Some of our favourite days out from Sidmouth
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 nearby towns and villages.
Here are some of our suggestions for days out from Sidmouth.
This fascinating 16 sided house belongs to the National Trust so you can explore its collections of Grand Tour curiosities and enjoy the views across the Exe estuary.
The charming Devon fishing village of Beer has local pubs, cafes and galleries and is home to the Pecorama model railway centre and gardens as well as 2,000 year old quarry caves.
Some of the cafes, restaurants and pubs that we’ve discovered on our days out from Sidmouth.
Climb Peak Hill, at the Western end of Sidmouth sea front, to see sweeping views across the neighbouring Otter Valley. Winding country lanes lead you down to Otterton with its working water mill and then on to Budleigh Salterton at the river mouth. Further up the valley discover beautiful botanic gardens at Bicton and the market town of Ottery St Mary.
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 cafés, restaurants and unique local shops as well as family friendly beaches.
Dartmoor is one of the UK’s last wild places, a place of contrasts – dramatic granite tors, hidden sunken quarries, ancient standing stones and magical wooded valleys. And it’s only 35 miles from Sidmouth.
Pay a visit to this charming maritime town on the river Exe where you’ll find traditional inns, elegant architecture and a historic waterfront.
Not far from Sidmouth, on a Devon ridge-way, there’s a beautiful spot for a woodland stroll, made all the more interesting by its links with our Iron Age ancestors.
On a hot August Bank Holiday we discovered East Devon’s ‘Secret Garden’ – a perfect place to unwind and escape from bustling seaside resorts.
I recommend taking a stroll along the esplanade to seek out this revitalised café which has one of the best seaside locations on the South Devon coast.
The Cobb is Lyme Regis’ most famous sea wall, but there’s another, less well known one, that’s worth seeking out.
The bluebells were out in full force when we were in Devon for the early May bank holiday weekend. Their splashes of colour confirm that warm weather is finally on its way.
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.
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.
And here’s some recommendations from our guests:
- Bob K from Cottingham recommends visiting Branscombe “but be prepared for the long single track roads!”, July 2019.
- “Lovely town and beach and surrounding towns and beaches. We travelled to Dawlish one way and Lyme Regis the other taking in all the towns and beaches in between.” Tim J from Manchester, September 2018.
- “It was great. Went to National Trust properties – Killerton and A La Ronde.” Claire T from Sandhurst, June 2018.
- “Enjoyed Budleigh Salterton, Bicton Park and the Donkey Sanctuary.” Margaret H from Rochester, September 2017.
- “Use the buses – Exeter, Lyme Regis, Beer (return via Seaton).” Sue & Jim R from Peterborough, March 2014.
- “Boat trip from Exmouth to Brixham – good.” David & Enid C from Pershore, June 2014.
- “Really enjoyed trip to Blackbury Camp and Beer – very pretty village” Sally K from Guildford, May 2016.
- “Crealy was perfect for our girls, aged 4 and 8, although may be less exciting for much older children – our girls loved it though!” Nadia L from Oxfordshire, August 2014.
- “Crealy is a must if you have young children.” Michelle P-S from Hampshire, April 2015.
- “We like visiting churches – Sidmouth, Colyton and Ottery St Mary are gems.” Stuart A from Birmingham, June 2016.
- “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.
Where to find out more about Devon and Dorset:
- Visitdevon.co.uk: the official visitor guide.
- Visitdorset.com: Lyme Regis and the Jurassic coast.
- Tripadvisor.co.uk: reviews of eating places and visitor attractions in the area as well as a forum for picking the brains of both locals and other travellers.
- Crealy Adventure Park: for families with younger children, tel: 01395 233200.
- Stuart Line Cruises run boat trips along the Jurassic coast, tel: 01395 222144.
- The Stagecoach Journey Planner will help you find bus routes from Sidmouth – there’s a bus stop at the end of the road, just a couple of minutes walk from Chandler’s Cottage.