Things to do in Sidmouth
The picturesque town of Sidmouth, with its beautiful coastal location and regency feel is ideal for a holiday or day trip.
Sidmouth has a rich and varied history and one of the best ways to explore this history is by walking the Sidmouth blue plaque trail. In 1922 the Sid Vale Association introduced 32 Blue Plaques to commemorate ‘Historic Sidmouth’ as of 2013 this number has risen to 64. The plaques note some of the many famous residents and visitors of Sidmouth. The Aurora, to the rear of Kennaway House was once the summer holiday home of JRR Tolkein and he is said to have written part of The Lord of the Rings whilst holidaying there. Hylton House was once a repeat family holiday spot for Beatrix Potter and The Tale of Little Pig Robinson was partly written and illustrated in Sidmouth. In 1819 Royal Glen, then known as Woolbrook Cottage, was rented by the Duke of Kent, his wife and their daughter, the future Queen Victoria, for Christmas.
For a little family friendly day out, why not spend a day on Sidmouth Beach, a beautiful expanse of sand and shingle beach which is clean, accessible and surrounded by awe inspiring cliffs giving the beach a secluded feel. At low tide there are plenty of rock pools for children to explore and dogs are welcome all year round on the east end of the beach. The well-known Jacob's Ladder is a series of wooden steps leading from the beach up to the Connaught Gardens where you can experience beautiful views of the coastline below. Local cafés and restaurants nearby offer an easy and enjoyable lunch option nestled amongst the Regency seafront.
For sporting enthusiasts, there are a range of facilities available in Sidmouth with opportunities to get involved in bowls, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, cricket, rock climbing, tennis and gig rowing. If you enjoy a ramble, the Bulverton Hill and Mutters Moor walk offers a two to three hour hike through moorland, past “Jenny Pine’s Grave” (a cross road named after the spot where a woman in the 17th century was said to have committed suicide and later been buried there) and on through to a lovely view of Otter Valley. Or for a shorter jaunt, take a stroll around the town and marvel at the floral displays created by the voluntary group Sidmouth in Bloom who have earned the town many awards in the annual Britain in Bloom competitions including Champion of Champions. If you prefer cycling, Sidmouth is a fun and safe place to cycle, a cycleway connects Sidford to the seafront or take a ride over the south west coast path.
If you’re looking for a little retail therapy during your stay, head down to the Sidmouth high street where shopping is the way it used to be, with quaint traditional shops selling a range of items from gifts and chocolates to clothes and art, there’s even an olde worlde sweet shop for those with a sweet tooth.
Follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and the Grand Duchess of Russia, who both visited Sidmouth in the 1800s and take in all this picturesque seaside town has to offer.