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A hidden paradise of subtropical gardens and quirky collections...

Welcome to the seaside home of inventor and scientist Otto Overbeck. His gardens and house are perched high on the cliffs above Salcombe, with glorious views over the estuary and coast. Walking through the garden is like taking a trip around the world. With palm trees, banana plants, citrus and olive trees, you could easily forget for a moment where you are and expect to see a parrot flying up above.

The house too is full of surprises. A magical polyphon (A disc playing music box) still plays, and cabinets of butterflies and bugs sit happily with collections of dolls, toys and model boats. Take lunch or tea in the old billard room, a favourite of the convalescing First World War soldiers or eat alfresco on the warm, sheltered terrace.

This is our story

Our volunteer room guides offer special tours of the museum several days a  week. Extremely popular with visitors, these tours bring the house and its amazing collections to life.



Gain valuable skills, build your CV and set yourself an exciting challenge this summer. We need your help at Overbeck's.

Call 01548 842893 for details or email us.

50 things to do

50 things summer 2014 © National Trust

More exciting things to cross off your list at Overbeck's this August. Bring your family and friends and enjoy yourselves in our wonderful surroundings.

Find your way

50 things summer 2014 © David Levenson

Use a map and compass to navigate your way around the gardens and help Otto find his lost belongings. It's a useful skill to learn for life.

Hunt for bugs

Something for all the family to enjoy © Jonathan Howe

Join our rangers and discover some of Overbeck's tiniest inhabitants. Follow in the footsteps of Otto to become a naturalist.

Go bird watching

Come bird watching in the woods or gardens © NTPL/Ian Shaw

Discover the gardens in a whole new way by listening out for bird calls and seeing how many different birds you can spot.


Come bird watching in the woods or gardens © NTPL/Ian Shaw

Come and listen to Pauline, one of our volunteers, tell some exciting and gripping stories that will thrill and fascinate you.

August 7,14, 22 and 28 at 12noon.

Arrive on foot

Final leg of the walk from East Soar to Overbeck’s © Eric McDonald/National Trust

Park at East Soar (NT) car park and take the gentle, easy track to Overbeck's. It's a 30-40 minute walk and you will be rewarded by lovely views of the estuary before reaching the gardens. Why not stop for a cuppa at the Walkers Hut café?.

Take the ferry

The South Sands Ferry taking passengers from Salcombe to South Sands © Frank Prowse

The South Sands passenger Ferry runs between Whitestrand, in the centre of Salcombe, and the picturesque beach of South Sands. A steep five minute walk up the hill and you've arrived at Overbeck's.

Breathtaking cliff top road

The South Sands Ferry taking passengers from Salcombe to South Sands © Frank Prowse

Overbeck's is situated along a beautiful road that winds up along this panoramic stretch of coast. Please note this is a country lane which is very narrow in places and steep.

Volunteer for victory

VAD nurses and soldiers on the lawn at Overbecks

Sharpitor (now Overbeck's) VA hospital opened on 21 May 1915 and was run by the Verekers and local volunteers. From 1 June we will be featuring a fascinating display of photos and stories from that time.

Birds and butterflies

Fuscsia Genii

Come and see the wonderful floral displays and breathe in the sweet aromas. At this time of the year our gardens are spectacular. Then take in the views from the terrace and enjoy a well earned cuppa.