If you’re planning a trip to Sidmouth for a few days, you might be wanting to explore a little more of East Devon, especially if you’re not from the area or you’ve never been before. East Devon is a beautiful part of the county, with the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, picturesque towns and villages and an abundance of countryside, it really does have something for everyone.
Of course, Sidmouth is a lovely town and you’ll no doubt find plenty to do when you’re there, but if you do want to experience the wider East Devon area and spend some time exploring, here are some suggestions of nearby places you can easily reach from Sidmouth.
Also, only 20 minutes away by car is the village of Beer. According to Countryfile, this is the top picnic spot in the South West and is certainly a pretty place to stop for some refreshments. The beach is ideal for families and as a working beach, is one of the more interesting ones in terms of people watching. You can spend hours watching the boats coming in and out and there are some lovely views across the bay.
Though small, the village is home to some of the region’s best loved attractions and the famous Beer crab which is a must have delicacy.
Accessible via the South West Coast Path if you fancy the walk or around 20 minutes by car Seaton is known locally as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast and like Sidmouth, was a popular place for the upper echelons of Victorian society, something that is still very evident in the buildings that line the seafront. Not only is it picturesque because of the coast, the entire town has World Heritage Status and is believed to have been inhabited for over 6000 years.
For those that love nature, this is a must visit location, it is the home of Seaton Wetlands, one of the region’s best loved nature reserves. The town also has some lovely gardens, perfect for the summer months and the South West Coast Path and Stop Line Way, where you can find evidence of the town’s contribution to WWII.
A little further afield, though only half an hour by car is the town of Exmouth, one of the oldest and prettiest resorts in the region. Exmouth’s two mile long beach is a favourite among holiday makers and is often frequented by watersports enthusiasts, swimmers, families and those that like a coastal stroll alike. If you are on a walking holiday and are looking for some interesting places for a rambler, you’ll be well catered for in Sidmouth, but if you fancy going a bit further out, there are several trails to be found in Exmouth including the Exe Estuary Cycle Path which will take you on into Dawlish.
More in land, but still less than 30 minutes away by car is Honiton. This charming and lively market town is famous for lace making and pottery, in fact, if you’re in Sidmouth because you like your history and the town’s royal connections, Honiton has to be a stop on your itineraries, lace created here was used to make Queen Victoria’s wedding dress! You can find out more about the town’s history by visiting the Allhallows Museum, where you can even watch demonstrations in lace making to the traditional method. Much like in Sidbury, Honiton also has a Hot Pennies Day which takes place in July.
A little closer to Sidmouth is Budleigh Salterton, which falls within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, providing incredible sights in every direction. The town is full of independent high street shops, much like Sidmouth and is popular among those who want to spend the day exploring the shops, there is even a brook flowing through the middle of the high street creating a tranquil and unique shopping experience. As with Seaton, Budleigh can also be accessed via the South West Coast Path should you fancy the walk and plenty of trails and cycle ways you can explore. One big draw to the town is the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival which takes place annually and features top name authors and publishers – keep an eye out for the latest dates and get your tickets ready!
Of course, these are just a couple of the options for those of you who want to explore more of the wider area without having to travel too far from Sidmouth. You can find out more about other nearby towns and villages here.