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WELCOME TO SHALDON
Situated on the mouth of the river Teign, Shaldon is an unspoilt village, with a thriving livelyhood based on the estuary. The original settlement on the river was upstream in Ringmore, where the beautiful and fertile valley was farmed, and the inhabitants were well hidden from the sea. Shaldon itself was formed as silt was washed down by the river Teign, and gradually, aided by sand washed in by ferocious winds and seas, land was reclaimed. Many parts of Shaldon are built on this land, and crossing the estuary one can see the retaining wall of Riverside, constructed about 1800, which prevented the river returning to its beaches.
Many sea faring families were and still are based in the estuary, early seamen would have relied on seeing the Ness headland jutting out to find their way home, today local sailors keeping their yachts and boats on the estuary moorings, and look for the same familiar sight on their way home.
The clock tower on the village green with Spring blossom
Shaldon is a thriving village, opposite the busy working port of Teignmouth. Local people and holiday makers alike are able to stay on foot as Shaldon boasts a full range of local shops, newsagent, Pharmacy, Post Office, Bakers, general stores, and a local butcher who also runs in the shop a delicatessen, and a good range of local green grocery.
Shaldon boasts three pubs, each with its own identity and differing menus, one in fact has a Thai restaurant. In addition there are a couple of Hotels, and numerous charming places to stay, both in the centre and on the edge of Shaldon and Ringmore. Shaldon Bed and Breakfast properties are plentiful, catering for all tastes, and there is a good range of Shaldon self catering accommodation, located the length of Shaldon and Ringmore. Most properties are an easy walk within the village, to the beaches and local amenities, or a five to ten minute stroll along the river, on the flat walk from Ringmore upstream.
Many old parts of Shaldon are conservation areas, with listed buildings, some dating to the seventeenth century.
In Ringmore, some are even older, and have known fifteenth century origins, and the local church of St Nicholas, was predated probably by a wooden Saxon church. Originally Ringmore had many working farms, extensive apple and other orchards, including cider apples, watercress beds and withy beds used for making lobster pots.
Later inhabitants made their living around the estuary, and still do, in fact the livelihood of Shaldon is based on the River to a certain extent. Boat trips, fishing trips, and water-sports abound, and the beaches both along the river ad further around below the Ness ( Reached by walking through a smugglers tunnel ! )
As one of the prettiest villages in Devon, remaining as an old English style village, visitors are treated to relaxing pastimes. Bowls are played on the immaculate village green, overlooked by one of the village pubs, and during the holiday season, a local gift market takes place on each Wednesday, known as 1785 day, and the local people dress in Georgian costume. In the evening, entertainment changes to Punch and Judy, sometimes an open air play, a juggler, or maybe musicians and dancers. For those that simply like to sit and watch the life on the river, many benches are to be found near the river mouth, from here you can watch the comings and goings of the beach, the many people enjoying their boats, and of course the amazing sight of the big clay boats being led in and out by the pilot as they negotiate the narrow deep water channel to enter the port of Teignmouth.
From Shaldon beach, a foot ferry will take you across to explore Teignmouth, the ferry has been in operation since the 13th century. The black and white design of the boats has been unaltered for about three hundred years, and the ferry was modernised when the oars gave way to a motor in 1909. It is the fastest way to reach Teignmouth!
At the top of the village you can find the Shaldon Wildlife centre, this is dedicated to conservation, and is in fact a small zoo, fascinating for both young and old, it is well worth a visit. The Trust is located by the large car park at the top of the village, and this is the nearest place to park to reach the Ness beach.
The energetic can play golf up above the Ness, or walk the South coast path towards Torquay, where the views across the bay are quite spectacular, looking towards Teignmouth one can see Dawlish, Exmouth, and far beyond towards Dorset. For the serious golfer, across the estuary one can find Teignmouth golf club, as you play you can see some of the most stunning scenery, both out to sea and across to Dartmoor. Shaldon also is in easy reach of both Newton Abbot race course, and Exeter race course.
If all the exercise and activities make you hungry, there are several places in Shaldon where you can enjoy a Devon cream tea, in addition there are several riverside cafes/bistro , and a superb coffee shop where Fair trade coffee is served with home made cakes.
Sunrise - Shaldon Beach
Shaldon is a wonderful place both to visit and live. The local primary school thrives and is very sought after, the children are very involved in village life, and many go on from there to the Teignmouth community college across the river. There is also an independent school in Teignmouth. Shaldon has churches to serve the Catholic, Methodist and Church of England community, and the main church of St Peter ( Seen as you cross the estuary ) boasts a fine organ, played by organists from across the country.
Music thrives in the local community, the annual Shaldon Festival attracts well known musicians such as David Wilcox, Christopher Steele Perkins, the Academy of St Martins in the Field, and takes place over several days in June. The local Shaldon singers put on a twice yearly concert to a packed house, always featuring fine musicians and soloists, and other events take place all year round.
Near Shaldon the local towns of Newton Abbot, and Torquay can be reached both by train or the regular bus service, this also extends to reach the city of Exeter, with its magnificent Cathedral and wonderful history. For those looking to dine out, all around the local area can be found some magnificent restaurants, from as near as Dawlish and Torquay to venturing into Exeter, where the cosmopolitan life style is well catered for.