We live in the UK's most expensive seaside town – we love life in our 'hidden gem'… but there's a huge downside | The Sun
RESIDENTS who live in the UK’s most expensive seaside town love living in the “hidden gem” but say there is a big downside.
Salcombe in Devon has been named as the country’s most expensive coastal place to buy a property.
While locals love it there, the posh resort charges twice the price of a pint of a beer compared to the UK’s most affordable coastal place, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland.
PRICE OF A PINT
Punters pay £3.60 for a pint of basic lager in the northern resort – but in Salcombe some listings show £6.
Seaside staples such as fish and chips and buckets and spades also cost considerably more.
In Salcombe some hotels charge nearly £500 pound per night – but Newbiggin-by-the-Sea one room is advertised at just £25 per person.
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The Devon resort has cafes charging £2.80 for a latte – but up north they cost just £1.90.
A fish supper by the sea in Salcombe can cost £13 – compared to around £9.40 in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
In Newbiggin-by-the-Sea a bucket and spade costs £5 – in Devon one place charges £11.
'EXPENSIVE PLACE TO LIVE'
Nigel Blazeby, from Salcombe RNLI, said the town "has always been an expensive place to live".
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He added: "It's a beautiful place and it's popular with locals and other people who want come to live here from further afield."
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Sewing shop owner Hazel Steel, 64, grew up in the town and said it is 'the most underrated place in the UK'.
Mum-of-two Hazel has had her shop, Sew Quilted by the Sea, for six-and-a-half years.
She said it is inundated with tourists who are attracted by the lower cost of living – and that two people can have a lovely meal and a bottle of wine for between £20 to £25.
Hazel said: "It's one of the most underrated places in the UK.
"The bay is south facing so you get sunlight from the crack of dawn until sunset.
"There's lots of lovely places to eat out and we have events on all the time.
"All the shops are independent except for the Co-op.
"There's a really nice community here and people visit the caravan parks two or three times a year.
"House prices have doubled in four or five years.
"It's really down to earth but really creative, house prices are rising because everyone wants to be here.
"People come here because of the fact it's a little bit cheaper here.
"We get a lot of tourists from all over the world. In the time I have been here, there's a lot more going on now."
Karen Carr, 58, has owned craft shop Seventy Seven in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea for more than two years and has just opened up a sweet shop next door.
She said the town is a staycation heaven and plans on selling handmade sticks of rock for as a little as 40p.
Karen said: "The town has a gently flow of tourist from Easter until October.
"We find that people who come here for a weekend often end up moving because they fall in love with the place.
"It's the land that time forgot really. Everyone here is lovely and charitable and what you see is what you get.
"We want people to be able to afford whatever the offering is.
"We don't have tourist prices and local prices we like to keep it fair for everyone.
"There is a price parity between here and other seaside towns down south.
"The shop will sell traditional candy like handmade Newbiggin rock which will start at 40p a stick."
Chip shop owner Jagadip Ladhar, 35, owns Ladhars Fish Bar in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea which has been in his family since 1998.
A large fish supper costs £9.40 and Jagadip said they can't charge the prices seen in other seaside spots like Devon and Cornwall.
Dad-of-two Jagadip said: "We wish we could charge those prices, but we just don't think it's fair on customers.
People take advantage of the seaside location and know they can charge what they want.
"People take advantage of the seaside location and know they can charge what they want.
"Once families are there, they are not always looking at the price of stuff, if the kids want something to eat the kids are going to get something to eat.
"Fish and chips is so expensive now it's become a luxury, especially in places like Devon and Cornwall when they can charge what they like really. ''
Beth Hillier, who owns a small clothing shop in Salcombe, said: "Although I run a business, I personally don't live there, which I think really is the crux of the issue.
"The problem is that because there's a lot of holiday homes there, it outprices locals and prevents a real and thriving community from being established in the town.
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"Most people work and use the town for business, but like me don't necessarily live there.
"We suck it up and keep the shop open all year round to keep our staff employed, but it's a ghost town in the winter – the town relies on the tourism industry."
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