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Salcombe is in the the South Hams and is the southernmost town in Devon. Today, Salcombe is a tourist destination, situated amongst beautiful countryside with a magnificent scenic coastline. Though it is referred to as an Estuary, the Salcombe Estuary is in fact a Ria as it is a tidal inlet with no major fresh water river flowing into it. Salcombe was, until the later part of the 19th century, a small waterfront town whose main industries were shipbuilding and sailing. Its isolated position via land and its maritime position meant that most people and goods arrived by its natural highway - the sea. The towns prosperity grew steadily from the 1790's as its shipbuilding industry grew together with its trade as a port - both importing goods and exporting local produce. This trade reached its peak in 1864 with over a 1000 seaman engaged in foreign trade on locally produced wooden sailing vessels trading, mainly in fruit, for the British market. The development of steel ships powered by steam ruined not only this trade but the wooden sail-driven shipbuilding industry and the town declined from 1879 onwards. However the arrival of the railway into Kingsbridge in 1893 opened up the whole area to visitors and Salcombe began its growth into a tourist and leisure centre.

Panoramic view of Salcombe, click on thumbnail to view

Salcombe Salcombe Salcombe Salcombe Salcombe from South Sands Salcombe Castle