quirky collections that once belonged to inventor Otto Overbeck. It’s a half-hour drive to Dartmoor National Park.

Famous faces Rod Stewart has holidayed here, and Mary Berry, Kate Bush, Michael Parkinson and Clive Woodward have all owned holiday properties in Salcombe.

To eat Order a crab sandwich for lunch at the Crab Shed, overlooking the harbour. South Sands Restaurant serves assured but unpretentious food with sea views, while if you’re looking for an old-fashioned pub, try the Victoria Inn, which serves fresh, locally sourced produce.

1 To stay

Gara Rock is rated by Condé Nast Traveller, though it’s not strictly in Salcombe – it’s across the estuary in East Portlemouth. It has a rustic Soho House vibe, with panoramic views, a good restaurant, a cinema room, a spa and indoor and outdoor pools. You can walk to the ferry terminal for the three-minute boat ride to Salcombe. Doubles from £570 for two nights, B&B.

2 To rent

Perfect for two large families or a group of up to 12, this luxurious house is a 15-minute walk from the centre of town and five minutes from North Sands beach. It has a large kitchen, three seating areas, a barbecue on the large balcony and grandstand views across the estuary to sea. A week’s self-catering starts at £5,500.

3 To Airbnb

This stylish three-bedroom townhouse in the heart of Salcombe has an outdoor deck with a barbecue, an open-plan living and kitchen area, and sea views from the master bedroom. From £897 for three nights.

4 To buy

One of a handful of 19th-century fisherman’s cottages by the sea wall in Salcombe, this end-of-terrace house has two bedrooms, a south-facing garden and gorgeous estuary views. £900,000.