A small village in the United Kingdom has become a surprising tourist destination despite having fewer than 200 residents.
Its ancient stone houses and narrow, winding streets are as enchanting as its tranquil beaches, all of which have contributed to it being named Britain’s most beautiful village.
The title was awarded by Travel Experts to South Pool in Devon CN Traveler in 2022, who were won over by the views and slower pace of life compared to other cities in the region.
They wrote: “Salcombe’s streets, teeming with the sailing brigade, fancy shops and ice cream parlors, seem to be another world on the other side of the Kingsbridge Estuary in South Pool, where the changing tides of the creek are the most notable activity.”
“Smart canoeists who have checked the tide charts come by boat and tie up to the pontoon.
“But others on foot might as well enjoy hiking along the water before climbing the bluffto the pretty St. Nicholas and St. Cyriacus Church from the 14th century with a view over the Patchenfelder.”
Only 143 people live in South Pool, but all have access to one of Europe’s best beaches, according to Lonely Planet, which ranked it sixth on the continent’s beaches in 2015.
Bantham Beach has clear blue waters, views of Burgh Island and has been awarded for its cleanliness – and it’s just a short drive away.
Visit South Devon said of the beach: “This incredibly beautiful beach is part of the designated South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
“It’s also won Marine Conservation Society awards and the coveted Blue Flag, so you know it’s clean.”
Everything’s fine with you also vouched for its beauty, adding that it was “one of the best beaches in Devon (and probably the UK)”.
However, the nearby beach is far from the village’s only selling point, as its gastropub also attracts visitors.
The Millbrook Inn offers an “ingredient-driven” French-influenced menu that some say is the best food the country has to offer, while a selection of local beers and ciders are also available.
The food was exceptional – even the side salad was fresh and had so much flavor, unbelievable.”
For some people, simply being in South Pool is enough, as the town’s stream is the perfect place to enjoy the natural surroundings.
coast and land said: “One of the best ways to enjoy a visit to South Pool is to simply stroll down to the stream and take in the scenery.
“You can walk along the shore on either side and find numerous benches perfectly positioned to enjoy the view.”
It’s also a great base for a stay in South Devon, particularly for water sports enthusiasts.
At low tide, kayaking up and downstream is popular, while paddleboarding and surfing are more common near the ocean.
However, for those who want to minimize their risk of getting wet, cruises through the Salcombe Estuary are also possible.
The cruises take visitors on a 90-minute ride up and down the creek while learning more about itand wildlife.
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A former cruise guest described it on TripAdvisor as “one of my fondest holiday memories” and added: “I would highly recommend it as it’s an all-round great way to spend time.”
Here’s another Devon village that tourists say is like a ‘trip back in time’.