Devon

Overbeck’s, Salcombe

Originally built in the late 18th century before being redeveloped and rebuilt, Overbeck’s (formerly known as Sharpitor as a nod to nearby Sharp Tor) is a beautiful Edwardian property. Briefly used as a Red Cross convalescent home for injured soldiers during World War One, it was bought by Otto Overbeck in 1928 before being left to the National Trust in 1937. 

Although relatively small at just over 7 acres in size, the wealth and depth of life at Overbeck’s more than makes up for it, with plants from all around the world permeating each corner. Thriving in the balmy conditions typical of South Devon and bathed in sunshine thanks to its south-facing position, the gardens here are awash with an explosion of colour and diversity of life that leave many wide-eyed in amazement. 

First laid out 150 years ago by Edric Hopkins, the garden’s meandering paths lead you through a series of garden sections, each unique. Taking in superb views of Salcombe Estuary and the coast as you go, you are invited to wend your way past the incredible tropical plants that were planted by Overbeck himself (many original shrubs and trees still surviving) and weave through the banana gardens, woodland and swaying hardy palms before sitting back in the Statue Garden. 

With a surprise around every corner, both admirers and keen gardeners won’t fail to be captivated by the array of life here. While it would be easy enough to slowly navigate your way around, you can also join up with one of the official garden tours which take place each Wednesday at 2pm. If you have youngsters, you may also be interested in the children's trails and quizzes, too.

Before completing your tour of Overbeck’s, make sure you set time aside for exploring the house. Dripping in Edwardian glamour and with large windows affording views of the garden and coast, you can explore each room and glean a fascinating insight into Otto’s life. As you go, keep your eyes out for the Sharpitor room to learn about the soldiers who stayed here, as well as for Otto's 'Rejuvenator' and the melodious giant music box called a polyphon.

Open daily between 11am and 5pm from February to November, visitors are welcome. A particularly lovely time of year to visit is spring, when magnificent magnolias and camellias bloom. Once you have finished exploring, you can also make use of the garden’s tearooms, where a selection of tasty local food and drink is served inside and out.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Salcombe here.

Overbeck's, Sharpitor, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8LW | 01548 842 893 

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