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Those with a love of nautical knick-knacks will thoroughly enjoy a visit to Overbeck's, named after the eccentric scientist who lived at the house from 1928-1937.

He filled this splendid house, which overlooks the Salcombe Estuary, with a fantastic collection of unique curios.

Views from the zig-zag road which leads up the steep hill from Salcombe provide visitors with stunning views of the inlet, surrounded by cliffs which reach the headland of Prawle Point and the wooded slopes of the Kingsbridge Estuary in Devon.

If you help to limit parking congestion by walking up the narrow road to Overbecks, you'll be rewarded with a free tea voucher at the entrance to this elegant Edwardian seaside home.

Once you have caught your breath, walk

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beneath the red banner announcing "Overbecks", one of several strange conditions which were attached to bequest of the house to The National Trust in 1937.

This offers the first views of the elegant Edwardian villa and the wonderful views it enjoys from its craggy promontory position.

Although part of the building is used by the Youth Hostel Association, another condition of the donation, the entrance hall and several rooms are laid out as a museum showcasing the amazing collections and inventions of Otto Overbeck.

His patented "rejuvenator", said to breathe new life into old and tired bodies by passing electricity through the body, stands on display in the entrance hall, along with the details of his non-alcoholic beer which he invented and sold.

The staircase is lined with display cases of local wildlife and natural history exhibits on a grand scale. Beneath the staircase is a secret room dedicated to children's toys and doll's houses, all wonderfully displayed in glass cabinets.

In a room decorated with a nautical border, exquisite hand-made model ships, shipbuilding tools, marine paintings, photographs of local shipwrecks and a collection of sailor's snuff boxes are laid out for visitors to pore over with fascination. Many of the paintings and

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model ships are connected with Salcombe in its heyday, when it was a major port in the 1870s.

An old 1890s music box, called a polyphon, is regularly opened by white-gloved room stewards and a record is selected from the extensive collection of giant-sized discs. It fills the old house with glorious musical tones which draws curious visitors from all corners of the house and gardens.

Outside, the gardens are laid out on terraces to accommodate the steep clifftop position. They were designed in the 1900s by Edric Hopkins. The six acre garden enjoys a mild Mediterranean microclimate allowing tender palms and banana trees to flourish.

The upper lawn is surrounded by palms and exotic perennials and gravel paths lead off around the garden in all directions to be explored by avid amateur gardeners. Guided garden tours are available, to discover more about the collection of rare and exotic plants.

Highlights of the exotic gardens at Overbecks are the one-hundred year old sprawling branches of the Magnolia Campbelli and the 16-foot lavender flower spikes of the Echium Pininana.

Herbaceous borders and rock gardens bloom beneath a canopy of exotic trees and and teas are served on the sunny terrace or in the former dining room.

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Bus Services:
Stagecoach in Devon X64, Sunday and Bank Holidays only; Tally Ho! 164, 606 from Totnes . From all alight Salcombe, 1 miles.

View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website.

By Ferry:
From Salcombe to South Sands, then mile strenuous walk (uphill).

By Road:
1 miles south west of Salcombe, signposted from Malborough and Salcombe (narrow approach road). Roads leading to Overbeck's are steep and single track and not suitable for coaches over 25 seats or large vehicles. Sat Nav warning: continue towards Salcombe ignoring Sat Nav in Malborough and follow the brown signs thereafter.

On Foot:
South West Coast Path within mile.

Ordnance Survey Reference:

Overbecks Postcode for SatNav: TQ8 8LW


+44 (0)1548 842 893
+44 (0)1548 845 020


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