If you’re in Sidmouth over the spring months, no doubt you’ll want a chance to blow away the cobwebs that have formed over winter and get out and about as the weather warms up and the plants start to come back to life. One way to do this is by exploring the Jurassic Coast Path, which forms part of the South West Coast Path and gives you a whole new way to experience Sidmouth and the surrounding area.
Here are our top routes to enjoy the Jurassic Coast path around Sidmouth and its neighbours – all you’ll need is a decent pair of shoes, some water for the journey and a camera to help capture the amazing sights that can be found along the way.
The Jurassic Coast technically stretches across 95 miles, though as parts of it are inaccessible, the walking routes are slightly longer and of course, we’ll only be covering the East Devon parts of the walk rather than the whole thing which covers parts of Dorset too and would take a lot longer to explore the whole thing!
We would recommend starting your journey at the beginning of the Jurassic Coast in Exmouth, which is about 10 miles from Sidmouth. If you feel up for the challenge, it is a delightful walk with some amazing views across Orcombe Point and Ladram Bay before you arrive in Sidmouth proper. Technically, the official beginning point is at Orcombe Point, where you’ll find a geoneedle to signify the start of the coastline, but it is much easier to start in the centre of Exmouth or from the town’s train station, where the route will be marked.
Starting at Exmouth, the route will take you through Budleigh Salterton, where you can follow the path along the seafront towards the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve. Just a short walk from here is Ladram Bay where you can enjoy the amazing rock formations and know that you’re now coming towards Sidmouth. Ladram Bay is on the edge of Sidmouth town and is a good place to stop off for some rest and refreshments before continuing on.
Following the path into Sidmouth will give you a chance to look out across the sea from the top of cliffs, where you are surrounded by green fields and in the spring, a carpet of daffodils.
The path will then lead you on through Sidmouth towards Branscombe, Beer and Seaton, where you can see the cliffs start to change colour, going from the iconic red of Sidmouth to the whiter ones towards Beer. The journey from Sidmouth onwards is another 10 miles, so doing the whole thing in one day is really only for the super fit or those that really love a challenge, but that’s ok, that means you get the joy of staying over in Sidmouth before continuing your journey!
The section of coast between Branscombe and Beer is a popular route for walkers in the area and for good reason and it is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. The route continues on to Seaton, but the trail isn’t accessible via the beach at high tide, so depending on when you head out, you may need to follow a detour.
Have you ever explored the South West Coast Path? Let us know your favourite places to stop off for rests and refreshments!