Top places to live in Devon Kingsbridge
Happiest on the water? If you crave a laid-back boaty lifestyle, you can't beat this vibrant town at the top of the Salcombe estuary, less shishi (and less pricey) than nearby Salcombe but you can still get on the water in super-quick time. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Here’s an all-year-round boaty community (there are far fewer second-homers here than nearby Salcombe and Dartmouth) and it’s known for a pretty impressive entrepreneurial crowd (fun fact:the creator of the world’s first plastic-free sneaker lives here). Plus, you’re bang in the middle of the the amazing South Hams balmy climate. For beach babes, surfers, and SUP boarders, beautiful Bantham beach is just a few miles away, along with miles of stunning coast path and walks.
Where other high streets have dwindled, Kingsbridge has managed to thrive, with loads of long-standing indies and a few good newbies. Notables include the cafe Fika (amazing cappuccino and sourdough options), fine dining from Jamie Rogers at Twenty Seven, The Crabshell Inn (the paddle boarders’ pitstop) the Salcombe Bakehouse (also in Salcombe, obvs). Ooh, and The Tower Inn at Slapton is a local fave for its pretty beer garden and Sunday roasts. And Muddy rates the excellent Scoops ice cream parlour on Fore Street with its pretty-pink Peggy Porschen-style makeover.
Kingsbridge has an amazing beach count with 17 stunners within 10 miles of the town, including beautiful Bantham where The Gastrobus gang have a pizza oven in summer, and do great coffee and ice-cream, so something for everyone.
Or at nearby Beesands, grab your glass of wine from the South West Tourism’s Pub of the Year 2019 The Cricket Inn and sit outside on the beach with your fish supper of lemon sole or bream from Britannia on the Beach (aka The Shack) – the best local-caught, takeaway fish ever.
A buzzing high street with an indie vibe, Muddy can’t ever walk past the Cocoa boutique without buying something (think slouchy Scandi brands), and Busby & Fox have a store here too, gorgeous clothes and homewares and brilliant staff who are skilled at helping you put a look together.
There’s also a newish zero-waste store, Green and Wild, selling food and lifestyle goods that are organic, local and The General Store for your homely bits and bobs. Plus Alan’s Apples for really good fruit and veg, and whole carcass butchery, Lidstones.
Fabulous walks abound, from Hope Cove to Prawle and everything in-between. There are two amazing hotels nearby, the relaxed contemporary beauty, Gara Rock and the Art Deco gem Burgh Island. For days out, we rate the National Trust’s estuary side gem, the palm and curiosity-filled Overbecks, at nearby Salcombe, plus the beautiful golden beaches at Slapton Sands and South West Coast Path walks. Don’t miss the hugely popular gin distillery, Salcombe Gin, with its gin school where you can make your own juniper nectar.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£437k but closer to £750k for a 4-bed detached with good outdoor space if you’re looking in the popular West Charleton and Curlew Drive areas. Want to step straight onto your boat? We’re talking £2-3m for direct access to the estuary.
Kingsbridge’s jewel in the crown, the Ofsted-rated outstanding KCC – Kingsbridge Community School – a co-ed state school with a popular sixth form.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Musos love it – both Kate Bush and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn have lived in coastal properties nearby.
One for home-workers or less frequent travellers as Exeter St Davids is an hour and a quarter away by car (and we’re talking windy, albeit picturesque roads) then London Paddington is 2 hours 10 from there, or for closer stations go to Ivybridge or Totnes, for a 2hr 36 minute journey.
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