A favourite place on the south coast. There is no marina, but numerous buoys, or a little further inland, The Bag, which has pontoons mid “river”. There is a harbour taxi launch service, but this really is the place to get your own tender out. The HM deals with the enormous influx of visitors efficiently, but in very busy times you maybe 4 to a buoy. If you are not met on arrival by a launch, best not to choose yourself a buoy in season but call the HM on VHF and they will come and assist, and may even loop you onto the buoy to save you embarrassment;). At other times, he may be able to find you a quiet buoy off one of the small sandy coves- almost your own private beach. The main beaches you pass on your way in-get to them by tender or there is a small passenger ferry from the town. The town itself is affluent and this seems to be a location that defies the rule that all boaters are now skint-all the usual marine fashion stores are on hand. Some shower facilities on the quay, but the norm is to hike up the hill to the Yacht Club who welcome all and boast a terrace with good views across the ria. You are also welcome to use the bar and order food. 250 metres back in the town, the restaurants will almost certainly need booking in advance – Boatswains is good -, and even the pubs are often full! Walks off to the east are not that impressive, but walk west for as long as you care for some of the best coastal walking you can hope for.

If you have crossed Lyme Bay, then you really must push on that little bit further to Salcombe- though obviously, this is a fine weather location, not a place to sit out the rain.

Note- there is a sandbar at the entrance, so check tidal height and sea state. Also, for several miles west from here always seems to have a choppy sea!

Article with thanks to Gavin May – 2021


Useful guide: f74fd50d-3f88-45c0-8b02-88d83c8763d5.fil…

Email: salcombe.harbour@southhams.gov.uk
Tel: 01548 843791
VHF Channel 14
Harbour Taxi is VHF Channel 12

We visited in early July 2021 and called Salcombe Harbour on arrival. They were very helpful and directed us to a buoy for our mooring. There are lots of buoys and there is often rafting in the summer.

There are also Harbour authority boats meeting boats on arrival and helping them to find a mooring.

Harbour boat meeting a visitor

We moored before the main Salcombe town and called the water taxi. The Water Taxi was very helpful but did take a while to come as he was at The Bag which is the other end of the town.

Echo Beach on a buoy

There is nowhere to moor connected to the shore and the best thing to do is use the water taxi or get your dinghy out.

Dinghy mooring

We just went for the day and did not stay overnight. We did get the ferry to South Sands and visited the Overdale Garden which was open (up a steep hill). The South Sands ferry is met by a tractor at South Sands which then takes you ashore. We walked back via North Sands and it was a pleasant walk of around half an hour.

South Sands ferry unloading unto the tractor

Video of our arriving at Salcombe and being directed to a mooring buoy – youtu.be/ZZBlKZhA77c