Country houses for sale

A £6.5m super-prime home in Devon: The ‘best of both worlds’ seaside home right across the water from Devon’s most expensive town

Thalassa is a home that enjoys glorious sunsets, delightful beaches, privacy and seclusion — yet is close enough to the action to keep anyone happy. Arabella Youens takes a look.

Time seems to march to the beat of a slower drum down in the South Hams — and in a good way. This charmed area of South Devon is perhaps best known for the charming little harbour town of Salcombe — or ‘Chelsea-by-Sea’, as Daily Mail writers never tire of calling it. But spend any time at all down here without reference to a tabloid paper and you’ll quickly realise that it’s the gently rolling landscapes, hidden coves and sleepy, twisting lanes with grass growing down the middle which really give the area its character.

So the appearance of a house for sale in just such a blessed little spot is something to celebrate — though particularly, in this instance, for those with very deep pockets indeed. In East Portlemouth, right across the estuary from Salcombe, you’ll find Thalassa, a six-bedroom house which is on the market with Strutt & Parker for £6.5m.

This house really is in a spectacular position, with views looking across to Salcombe in the west and up to Kingsbridge in the north.

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Arranged across two floors, there is a large reception room on the ground floor, with a triple aspect view of the ever-changing activity on the water.

The house stands in gardens and beach of nearly two acres with a west-facing terrace perfectly positioned to catch sunset views. Steps lead down to the boat house; there are three moorings and a slipway runs directly onto the beach.

No wonder, then, that the agents are getting excited — despite, or perhaps even because of the fact that the house is a little tired, both inside and out. Having the onus to bring change and make it your own is seen as something of a selling point.

‘Thalassa provides a brilliant blueprint for someone to make their own mark, renovate or even rebuild,’ says Oliver Custance Baker, head of Strutt & Parker’s country-house department.

‘It’s the position combined with ownership of the foreshore and the three moorings that makes it so valuable.’

In 2023, Salcombe was named Britain’s most expensive seaside town, with an average house price of more than £1.2m, according to Halifax. However, Thalassa’s value is not affected by being on the other side of the estuary.

‘There are those who want to be in the thick of the action in Salcombe, but, at this super-prime end of the market, there are also buyers that prefer a bit of privacy,’ explains buying agent Ed Clarkson of Property Vision, who specialises in this area.

‘Thalassa could be seen as the best of both worlds.’

And when you do want to pop across to Salcombe to make the most of its shops, pubs and restaurants? A ferry or harbour taxi operates from East Portlemouth to Salcombe on weekdays throughout the year, and every day from the end of March to the end of September. Naturally, though, those that live here will much more likely have their own craft in which to make the crossing.

Thalassa is for sale at £6.5m — see more pictures and details.