“It’d better be good,” said my husband in a somewhat depressing way while we traveled down the narrow, potholed lane to our hotel to stay the night at Salcombe, South Devon.

The rain eventually stopped in time, allowing us to take in the stunning views of the coast across the Kingsbridge Estuary; we forgot the roads and started to comprehend the reason why, in a recent Halifax survey, this lovely area was deemed to be the most expensive town on the sea for real estate across the UK.

The cost of homes in Salcombe currently sits at PS1.25m, an increase of 123 percent since 2012. It’s not surprising that Salcombe is a popular destination for various preferences: watersports enthusiasts, boat owners, and walkers are all attracted by the area due to its location on the South West Coast Path. Additionally, boutiques with a more upscale look on the charming main street cater to those with refined tastes, offering clothing and sports equipment, antiques, and local Ice cream. It eventually stretches into Island Street, dotted with small-scale businesses set up in old boat sheds.

North Sands beach

(Lucy Daltroff)

Boating is a significant element of the Salcombe’s charm. It is possible to hire a vessel or take an exclusive cruise. Additionally, two fantastic day trips can be arranged by ferries operating from the town’s center, going to East Portlemouth and South Sands Beach. If you’re going to South Sands, you can travel one way and later return. However, East Portlemouth is a return since it’s located on the opposite part of the estuary (so it’s crucial to be aware of the schedule to return). The beach with its sand is fantastic. Both trips come with the added benefit of gaining an amazing view of beautiful homes along the water. They appear as if they’ve been integrated into the rock faces.


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We went for a picturesque stroll through the principal Cliff Road to the inlet of North Sands, children playing in front of us at all times and swaying their spades and buckets with eager anticipation of the beach with sand. This beautiful beach is an ideal swimming area that is safe and, as an additional bonus, has stunning views of a castle that has been destroyed. The local cafe, the Winking Prawn is perhaps best known for its Mediterranean-inspired dishes and seafood platters that include seafood platters that include prawns, scallops, crabs and mussels. We dined at the quaint Victoria Inn, a cosy bar frequented by locals that overlook the estuary. In winter, it’s renowned for its warm fires.

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We also looked into another aspect that may contribute to Salcombe’s growth its popularity, and the subsequent hike the A-class drink game.

We travelled to Salcombe Distillery to take part in the rum-making workshop that had been pre-booked. Our instructor, Jason Nichols, chief distiller and former farmer of chilli was just back from constructing a distillery on the brand new vessel “Arvia” – P&O’s first Gin distillery on the sea. As Jason led us around the facility, which was built in 2015 according to the strictest specifications and regulations, he added another connection to the sea: “This is one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat”.

We could see why this charming town was dubbed the most expensive town on the sea in the UK

The co-founders Angus and Howard founded the company in 2014 and have since produced a variety of award-winning drinks. The Gin School started in the year 2006 and has become so popular that in January of this year they grew to include rum-making.

Our evening began with a large sip of Island Street rum mixed with ginger ale (always an enjoyable way to begin the evening when you know what you want to move further) We were led inside the Still room to learn how production takes place – through the fermentation of sugar and molasses to create an alcohol wash. After that, it was upstairs to the laboratory to pick a mixture of sweet and spicy plants from a wide selection. The selection we chose was sour cherry as well as coconut, cinnamon, and kaffir leaves. It was thrilling to add them to our tiny still and then wonder what the final product might taste like. Then, we created the label of our own to stick to our bottle, and then left the venue with an unfinished wooden box to showcase our brand new 70cl of Rum. The cost of the session is PS160 for a couple and includes three drinks per guest and a bottle customized rum that you can take home.

A few among these “shorts” mixers used in the distillery come produced locally by Luscombe Drinks, based just an hour north of Buckfastleigh. Luscombe’s founder and owner Gabriel David, grew up in a three-mile single-track lanes. Since the social activities of his life were entwined with the ability to drive for a trip to see friends, drinking soft drinks at pubs was the norm of the hour. After endless drinks of soda, lime as well as Britvic at the age of 55, his made the decision to develop better tasting soft drinks. In 1997, he took over the cider business of his father expanding into the production of natural soft drinks. The company hasn’t stopped since and customers are King Charles at Highgrove and The National Trust.