36 Hours in Kingsbridge

25th April 2024

36 Hours in Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge has a stature that often sees it touted as the capital of the South Hams. Its location on the southern tip of South Devon, at the head of the estuary bearing its name, makes it the gateway to the beaches of Bantham, Thurlestone and Slapton, the summer hustle and bustle of Salcombe, and the city appeal of nearby Plymouth. But Kingsbridge is also a place with a personality all of its own. Read on for our guide to Kingsbridge and the many places to eat, drink, shop and even dance in the charming market town.

What to do in Kingsbridge 

Velarde opened to critical acclaim from the art world in 2023, leading with contemporary exhibitions by some of the most celebrated British and International artists. The beautiful open-plan gallery hosts six exhibitions by both established and emerging artists each year, while its sculpture garden is a south-facing suntrap showcasing exceptional works amongst the flora and fauna of its native planting.

Kingsbridge is arguably the shopping hub of the South Hams and Fore Street is lined with opportunities for retail therapy. The Mint Dress Agency is a favourite for sustainable clothes shopping, thanks to rails well-stocked with pre-loved designer and high street pieces. Recently opened Rhool has become our go-to for ethical homewares and pieces handpicked to stand the test of time and trends. Down the hill, Busby & Fox is unfailingly popular with those piecing together a capsule wardrobe of beautiful quality clothing, while a nose in Harbour Bookshop is a must if only for a natter with its vivacious team, each of them simmering with passion for books.

The estuary is the heartline of Kingsbridge and much activity centres around it. The Kingsbridge & District Light Railway gently trundles along its banks on a short journey that appeals to all ages. Waterborn SUP runs from the Quay Car Park, taking advantage of the sheltered estuary waters with stand up paddleboarding for all levels, along with SUP yoga and social paddles throughout the summer.

Finally, you cannot come to Kingsbridge without visiting the world’s smallest nightclub. Slip into the unassuming red phone box at the very top of town, just next to the police station, and prepare to party. Brought to you by Kingsbridge Town Council, the tiny disco is decked out in LEDs and a mirror ball, playing disco tracks for a £1 donation supporting the Kingsbridge Food Bank. It’s a teetotal establishment with a cosy maximum capacity of just two people. Party on…

Where to eat in Kingsbridge

Like much of the South Hams, Kingsbridge offers plenty to appeal to foodie palettes. Mangetout commands pride of place at the top of Fore Street, tasty quiches and cakes tempting window shoppers in, where then a top-tier cheese selection seals the deal. Gather the goods here for the picnic of all picnics, grab up a bottle of something cold and boozy from Barrel & Still across the road, then make for the sandy throes of Bantham Beach just a few miles away.

For easy evenings, head to The Crabshell Inn for their famous rustic pizzas and zesty salads, grabbing a seat outside on the quay to soak up spring’s first signs of warmth. For something a little more refined yet still beautifully relaxed, Twenty-Seven by Jamie Rogers astounds with a menu of beautiful dishes crafted with the most incredible quality local ingredients. The set lunch and early evening menus are a steal at £19 for two courses or £25 for three, while the seasonal tasting menu is worth every penny.   

Where to drink in Kingsbridge

The Seven Stars is the locals’ local and the place to congregate after a busy day. The atmosphere is always friendly and the bar snacks delicious. Just around the corner, The Old Warehouse’s ‘Every Folkin Tuesday’ evenings see local performers take the stage, while comedy nights here are also popular, often selling out weeks in advance.

A few miles outside of town in gorgeous South Pool, The Millbrook Inn is very much a destination pub. Tucked into the creek side, it has a unique way of flowing with the tides; high tide brings the coastal crowds from nearby Salcombe by boat, while low tide sees peace restored and a much more relaxed ambience.