Salcombe to Prawle Point

The 5 km stretch of coast between Salcombe north sands and Prawle Point provides varied opportunities for navigating quiet canyons and foaming gaps in the archipelago of bare rock islands. There are sandy beaches at convenient intervals and items of historic interest along the way.

Gara rock lookout

The Gara rock lookout at the top of the slope was used to direct fishermen to shoals of fish. Mercifully out of sight is the recently built hotel, in standard Kingsbridge holiday style with stumpy round towers, no doubt claimed in the planning application to echo the form of the ancient lookout.

Deckler's Island iron mine

Near Deckler’s Island are the remains of a short lived iron mine from the nineteenth century. The grassed over waste tip can be seen on the hillside. Ships used to tie up against the rock on the left of the picture. It is a very exposed mooring so it wasn’t long before a storm put an end to the entire enterprise.

Prawle rock garden

There are many hidden passages parallel to the cliff, broken by gaps to the open sea where the swell bursts through with menacing swirls of rushing water. It is wonderful white water practice, without the bother of swapping car keys to get back to the starting point.

Prawle point

Prawle point also is an island, with a narrow passage which avoids the relatively mild tide race outside. This is the most southerly point of Devon.

Prawle point arch

Just to the east of Prawle point is an impressive arch, beyond which the coast continues as a rocky maze of channels with a low coastal plain behind, backed by the cliffs of an ancient shoreline.

Increasing wind put us off venturing further. Heading back to Salcombe, we stop off for an ice cream at the old lifeboat house on south beach. The motor driven quay heads out to meet the ferry to Salcombe town.

Salcombe south beach pier

It’s a busy day so it takes a while to move passengers both ways without mishap.

Salcombe ferry

A good day on the water, and the car park ticket machine was broken, so we returned home with a few coins.