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Overbeck's | National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Located high on the cliffs above Salcombe, Devon is the home of inventor Otto Overbeck. Overbeck is known for inventing the 'Rejuvenator', a device that used small levels of electric current to relieve the symptoms of all manner of ailments. Overbeck bought this house (then known as Sharpitor) in 1928 and lived here until his death in 1937. He bequeathed the house and the garden to National Trust and it was then renamed as Overbeck's. Today a part of the house is a museum and displays some of Overbeck's art and natural history collection.

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

While the museum (only a few rooms were open when we visited) and its collections (taxidermy collections, family heirlooms, children's toys etc.) were interesting, it was the sub-tropical gardens set in terraces that turned out be the highlight of our visit. Filled with exotic and rare plants and with magnificent views of the estuary, this was one of the most wonderfully located gardens we have visited.

Overbecks - National Trust

Garden Tour


We enjoyed a wonderful tour of the garden with Sam, one of the gardeners at Overbeck's. Along with Sam we explored all the main garden areas, learning about the history of the gardens and discovering the amazing collection of plants - the perennials, the banana garden, the palms, the cacti and succulents, cistus & myrtle trees, magnolias, oak & beech trees, Japanese Wisteria and even a rare Himalayan Euonymus lucidus tree. The beautiful display of plants (some in bloom) and the exotic scents was a treat to the senses.

Sam at Overbecks - National Trust

As Sam explained to us, the warm microclimate of the region encourages unusual and exotic plants to grow and flourish in the garden. That is why the gardening team is continually trying to diversify the plantings to grow more unique plants at Overbeck's. The garden tour was very informative and if you have a keen interest in plants or gardening, I would recommend joining this tour.

After the guided tour we spent some more time exploring the main areas of the garden again. First up was the Statue Garden. Originally a tennis court, this area is now a beautiful garden with many perennials and a bronze statue of a young girl as the focal point.

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust


A path from the Statue Garden leads to a small area known as the Secret Garden. If you look over the wall in the Secret Garden you will see below a parterre with clipped box hedging.

Overbecks - National Trust

The Gazebo Garden (with plantings of Cistus & Myrtle) has a small sheltered seating area and offers excellent views of the estuary.

Overbecks - National Trust

From the Gazebo Garden, you can head to the Rock Dell which has plantings of astelias, cordylines, aeoniums etc. From the Rock Dell steps (with fancy railings) lead you up to the picnic area. This is the highest point of the garden and offers spectacular views of the coastline.

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

I also liked the 'Lookout' which again offered a wonderful view out to the estuary.

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overall, it is a beautiful garden. The gardens aren't huge as some of the other National Trust properties (Packwood House, Charlecote Park) we have visited but they have been nicely maintained and have some unusual plants. The property is in the most amazing location, offers brilliant views of the estuary and has some really wonderful staff. In our opinion, it is well worth the drive up the narrow and steep lane.

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbecks - National Trust

Overbeck's | Sharpitor, Salcombe, Devon, TQ8 8LW
Phone | 01548842893  Email | [email protected]

Useful information


- National Trust members get free entry. The standard adult ticket is £9.50.
- Limited parking available on site. Parking charges applicable (£8 when we visited). In peak season you may have to use the roadside parking down the hill which would mean a steep uphill walk to reach the garden.
- There is a small tea-room serving light meals, cakes, and seasonal drinks.
- Afternoon tea is available to book all year round.
- Tours of gardens can be arranged prior to your visit. Recommended!

Overbecks - National Trust

Thank you to National Trust for arranging our visit to Overbeck's. All opinions, as always are solely our own.

7 comments:

  1. This is so pretty. I've never heard of Overbecks National Trust before, but it looks like somewhere I'd love to visit. Your photos capture well the landscape and stunning coastline too! A picturesque place to see.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. And yes, it is a very beautiful place.

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  2. What a wonderful article with beautiful pictures of the garden. Looks like an amazing place to spend in the weekend or any afternoon.
    Thanks for sharing this

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  3. Wow what a lovely garden. I am glad you had such a wonderful tour guide to show you around. I have never heard of Overbecks before but if it is National Trust then it will be amazing. I especially loved the little look out and the sheltered picnic bench in the corner.

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    Replies
    1. The guided tour around the garden was very informative. Highly recommend it.

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  4. Looking through the gardens over the estuary would be so beautiful.

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  5. What an interesting place to visit. Overbeck sure lived in luxury in his time and I wonder why he bequethed his house to the National Trust instead of passing it down to family. The gardens are lovely. Best time to visit would surely be spring when they flowers are in bloom.

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