The Salcombe Ferry

The ultimate way to enjoy and appreciate Salcombe is by exploring it from the sea. Nothing beats the feeling of bobbing along the ocean waves whilst the sun glistens across the water. There are two main ferries operating from Salcombe and one from Kingsbridge. Here is your essential guide to the Salcombe Ferry.

Arrive in Salcombe on a boat from either; East Portlemouth, Kingsbridge, South Sands or Dartmouth

South Sands Ferry

Running for over 60 years, this iconic Salcombe ferry resplendent in blue, red and yellow will make your Salcombe experience complete. Its success and popularity is very much due to the combination of a journey along the beautiful Salcombe estuary and a ride from the water up the beach on a sea tractor. The South Sands ferry and sea tractor is a real hit with young and old!

Where does it sail from/to?

From Whitestrand pontoon in the centre of Salcombe to the picturesque South Sands beach. There you will find a sandy beach, a hotel and a beach cafe which also offers kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. The National Trust property called Overbecks (closed in the winter) is close by with stunning gardens, refreshment truck and tables/chairs for picnics with a view. South Sands is also at the start of the spectacular Southwest Coastal Path.

When does it sail?

From April until the end of October.

What times does it sail?

Departing Salcombe – the first trip departs Whitestrand pontoon at 09:45hrs then every half hour until 17:15hrs – Except 13:15hrs.

Departing South Sands – the first trip departs at 10:00hrs then every half hour until 17:30hrs – Except 13:30hrs.

From August 1st to 31st an extra sailing is introduced extending the last departure from Salcombe to 17:45hrs and from South Sands to 18:00hrs.

From October, the last sailing will be 16:45hrs from Salcombe and 17:00hrs from South Sands.

How much does it cost each way?

Children under 3: Free

Children 3 to 16 years old: £2.30

Adults: £3.30

Pushchairs: Free

Dogs: Free

The Salcombe Tractor

The East Portlemouth Ferry

East Portlemouth is on the opposite side of the estuary to Salcombe and is served by a regular, year-round ferry service in open-topped clinker-built motorboats. From East Portlemouth you can enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, rolling Devon countryside and link up to the magic National Trust Coast Path.

If you’re lucky, a gorgeous black spaniel called Frodo (who belongs to one of the Ferrymen) who will accompany you on your journey!

Where does it sail from/to?

From the Jubilee Ferry Pier which is down the steps next to the Ferry Inn (1 April until 31 October) and from the Whitestrand pontoon in the centre of town (1 November until 31 March). This Salcombe ferry goes over to the ferry slip at East Portlemouth.

Heading across the estuary gives you fabulous views of Salcombe town. Above the ferry slip is the Venus Cafe and public toilets.

This short ferry ride will give you access to many beautiful soft, sandy beaches including Smalls, Mill Bay and Sunny Cove which are all perfect for playing games or building sandcastles.

You can turn left or right from the ferry onto the beaches. The further you go either way, the quieter the beaches tend to get. Be careful when the tide comes in to avoid getting wet on the walk back to the ferry. There is a road running parallel to the beach in case you do get caught!

Alternatively, begin your walk along the coastal path and grab a spot of lunch at the Gara Rock Restaurant.

When does it sail?

Every single day of the year (by royal charter).

What times does it sail?

Weekdays – First ferry 08:00hrs and last ferry 19:00hrs in the summer. Last ferry 18:00hrs or 18:30hrs the rest of the year (please check with your ferryman on the day).

Weekends and Bank holidays – First ferry 08:30hrs and last ferry 19:00hrs in the summer. Last ferry 18:00hrs or 18:30hrs the rest of the year (please check with your ferryman on the day).

Frequency: Half-hourly up to 9:30 am then continuously when busy.

No ferry at 1.30pm (Lunch Time) from 1 November until 31 March.

How much does it cost each way?

Adults: £2.00

Children (2-14): £1.50

Bicycles: £1.00

The East Portlemouth Ferry

Kingsbridge-Salcombe Ferry

This is a unique ferry service that connects the scenic towns of Salcombe and Kingsbridge. The vessel ‘The Lady Mary’ is a Maritime & Coastguard Agency certified 50 seat passenger ferry, perfectly suited to the tranquil beauty of the harbour and surrounding area.

Where does it sail from/to?

This ferry runs from the Jubilee Pier Salcombe to the Steamer Steps in Kingsbridge.

When does it sail?

Lady Mary runs from Easter to October.

What times does it sail?

The timetable changes daily as this service is tidally constrained. Please check with the Kingsbridge Salcombe Ferry website or call Kingsbridge Tourist Information office on 01548 853195.

How much does it cost each way?

The cost depends on the type of cruise booked. Please check with the Kingsbridge Salcombe Ferry website or call Kingsbridge Tourist Information office on 01548 853195.

After you arrive back to your luxury accommodation in Salcombe from your days adventure exploring the beautiful local area you can sit back and relax in comfort while your personal chef prepares an exquisite banquet for you and your family and friends. If you have however opted for the self catering holiday home Salcombe experience then why not book a fishing trip to Salcombe and catch your own dinner?


  1. Lou Park

    Upgrade needed there has only been one hotel at South Sands for some years!

  2. Chris Adams

    The introduction to The Salcombe Ferry Lowdown page says you can arrive in Salcombe from Dartmouth but there are no further details – can you please provide some?

    • Salcombe Finest

      Hello Chris,

      Thanks so much for the comment. There used to be a service that ran out of Dartmouth, but having just contacted them, it is no longer running. Time to update the page!

  3. Mag

    Do we need to book the ferry from Salcombe in advance?

    • Salcombe Finest

      No need to book – just turn up and hope there isn’t a queue! Have fun in Salcombe.

  4. Sally Wood

    Can dogs be taken on the East Portlemouth ferry please?.

  5. Rachel Temple

    Is there an east Portsmouth ferry to Salcombe for cars?

    • Salcombe Finest

      There isn’t one for cars; just a passenger ferry. To drive around the coast from Salcombe to EP takes around 45 minutes.

  6. Nicola Davies

    Can you take beach trolleys?

    • Salcombe Finest

      Hello Nicola, in theory you can take beach trolleys but in practice it’s not going to be easy. To get down from street level to where the ferry picks up passengers there are over 50 steps. There is also fairly limited space in the boat so it would need to be a compact one! Bon voyage!

  7. Les Fawcett

    You say re Portlemouth ferry “Frequency: Half-hourly up to 9:30 pm then continuously when busy.” but you also say it finishes at 19.30. Did you mean up to 9.30am?

    • Salcombe Finest

      Hello Les, thank you so much for pointing that out! Now changed to 9:30am. Hope to see you in Salcombe soon.

  8. J White

    Is it possible to leave a car at the East Portlemouth side?

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