Salcombe is arguably one of the most picturesque places in the UK and the world. Visiting one of these Salcombe holiday homes has to be on your bucket list.

With foreign travel off the agenda, this year’s summer holidays are set to be all about the best of the British Isles. Already, the most popular spots – from the resplendent Lake District to the big open landscapes and skies of North Norfolk coast to the rugged beauty of Cornwall – are getting booked up, so the key is to act fast. And chief amongst these top all-time British destinations must surely be Salcombe in heavenly South Devon.

There is, after all, very little not to love about it. Situated within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its coastal views are unparalleled. It sits right on the Kingsbridge Estuary and is, hands down, one of the prettiest towns in the county, its aesthetic reminiscent of easy breezy New Hampshire. It is the original home of a preponderance of great brands, from Crew Clothing to Jack Wills to Quba & Co and Salcombe Gin. Its beaches are sandy and exceptional. And the coastal walks and wildlife to be spotted in the South Hams area ensure that a holiday here will fire the imaginations of the whole family and stoke enthusiasm for the natural world. Meanwhile, for keen sailors, there are few places that quite compare.

There are plenty of Salcombe holiday homes to choose from, from the dog-friendly to the luxurious, from Salcombe holiday homes to rent to those with wrap-around decking and swimming pools. These are the options that have our fingers hovering over the ‘book’ button.

4 Island Place

Positioned just a meander from Batson Creek in Salcombe, this chic property within a new development is perfectly situated for the beach, as well as for the attractions of vibrant Fore Street. Right in the thick of things and yet perfectly tranquil, there are views across Island Street, home to shops, art galleries, boat stores and the The Salcombe Gin Distillery. While there is little need for a car since everything you need is within walking distance, there is private parking – even if you simply motor down and then leave your car there for the duration of your stay. The whole property is flooded with natural light, thanks to its preponderance of large windows – all the better for making the most of the wonderful views towards the Creek and Snapes Point. It sleeps six, there is WiFi throughout and short stays are available. We love the gorgeous terrace, which is just the place for a sundowner. As Salcombe luxury holiday homes go, this a brilliant example.

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Leigh Hill

This five-bedroom holiday home, which sleeps ten, boasts an enviable waterside location. Light, spacious and thoroughly contemporary, its situation right at the top of the town affords it spectacular and far-reaching views. It is perfect for those who want to be within walking distance of the centre – it’s an easy walk along the coastal road into town – yet entirely peaceful. The water is, for most, Salcombe’s biggest draw and this beautiful property is less than a mile from the sandy expanses of North Sands and South Sands. There is WiFi and private parking and, most spectacularly of all, a large garden a huge terrace, and bifold doors which enable inside-outside living. For a big holiday home to rent in the UK for large groups, this is a great option.

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Harbour Watch

If you’re looking for a chic, spacious holiday luxury holiday home to rent in the UK, look no further than Harbour Watch. This one sleeps twelve and ticks a lot of very beautifully presented boxes. Who could resist the hot tub with estuary views as a spot for an early evening cocktail? And who wouldn’t fancy spending their holiday gazing at the spectacular views from the wonderful sunny terrace? Or strolling down to the sandy beach, which is right on the doorstep? For keen sailors, there is a private mooring available, while enthusiastic cooks will doubtless revel in the large outdoor dining area for al fresco breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

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For anyone who likes their holiday homes to rent on the beach in the UK to come with classic Georgian facades yet all mod-cons inside, Perrotts is a great choice. This detached classic country home sleeps ten and is tucked down a bucolic country lane. And yet, for all the amenities of Salcombe town and the gorgeous estuary, all residents need to do is to amble the ten- to fifteen-minute distance into the thick of the action. There is a hot tub and sauna, private parking, WiFi, and a large garden, while the interior has been wonderfully restored and makes a feature of the high ceilings and open plan spaces. If you’re looking for a large holiday home to rent with a hot tub, this is an excellent option.

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The Boathouse

Ever fancied staying in an amphibious house? Chances are the thought hasn’t crossed your mind. But one quick look at The Boathouse – which sleeps three – and all that is set to change. This extraordinary property, with its achingly cool industrial styling, rises resplendently from the water. Situated in the artisan quarter of the town, there are excellent features aplenty to be unearthed here. Chief amongst them are a cinema room and a private mooring. There is private parking and a large courtyard area for al fresco meals and relaxing sundowners. Artsy, cool and just where we want to spend the whole summer, messing about on boats.

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Hygge – pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ and named after the untranslatable Danish word which encompasses cosiness, simplicity, wellbeing and contentment – offers views that are second to none. Simply pull back the bi-fold doors and drink in the gorgeous sea air and the stunning views over the estuary. Its terrace is the perfect place to sip a Salcombe Gin and unwind fully. It comprises two large double bedrooms, and gorgeously light-filled living spaces. If, like most, you prefer to spend the greater part of your summer holiday outdoors, you’ll love the development’s beautiful shared gardens, which lead right up to the water’s edge. A word of warning: there are steep steps down to this area, so children must be supervised carefully. Parking for one car is available, as is private access to the slipway for sailors. One look at Hygge and it’s not hard to fathom why they say that Devon is heaven.

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Cottles Quay

This achingly cool property, with its wood-clad interiors and industrial vibe, sleeps six. Set within the artisan quarter of Salcombe, it’s the kind of property that ensures a spectacular holiday – even if you are unlucky with the weather. There is private parking and a private mooring, as well as a stunning waterfront position to bask happily in. We love the large outdoor area – otherwise known as the gin terrace – for sunbathing and al fresco feasting, while its two separate sleeping areas make this a great option if you’re travelling with teenagers who want some independence.

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Lower Deck

Are you dreaming of a Salcombe holiday home with a pool? This is it. Lower Deck, which sleeps ten, consistently gets five-star reviews on Tripadvisor and it’s no stretch to see why. Oozing luxury, its views over Sunny Cove are a huge draw alone. Throw in the 2,880 sqft of stylish accommodation and the sheer beauty of the Victorian villa and it is little short of irresistible. A ten-minute walk from the centre of Salcombe, there are also achingly lovely coastal walks right on the doorstep, and the gorgeous beaches of North Sands are a short stroll away. We love the interiors too, which were designed the ever-excellent Susie Watson designs. Do note it is only suitable for children over the age of seven.

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Bolt Head

You don’t get much closer to the beach than this bijoux two-bed apartment, which overlooks South Sands. Fresh, simple coastal style interiors inside make it an exceptionally pleasant place to stay. But the absolute pièce de résistance must surely come courtesy of the view from the two large balconies, thanks to the property being nestled into the hills above South Sands. It sleeps four, but would equally be a lovely place for a couple longing for romantic dinners a deux under the stars on the balcony with the lapping waves below as the lulling soundtrack. Arranged all on one level, there is private parking available and free WiFi.

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The Salcombe (Quarter Deck)

This absolutely stunning two-bed waterside apartment is right in the heart of Salcombe. But it’s far from your average seaside town holiday rental; its huge wrap-around balcony offers the most spectacular views over the water, while the delights of Fore Street are within spitting distance. There is a shared outdoor heated swimming pool (ideal for those days when the sea is just that little bit too nippy for even the hardiest of souls) which is open from May half term right through to the end of October. But, for us, it is all about the panoramic views, which take in the estuary and the sandy beaches, which makes this apartment the perfect spot for wildlife and boat watching. Quarter Deck sleeps four, and offers private parking and WiFi; in other words, a great option for a small family.

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By Nancy Alsop
March 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.