Our guide to holidays in East Portlemouth
Set right in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, East Portlemouth is that South Hams holiday destination for those of you keen to leave the crowds behind and just enjoy a slice of unspoilt Devon. Perched at the southern end of the Kingsbridge estuary, this sleepy little village is an idyllic spot for those Famous Five-style adventures with the family, and you’ll come across quiet cove after quiet cove that feels as though it’s all yours.
Perfect for that quiet escape away from the daily grind, East Portlemouth is all about long walks along the coast path, leisurely lunches taking in the views, and those sandcastle competitions with the kids. Just think flip flops, deserted beaches and the path less travelled.
East Portlemouth beaches
First thing’s first, let’s fill you in on those rather beautiful East Portlemouth beaches. To be honest, this whole stretch of coastline’s pretty much dotted with gorgeous sandy coves, and every single one has that unspoilt beauty that has you reaching for your camera.
Also known as Fisherman’s Cove, East Portlemouth beach is one of our favourites. East Portlemouth’s the kind of quiet corner of the coast that has us hopping into our cars for a lazy Sunday afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This long ribbon of sand becomes a series of smaller coves when the tide comes in, including Small Cove and eventually Mill Bay. With a lifeguard on hand during peak season, this sandy beach is perfect for those of you who are happy to forgo the traditional amenities in favour of peace, quiet and striking views.
That said, if you find yourself in the mood for a change during your East Portlemouth holiday, you can catch the ferry across the estuary from Fishermans Cove and spend some time exploring Salcombe. See, you get the best of both worlds.
There’s more good news, each of the beaches has its own Safe Bathing award, so if you’re holidaying with younger members of the family they’ll be able to enjoy the safe waters and find their paddling legs. You’ll find parking close to East Portlemouth beach, as well as access for the disabled, and dogs are welcome all year round.
Restaurants in East Portlemouth
So close to the beach that you’ll be able to keep an eye on your sandcastle while you dine, The Venus Café has a fantastic reputation for its laidback beachy fodder. With the look of a funky beach hut and a warm welcome for all, this friendly café serves up hot and cold snacks as well as hot chocolate that comes highly recommended.
It isn’t just the food that makes the Venus Café special though, it’s one of those beauty spots that you could just sit and enjoy for hours. With views across the estuary to Salcombe, this little spot’s such a gem that you’ll see visitors stepping off the ferry from across the estuary just to see what it’s all about.
Things to do in East Portlemouth
If there’s one activity East Portlemouth could have been made for, it’s walking. With a coastline that’ll take your breath away (both in terms of its dazzling appearance and the odd hill!), it’s perfect for stretching your legs. So let’s start with The Mill Bay walk. At 3.5 miles, this walk should take you around an hour and a half to two hours, and it covers everything from sun-dappled paths through woodland to peaceful coves. This pathway makes its way to Gara Rock, so you can check out the views from the old lookout and indulge in a bite to eat at the site’s restaurant before heading back to Salcombe.
And then there’s the delightfully named Salubrious Salcombe to Sleepy East Portlemouth route. Recommended by the AA, this one covers four miles and will take around two hours. If you start in East Portlemouth and follow the signs to Salcombe, you’ll be on your way to discovering some of the area’s estuary views, peaceful farmland and hidden coves – all in one walk.