From deliciously sandy beaches at Exmouth to the crunch of pebbles at Branscombe, East Devon’s beaches will keep you and your family entertained for hours. The coastline of East Devon has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its wealth of prehistoric remains, the Jurassic Coast is considered to be the only place in the world displaying unbroken evidence of 185 million years of evolution. Cutting through the East Devon countryside to the coast are a number of dramatic valleys, including the Axe, Culm, Otter, Sid and Exe. Many idyllic villages can be found here, and wildlife diversity is high. The opportunity to walk, cycle and tour these valleys and the high ridges that separate them should not be missed. Much of East Devon is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are several Local Nature Reserves to explore in this area.
Kilmington is a small, friendly village with outstanding facilities, nestling within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Winner twice of “ Best Village of the Year” we boast beautiful lanes, local walks, a village green, tennis courts, play area and cricket pavilion, two churches, village shop and post office and “Miller’s” – Kilmington’s locally renowned Farm shop. Valley Farm is situated on The Green opposite the village shop, yet to the rear we open out onto rolling fields with outstanding views of the Axe Valley. A few minutes’ walk through the village will take you to either of our two thatched village pubs where guests can relax, chill in the gardens, enjoy a meal or play a game of skittles. Walk little further to the edge of the village and be enthralled with the local beauty of Shute Woods and the rolling countryside. A leaflet is available on site with six circular walks form Kilmington.
Famous for its carpets often likened to Turkish, Axminster was one of the first West Saxon settlements formed along the River Axe in Devon. The settlement flourished through the centuries and today it is one of Devon’s prettiest small market towns with a lively, attractive town centre. It has a handsome church, with a Norman door and Jacobean pulpit, Market day is Thursday, this takes the form of an open street market with plenty of stalls selling a diverse range of goods. It is a lively weekly event drawing crowds of locals as well as tourists to the area. Make sure you visit Axminster Museum, this recalls the town’s history and traditions, with excellent displays of farming implements and plenty to do with carpets. Celebrity chef and TV presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall purchased an old inn that once provided the ballroom of the town, and converted it into his very first River Cottage Canteen and Deli.
1.8 miles 4 minutes
Historical Colyton is typically referred to as “most rebellious town in Devon” due to the number of its inhabitants who joined the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. The narrow circular street arrangement is typically Saxon. Take a stroll along the winding lanes and you will see a wealth of historical buildings. Here the last remaining oak bark tannery in the country thrives, despite modern competition, to produce some of the finest finished leather hides. The town also takes pride in its traditional wheelwright who has gained a Royal Warrant and works “By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen.” A guided walking discovery of Colyton takes place throughout the summer.
Historical Colyton – http://www.colytonhistory.co.uk/colyton-history-brief.php
3.2 miles 9 minutes
Branscombe is the meeting point of two valleys or combes, this is how it derives its name. Here thatched cottages meander down a magnificent valley nearly all the way to the sea and the village is believed to be the longest village in England. It is this location that makes Branscombe one of the most beautiful and scenic locations on the South coast. Branscombe Forge was built around 1580 and is believed to be the oldest thatched working forge in the county. Branscombe once had four working mills – two for grist (grain), a saw mill and a gypsum mill near the beach. Manor Mill is now the only mill that remains in full working order and if you visit the mill during opening hours you can watch it come to life. When the waterwheel turns, the lime-washed walls shudder and the wooden cogs start to wheeze as the worn old stones send clouds of flour dust into the air Branscombe has walks that cater to all abilities with beautiful historical strolls or cliff-top climbs and views out to sea.
Local walks can be found here – http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/branscombe/lists/walking-at-branscombe
10.2 miles 21 minutes
From the Iron Age to the Middle Ages, Axmouth Harbour was the most important harbour in the West of England. The natural harbour of the River Axe estuary was at that time a much wider and deeper inlet. The Estuary is particularly interesting for its bird life, the three Local Nature Reserves, Seaton Marshes, Colyford Common and Black Hole Marsh are a rich mosaic of saltmarsh and freshwater grazing marsh, ponds, reedbed, ditches and saline lagoons that are important for wintering wildfowl and waders, such as curlew and redshank, while in the summer butterflies and dragonflies abound.
5.07 miles 11 minutes
A friendly place with a big heart, Seaton welcomes thousands of visitors each year who come for it’s beautiful coastline, peaceful landscapes, traditional seaside activities; shops and businesses and more adventurous endeavours such as steep coastal walks, kayaking and of course the annual runners favourite – The Grizzly Run!
A unique seaside town in East Devon, Seaton sits on the Jurassic Coast and Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site. It offers natural wonders, family adventures, sporting opportunities and a large variety of places to eat, drink and relax. The famous South West Coast Path – one of the top walks to be found anywhere in the world- is easily accessible.
6.6 miles 15 minutes
A picturesque fishing village with stunning coastal walks and a fascinating past that includes smuggling, lacemaking, and Beer stone. Beer beach is a natural suntrap and the waters in the bay are very sheltered with the imposing limestone cliffs giving protection from the wind. Because it is a ‘working beach’ the picturesque paraphernalia of the fishing industry with its brightly coloured wooden boats, nets, winches and neon-coloured floats add to its charm with the added bonus of being able to watch fishermen landing their catches of fresh fish, crabs, lobsters and scallops. Hire a boat and fish for mackerel, picnic or able around the winding high street. Beer is well worth a visit. Beer Regatta celebrated its centenary in 2013 and is going from strength to strength. A week-long programme of events for all the family on land and sea culminating on Regatta Day with a gigantic firework display 2016 (6th – Fri 12th August)
8.2 miles 19 minutes
Honiton’s location on the old Roman road of the Fosse Way has made it ideally situated as a market town and centre for business throughout the centuries. Honiton is truly one of the friendliest market towns in the South West, famous for Honiton lace and Honiton pottery, and continues to thrive as a well-established centre for Antiques and Antiquarian books.
8.3 miles 14 minutes
‘A town caught still in a timeless charm’. It was Sidmouth that captivated the Poet Laureate, John Betjeman, and it will captivate you, too. Beautiful gardens and leisurely walks, Regency history and fine hotels, clean beaches and friendly shops…. it’s all here in this lovely seaside town that nestles beneath majestic red cliffs and the green hills of the glorious Sid Valley. Sidmouth FolkWeek is a unique week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song, a must in every festival goer’s annual diary, there has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August every year since 1955. Take time to visit and see the town’s streets and venues burst with festive atmosphere and colour in the friendliest music-based festival around.
14.3 miles 29 minutes
Ottery St Mary
A delightful town steeped in centuries of history. With its magnificent Parish Church and cluster of picturesque buildings, Ottery St. Mary has given literary inspiration to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thackeray – and JK Rowling. These streets feature a wide variety of individual shops and hostelries that offer service with a smile in a way that things used to be. Every year on November 5th for reasons lost in antiquity, Flaming Tar Barrels are carried through the streets of Ottery St Mary to the delight of thousands of townsfolk and visitors.Opinion differs as to the origin of this festival of fire, but the most widely accepted version is that it began as a pagan ritual that cleanses the streets of evil spirits.
14.4 miles 24 minutes
A tranquil and historic retreat from the stress of everyday living. From the gently flowing brook in the high street, museum and friendly cafes, shops and pubs, Budleigh Salterton has so much for visitors to the town. In the surrounding area you will find countryside to coastline, gardens to golf courses, adventure parks to sea trips and guided walks.
21.7 miles 40 minutes
There’s so much to do in Exmouth you won’t believe how the time flies past. Exmouth is a bustling little town with a vibrant shopping centre that also hosts a wide range of leisure and entertainment facilities, including a cinema, theatre, sports amenities and a range of excellent restaurants. With a glorious two miles of family friendly beach you can swim, build sandcastles or simply explore the rock pools. Exmouth is known nationally as a regional centre for water sports, boasting great conditions for sailing, kite surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, rowing, yachting, swimming, snorkelling and much more. Exmouth is popular with ramblers as there are many beautiful walks in the area and as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), Bird Watchers often travel a long way to see the rare birds here.
26.9 miles 42 minutes
Exeter is an ancient city with a vibrant, modern feel. Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, the city’s history is rich and long. This is reflected in its fascinating visitor attractions including its mysterious Underground Passages, award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum, magnificent Exeter Cathedral, Roman wall and historic quayside. Exeter is one of the few cities in the UK to offer free guided walking tours, on which you can discover centuries of fascinating heritage. Exeter has a great mix of shops, with large High Street names mingling with independent shops in the city’s distinct shopping quarters. Exeter is also firmly on the map as one of the foodie capitals of the South West, from the weekly farmers’ market selling field-fresh produce to the celebrated Exeter Street Food Market, cosy cafes to fine dining in award-winning restaurants.
27.72 miles 40 minutes