Exploring the Sid Valley on foot
Whether you prefer gentle strolls through the river valley, splashing through muddy woodland puddles or steep climbs and breathtaking views from the coast path, you’ll find a walk that suits you in this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The South West Coast Path passes through Sidmouth leading to cliff top walks with stunning views of Devon’s unique red sandstone cliffs.
The Sid Valley and the Byes
Just a couple of minutes from Chandler’s Cottage is a local nature reserve known as the Byes which follows the River Sid from Sidford to Sidmouth. There are well marked level paths with opportunities to explore wooded areas or splash around in the river on hot days. You might even catch a glimpse of an otter playing in the water. Try the Sid Valley walk from East Devon Council (3.75 miles).
Peak Hill and Mutter’s Moor
Peak Hill rises to the West of Sidmouth at the end of a long ridge where you’ll find woodland walks through Mutter’s Moor and stunning views across the Otter Valley to Dartmoor rising in the distance. Drive up to the car park at the top of Peak Hill for a level stroll and wander through Mutter’s Moor enjoying the views to the West. For a more challenging walk there are circular routes for keen ramblers that take in Sidmouth, Otterton, the coast path and even venture as far as Budleigh Salterton and back.
Here are some walks from the South West Coast Path web site:
- Circular walk including Sidmouth seafront and part of the Byes as well as Mutter’s Moor: Sidmouth – valley, ridge and Jurassic Coast (5.5 miles). Chandler’s Cottage guests can join this walk where it crosses Temple Street, just 5 minutes walk from the front door.
- A 7 mile walk starting from the Peak Hill car park featuring the South West Coast Path: Mutter’s Moor to Otterton circular walk 297.
- A longer, more challenging circular walk, also featuring the coast path: Mutter’s Moor to Otterton & Budleigh (10 miles).
Looking over Sidmouth from the East is Salcombe Hill. Here you’ll find more great views along the coast and across the Sid Valley. As well as the South West Coast Path, there are woodland walks at the top of the hill. If you don’t relish the thought of the steep climb from the town then take a short drive up to the car park at the top and explore from there. In the summer months why not try following the coast path up Salcombe Hill and along to Weston Mouth? From there you can walk inland to the Donkey Sanctuary where you’ll find a free hopper bus service back to Sidmouth (and a cafe for some well earned refreshments while you wait for the next bus). In the winter a slightly longer walk to the main road links with the regular Jurassic Coast bus services which will drop you in Sidford where you can stroll along the Byes back to Sidmouth. Here is a circular walk from the South West Coast Path web site that takes in Sidmouth Esplanade, the Byes & Salcombe Hill (4.7 miles).
Fire Beacon Hill
Inland from Sidmouth, rising up from Sidford, Fire Beacon Hill is an area of woodland and open moorland that offers wide ranging views along the Sid valley, across Sidmouth and down to the sea. There are a couple of car parks on top of the hill, reached by a narrow lane from Sidbury. From here you can take a fairly level stroll along the ridge. Alternatively, drive or get a bus to Sidbury and take a more strenuous circular walk from the village up to the hill and back. East Devon Council have prepared a circular walk from from Sidbury to Fire Beacon Hill (5 miles).
Click a picture to see the full size photo album:
What some of our guests thought about the walks around Sidmouth:
- “Sidmouth itself is wonderful – we usually walk up Peak Hill to Ladram & Salcombe Hill to the Donkey Sanctuary.” Dickie T from London, April 2018.
- “Byes is a lovely walk into Sidmouth.” Julia P from Reading, September 2014.
- “Beautiful walk along the river into Sidmouth. Very peaceful and quiet.” Tracey B from Derby, August 2013.
- “A charming walk along the river.” Andrew D from Tamworth, November 2013.
- “Recommend the circular 3 mile walk from Beer to Branscombe mouth, lovely.” Paul B from Wilstead, February 2013.
Find out more about local walks from these web sites:
- South West Coast Path features information and walking trails for this section of the path.
- East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty web site has maps and local walks.
- Treasure Trails publish a murder mystery walking trail of Sidmouth.
- Walkingworld.com has a wide selection of walks in this area, there’s a small charge to download each walk or you can take out an annual subscription.