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Jun 3, 2015 | Area Guides, Salcombe

One of the most charming things about Salcombe is the proximity to so much amazing wildlife; when you’re staying in a holiday home that overlooks the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary, you will be perfectly placed to see a wide variety of birds and marine animals. Here are the top creatures to look out for whilst holidaying in Salcombe.

The Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and home to a wide variety of birds. Cormorants, herring gull and black-headed gulls are ever present, whilst grebes and gannets and goldeneye visit during the cooler months. Try looking for curlews, little egrets and grey heron at low tides; the exposed mudflats provide rich feeding opportunities for these elegant wading birds. In the surrounding countryside, you may find such delights as cirl buntings (resident in South Hams) and pied flycatchers, too. The estuary is also a stopping off point for migrating birds, taking a break before continuing their extensive journeys. Many holiday homes in Salcombe are well-situated with views across the estuary, making this a fantastic place for that archetypal English pastime, bird spotting!
The sand and mud shores of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary are home to two of the rarest of British aquatic species, the spiny seahorse and the short snouted seahorse. The eelgrass meadows of the estuary provide them with protection and food, making this a good place to spot these elusive and ethereal-looking creatures. You may also be lucky and see dolphins, seals and basking sharks in the estuary, but you should be mindful that these wonderful creatures need to be treated with care and given adequate space if you are watching from a boat. The South Hams website will provide you with some valuable information to guide you during your stay.

Of course, you may find yourself looking for places to visit with the children, and Salcombe is well situated for the impressive Paignton Zoo and Dartmoor Zoological Park (in Plymouth) with their extensive parkland and amazing animals. For something slightly different, visit the Buckfast Butterflies and Otter Sanctuary, a tropical garden filled with the exotic and unusual. Nothing is too far away, so you can spend a fun-filled day out and about, then get those sleepy kids back to Salcombe without too much time in the car! No visit would be complete without catching a crab or two but be sure to check out our guide “Top 5 mistakes when crabbing in Salcombe”

It would be remiss to leave out our favourite companion, the pet dog. It is rare to find high-quality, pet-friendly holiday homes and for many of us, a holiday is only complete if we can share it with our four-legged companion. Choose a dog-friendly holiday home in Salcombe to enjoy some fantastic walking along the South West Coast Path, or amazing beaches (North Sands is a popular beach that is dog-friendly all year round). Try the three-mile round walk to Bolt Head on the South West Coast Path for some breathtaking scenery and sea air, and build up a hearty appetite before finding the perfect place for lunch.

Salcombe is rich in the wonders of the natural world, so whatever your interests, you will certainly find something that appeals to you. Don’t be afraid to seek the guidance of an experienced and dedicated concierge crew while you’re there – they will use their extensive local knowledge to help organise charter boats, excursions and driver services to get you to the sights you really want to see, making your holiday in Salcombe unforgettable.

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