Making the most of your time at Gara Rock
Whether you have a day or a fortnight at Gara, there are so many ways to spend your time here. You may just want to kick back and relax, cutting yourself off from all the stress of the outside world, but many of our guests are active explorers. Whichever kind of person you are, we'll be sure to help you make the most of your stay.
Unwind in Style at Gara
Open the door to your patio, grab a sun lounger, kick back and relax. You're in the warmest part of the UK and our balconies, sun terraces and outdoor clifftop swimming pool are perfect sun traps for catching some rays. Don't forget to take in the stunning panoramic coastal views from our beautifully-landscaped private gardens.
If the sun's gone down or disappeared behind a cloud, head inside to experience a massage or beauty treatment at the spa, catch a film in the cinema room or sit back in the jacuzzi. The best way to spend an evening at Gara could be sitting in front of the fireplace with a favourite book in our new lounge, or going for a relaxing dip in the indoor pool.
You haven't truly visited Gara until you've experienced a meal at The Restaurant. Indulge yourself with some locally-sourced food, beautifully-prepared by our talented chefs. Finally, if you feel like burning off those extra calories, head down to our new gym and put in a few miles on the treadmill.
At Gara Rock, you can experience a whole holiday without leaving our site. But then you would be missing out...
Experience the South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath stretching for 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Gara has long been a highly valued oasis on this ‘old way’. Many experienced wanderers who have paced the coastal path in its entirety reckon that The Portlemouth to Torcross stretch is the most stunning.
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar
When Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote his famous poem Crossing the Bar, he was inspired by the harbour entrance sand bar as seen from a waterside property in Salcombe. Walk this route and we challenge you not to be inspired by the beauty of this location, too.
Some sections of the path are tougher than others, but there is generally an escape route which will get you back to the road if the terrain is becoming too difficult. Having said that, this route is walked by the young, old and canine alike. We know of octagenarians who can take the path in their stride - it's all about being prepared. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear, have some water with you, a map and preferably a phone (though signal is hard to come by in places). There are various stopping points – Gara being one the only local stop that is actually situated on the path. Others such as East Prawle (ice creams and tea!) will require you to track inland a little way.
The old thatched coastguard hut at Gara is a great spot that children love - you can even go inside and look out through the little window. The manned coastguard observation hut at Prawle Point has a fascinating visitors' centre which is definitely worth a visit. Start Point lighthouse has to be one of Trinity Houses' finest and the view is second to none. There are regular tours with a guide. If you make it all the way to Torcross, the Start Bay Inn has fantastic fish and chips.
Escape to the Beach
Gazing out from the floor to ceiling windows in The Restaurant, you'll see the land drop away before you, with a rough path winding its way down to the beach at Seacombe Sands. Most know of Seacombe Sands as 'Gara Rock beach' and it's here that you can really escape to a beautiful idyll, with crystal clear waters and golden sands. At the height of summer, it's like a slice of the Mediterranean, while in winter the storms whip up surf into a frenzy - perfect for blowing away the cobwebs!
If you have very young children, head to the beach with a kite and bucket - the memories will make themselves. Alternatively, there's plenty of nooks and crannies in the rock formations that provide perfect peace and quiet for a spot of sunbathing or reading. Nothing but the sound of the surf and seagulls, the sea breeze in your hair and the taste of salt in the air. It's a wonderful place to relax and truly feel like you've escaped from the modern world.
Surfers and paddleboarders will love the wide open sandy shores, when the wind is in the right direction. The south-facing cove lights up on sunny days, whether it's July or December and you can enjoy basking in the sun's warmth, watching the rollers pass through.
Visit Beautiful Salcombe
Salcombe is one of the best places in the UK to just sit down and soak up the people and scenery. The town has retained the loyalty of generations of visitors, who return every year - and this is for good reason. Whether you are 2 or 92 - or anywhere in between - it is very easy to fall in love with the place.
Salcombe is surrounded by beaches, creeks and cliffs. In the summer season the water comes alive with boats. This is thrilling to watch from the beach, pub or harbourside; dinghy races starting while the fishing fleet head out; swimmers; motorboaters and luxury yachts. It all unfolds before your eyes in a glorious blend of organisation and complete chaos.
It is very easy to get on the water and join in the comings and goings if that is your thing.
Any coastal activity you could name is available - paddleboarding, fishing, dinghy sailing, water skiing, powerboating, boating, kayaking, coasteering.
On land, you can walk the most beautiful part of the South West coast path towards Prawle Point and beyond, visit the increasingly-impressive pubs and cafes, or step into the galleries on Island Street. There are even gin-making classes and you can delve into local history at Salcombe Museum.