Tiny village named 'most beautiful in the UK' with French gastro pub and just 140 locals | The Sun

A TINY UK village has become a surprising destination for tourists, despite having fewer than 200 residents.

Its old stone cottages and narrow winding streets are just as charming as its quiet beaches, all of which have played a part in it being named the UK's most beautiful village.

The title was handed out to South Pool in Devon by Travel Experts at CN Traveller in 2022, who were won over by its views and slower way of life compared to other towns in the area.

They wrote: "Salcombe’s streets, teeming with the sailing brigade, smart shops and ice-cream parlours, seem another world on the other side of the Kingsbridge Estuary in South Pool, where the changing tides of the creek are the most noteworthy activity. 

"Savvy canoeists who’ve checked the tide charts arrive by boat and tie up to the pontoon.

"But others on foot can just as happily wander the water’s edge before climbing the steep steps to the pretty 14th-century St Nicholas and St Cyriac Church with its views out across the patchwork fields."

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Only 143 people live in South Pool, but all have access to one of the best beaches in Europe, according to Lonely Planet, which listed it as sixth out of the continent's beaches in 2015.

Bantham Beach has clear blue waters, views out to Burgh Island and has won awards for its cleanliness – and it's just a short drive away.

Visit South Devon said of the beach: "This crackingly good beach is part of the designated South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"It’s also won awards from the Marine Conservation Society and the coveted Blue Flag, so you know it’s clean."

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The Millbrook Inn pub is popular with both locals and touristsCredit: Alamy

You Well also vouched for its beauty, adding that it was "one of the best beaches in Devon (and probably the UK)".

The nearby beach is far from the only selling point of the village however, with its gastropub also attracting visitors.

The Millbrook Inn boasts an "ingredient-led" French-influenced menu, which some say is the best food the country has to offer, while a range of local ales and ciders are also available.

One Google Reviewer wrote: "Our new favorite pub in England!
The food was exceptional – even the side salad was fresh with so much flavour, amazing."

For some people, simply being in South Pool is enough, with the town's creek the perfect place to take in the natural surroundings.

Coast and Country said: "One of the best ways to enjoy a visit to South Pool is simply to wander down to the creek and appreciate the scenery.

"You can walk along the water’s edge on either side, and you’ll find plenty of benches located perfectly for taking in the views."

It's also a great place to be based for a stay in South Devon, particularly for those into watersports.

Kayaking is popular up and down the creek, when the tide is in, while paddleboarding and surfing is more common closer to the sea.

However, for those who prefer to keep their chances of getting wet to a minimum, Salcombe estuary cruises are also available.

The cruises take visitors on a 90 minute journey up and down the creek, learning about its history and wildlife.

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One former cruise guest described it as "one of my favourite holiday memories" on TripAdvisor, adding: "Would highly recommend as a thoroughly good way to spend time."

Here's another Devon village which tourists say is like "stepping back in time".

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