South Brent on Saturday 17

Cafe South Brent England

Croyde, DevonAn insider's guide to what to do on a short break in Devon, including the top spots for beach barbecues, scenery, fêtes, fishing and cream teas. By Suzy Bennett, Telegraph Travel's Devon expert.

Why go now?

Devon is at its most attractive in summer, as tanned, happy locals make the most of an al fresco lifestyle of beach barbecues (weather permitting), pub gardens, village fêtes and sailing regattas.

Surfers head to the wild, windswept north coast, while lovers of Devon’s softer shores keep to the more protected south. One of the prettiest hubs on the south coast is Salcombe, a gentle-paced, pastel-housed boating town from where you can experience classic Devon: craggy coves and cream teas, surf breaks and strolls, picnics and pints.

Croyde Bay is Devon's most famous surf destination Credit: ian woolcock - Fotolia


Get straight into the action with a sunset beach barbecue, held every evening in season from 4pm at the Winking Prawn Café at North Sands, a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk from Salcombe. Then head into town for a pint of Devonshire ale at one of the pubs overlooking the harbour. The best pub in Salcombe is the Ferry Inn, which is so close to the waterfront that local fishermen moor outside. It also has the best views in town.


If you’re feeling bold – or have a wetsuit – start the day with a bracing dip in the sea at South Sands, just up the coast from Salcombe. Then enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the sunny terrace of South Sands Hotel, a pebble’s skim from the sea.

South Sands Boutique hotel is popular with the well-healed Salcombe set and great for families


Lace on your hiking boots for a walk along one of the most spectacular stretches of Devon’s coastline. The eight-mile walk west on the South West Coastal Path from Salcombe to Hope Cove traces jagged peaks, secluded sandy coves and holiday-brochure Devonshire countryside. If you’re travelling with others and have two cars, drop one at Hope Cove before you start the walk. Otherwise, book a taxi to bring you the 10-minute drive back to Salcombe to pick up your car and continue your day.


Crab cakes, crispy squid and bacon sandwiches are served up on rustic wooden tables at The Beach House Credit: © Nick Maslen / Alamy Stock Photo/Nick Maslen / Alamy Stock Photo

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