Exploring South Devon and West Dorset

Photo: images from Devon and Dorset

Sidmouth makes an excellent base for exploring this part of the West Country. Within half an hour’s drive you can be in Dorset, exploring the Jurassic coast; discovering pretty thatched villages in the heart of the Devon countryside or soaking up the culture in the cathedral city of Exeter.

Or let someone else do the driving for a change and take advantage of the extensive local bus network which links Sidmouth to many of the towns and villages you’re likely to want to visit.

Here is a selection of some of the attractions that are within half an hour of Chandler’s holiday cottage.

 Find out more from these web sites:

Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast

Famous for it’s fossil finds and as the location for the movie of ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, Lyme Regis is a lively seaside resort on the Dorset Devon border with plenty of cafes, restaurants and unique local shops as well as family friendly beaches.

> More about Lyme Regis.

Beer village, model railway and caves

The charming Devon fishing village of Beer has local pubs, cafes and galleries and is also home to the Pecorama model railway centre and gardens as well as the 2,000 year old quarry caves.

> More about Beer fishing village, model railway and caves.

Seaton Bay, the Axe Valley and tramway

At the mouth of the river Axe lies the sweeping pebble beach of Seaton Bay. The Axe estuary is known for it’s rich and varied bird life which can be spotted from the Seaton wetlands and the riverside tram line.

> More about Seaton, the Axe Valley and the Tramway.

The cathedral city of Exeter

Just 30 minutes drive from Sidmouth is East Devon’s main city with a cosmopolitan shopping centre, beautiful medieval buildings, a Gothic cathedral, historic quayside, museums and theatres.

> More about Exeter.

Budleigh Salterton village and beach

Distinctive red cliffs flank the mouth of the River Otter and beyond the clean pebble beach lies the village of Budleigh Salterton with its cafes, pubs, independent shops and galleries.

> More about Budleigh Salterton.

Otterton village and working water mill

Otterton is a traditional Devon village with thatched cottages and a working water mill that is also a centre for local arts and crafts.

> More about Otterton village and Mill.

A La Ronde

This fascinating 16 sided house now belongs to the National Trust so visitors can enjoy its Georgian owners extensive collections of grand tour mementoes as well as the views from the lawns across the Exe estuary.

> More about A La Ronde

Escot gardens, maze and woodland adventure

Escot is a place to celebrate the outdoors with woodland trails, a fiendish maze, rare red squirrels and playful otters (and a play barn in case of the odd rain shower).

> More about Escot.

Bicton Park botanical gardens

A mixture of formal gardens, open parklands and an arboretum as well as it’s own steam railway to help visitors get around.

> More about Bicton Park

Crealy is a must if you have young children.

MPS from England

April 2015

Branscombe is lovely – best parking at the Sea Shanty pub at the sea front – but be prepared for very narrow lanes to get there!

Claire T from Sandhurst

September 2017

Crealy was perfect for our girls, aged 4 and 8, although may be less exciting for much older children – our girls loved it though!

NL from England

August 2014

We like visiting churches – Sidmouth, Colyton and Ottery St Mary are gems.

SA from Birmingham

June 2016

Boat trip from Exmouth to Brixham – good.

D&EC from England

June 2014

Really enjoyed trip to Blackbury Camp and Beer – very pretty village

SK from Guildford

May 2016

Use the buses – Exeter, Lyme Regis, Beer (return via Seaton).

S&JR from England

March 2014

Enjoyed Budleigh Salterton, Bicton Park and the Donkey Sanctuary.

Margaret H from Rochester

September 2017

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