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Over 70 budget friendly things to do in and around Sidmouth this summer

Visits to East Devon don't have to break the bank, there are loads of things to do that are under £10 or in some cases, completely free! Here we will give you the lowdown of things you can do in and around Sidmouth for less than a tenner. 

Blackberry Picking
Salcombe Hill/ East Hill Strips, Sidmouth

Blackberry picking combines enjoyment, health benefits, and practical rewards, making it a cherished activity for many. Its a educational activity for families, teaching children about nature and where food comes from as well as spending time outdoors, breathing in fresh air, and enjoying the natural surroundings. It is an opportunity to observe birds, insects, and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
COST: FREE

Blackberries

crabbing

Crabbing in Axmouth Harbour
Axmouth Harbour, Seaton

All you need to go crabbing is a net, some bait and a bucket of water – you’ll find several varieties – just remember to return anything you catch!
Cost: Free once you have the equipment.

Den building
Locations across East Devon

There are loads of green spaces around East Devon where you can put your den building skills to use.
Cost: Free or if you join a den building session, there will be a small cost.

den building

Put on your own play
Knowle Amphitheatre, Sidmouth

Get creative and put on your own play or pretend to be gladiators!
Cost: Free

Kite flying
Peak Hill, Sidmouth

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height, let’s go fly a kite and send it reeling! You can find kites for sale around the region too.
Cost: Free, once you have a kite.

 

Outdoor Art
Across East Devon


Whether you want to do some painting, drawing or colouring – there are plenty of spots to get your creative juices flowing.
Cost: Free, once you have the equipment

Riverside Walk Biodiversity Brass Rubbing Trail
Sidmouth

A trail of nine plates that reflect the region’s biodiversity, the first 100 brass rubbing trail packs are free but there will be a small charge for the packs. Collect them from Sidmouth Tourism Information Centre. The series of 9 wildlife brass rubbings can be enjoyed free of charge. The walkway is easily reached from The Ham and its Playground

Cost: leaflets, paper and crayons are free to use and can be collected from the TIC, brass rubbing kit is £3 which is refunded on return. 

 

Riverside Walkway revitalised

Sidmouth rockpooling

Rockpooling
Sidmouth Town Beach, Sidmouth

You can find all sorts of creatures in Sidmouth’s rockpools. You just need a net and a bucket, just make sure to return any creatures you find.

Cost: Free, once you have the equipment

Twilight Nature Walk
Across East Devon

See what you can spot? You can find bats, owls, badgers and more!
Cost: Free

 

Make a stone art picture
Sidmouth

Head to Sidmouth beach and see what you can create using the pebbles and stones you can find.
Cost: Free

 

Go on a Treasure Trail
Sidmouth

Order your trail map online at https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk/products/things-to-do-sidmouth-devon
Cost: £9.99

 

Pooh sticks in the Byes
The Byes, Sidmouth

Two bridges over the River Sid in the Byes are perfect for Poohsticks! Introduce your kids to this vintage game! 
Cost: Free

 

Watch the sunset
Muttersmoor / Salcombe Hill | Fire Beacon Hill, Sidmouth

Find a comfy spot and enjoy the beauty of the sunset.
Cost: Free

No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary. There’s a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth that hundreds of rescue donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. The resident donkeys love to meet new people and their unique characters and…

Budleigh Salterton Carnival
Budleigh Salterton Carnival 

There will be fun and excitement for all the family as floats from across all of the East Devon rock up to rock out in Budleigh Salterton. Furthermore, Rowlands FunFair is coming to Budleigh Salterton for the carnival.
Taking place on Saturday 5th October 2024
Cost: Free

 

Colyton Carnival
Colyton

Taking place on 14th September this year, join in the fun in Colyton.
Cost: Free

 

Honiton Carnival
Honiton

Honiton's Carnival Procession takes place on the 28th of October. The evening sees Honiton town closed off as the crowds of spectators pick their spot along the carnival procession route to watch the incredible parade of floats. 
Cost: Free 

Butterfly spotting
Across East Devon

Free charts can be found here https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/  and you can help conservationists by joining the Big Butterfly Count which is running from 12/7/24 - 4/8/24
Cost: Free

butterfly

Sidbury Fair

Sidbury Fair
Sidbury 

One of the most celebrated and historic of these events in the Sidbury Fair which takes place over the course of a week in September every year. You can find more information and programmes about the Sidbury Fair at various points throughout the village including at the church, the pub and the shop. Entry forms to participate in a variety of activities that take place throughout the fair can also be picked up at those locations. Details are also available at Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre and online at the Sidbury Village website.  

Find out more sidmouth button

Sidmouth Town Band
Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth

Throughout the summer from June until September, enjoy free concerts from Sidmouth Town Band on Sunday evenings.
Cost: Free

Bug Hunting
Honiton Bottom Nature Reserve, Honiton

Taking place on 28th August from 11 -3, find out more here. https://wildeastdevon.co.uk/event-detail?eventid=61601
Cost: £3 per child

 

Family Explorer Day
Holyford Woods, nr Axminster


Taking place on 29th August from Wild East Devon. Book in Advance https://wildeastdevon.co.uk/event-detail?eventid=61801
Cost: £5 per family

 

THG is an acclaimed public art gallery featuring an inspiring programme of contemporary art & craft exhibitions of local, national and regional significance. The gallery operates as a ‘cultural hub’ through an annually changing programme of exhibitions, events and workshops, which…

Stargazing at Knapp Copse
Knapp Copse, Sidmouth

Knapp Copse is a nature reserve located between Sidmouth and Honiton and is a dark skies discovery site. Find out more here. https://gostargazing.co.uk/events/locations/knapp-copse-local-nature-reserve/#locationCalendar
Cost: Free

 

Picnic with Squirrels
Blackmore Gardens, Sidmouth

Watch the friendly squirrels and enjoy floral sculptures as you picnic in Blackmore Gardens.
Cost: Free

Join a beach clean
Sidmouth

Beach cleans take place in Sidmouth on the first Sunday of the month, so head on down and join in. Find out more here. https://sidmouthplasticwarriors.org/clean-up-dates/

 

sidmouth beach

Image of Blackmore Gardens Trees

 

Sidmouth Arboretum
Sidmouth

Sidmouth is home to the UK’s only civic arboretum. The Arboretum in Sidmouth is unique because rather than being an arboretum in the usual sense, the entire valley around Sidmouth is the arboretum. The Sid Valley is home to a variety of heritage trees and abundant wildlife making it a wonderful place to spend a few hours.  

The Arboretum was launched in May 2010 and covers all the land under the jurisdiction of Sidmouth Town Council.  
Cost: Free

Hidden inside the Lace Walk shopping precinct, is this collection of relief sculptures of Honiton town landmarks, past and present, that featured in Honiton's skyline. The sculpture can be one of those blink and you’ll miss it things but it is a local gem. The sculpture is hidden behind a…

Building sandcastles
Sidmouth

How big can you make yours?
Cost: Free

 

Christmas at Otter Garden Centre
Ottery St Mary

Throughout December, get into the spirit at Otter Garden Centre
Cost: FREE

Christmas Light Switch on
Sidmouth

Sidmouth’s annual Christmas Lights Switch On event takes place in November in the Market Place and Sidmouth Town Council is once again providing the festive display along the streets.
Cost: Free 

Blackmore Gardens
Sidmouth

Cost: Free

 

Image of Blackmore Gardens Trees

Connaught Gardens

Connaught Gardens
Sidmouth

Cost: Free

The Byes Riverside Park and Cycle Path
Sidmouth

Cost: Free

the byes

Fun in the Stream
Seaton Wetlands

Taking place on 22nd August from Wild East Devon. Book in Advance https://wildeastdevon.co.uk/event-detail?eventid=61401
Cost: £5 per child

 

Milling days at Otterton Mill
Otterton

Running throughout the summer on the following dates: Jul 7th, 21st, Aug 4th, 18th, Sep 1st, 15th, 29th. Find out more here https://www.ottertonmill.com/milling-dates.html

Hot Pennies Day Jul 30

Dating back to the 13th Century, Honiton’s Hot Pennies Ceremony remains unbroken for several hundred years, and still takes place on the first Tuesday after July 19th each year.   The original celebrations involved the wealthy residents of Honiton throwing hot coins to peasants on…

Natural Seaton Festival
Seaton

The 2024 event will be taking place Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July. This year the festival will take place in Thury Harcourt Place, Tesco Plaza, the beach, and Seaton Amphitheatre with drop-in activities as well as special timed events taking place throughout the weekend. Find out more here. 
Cost: Free 

 

Seaton Carnival
Seaton


Seaton's Annual Illuminated Carnival Procession takes place in Seaton, Devon. Carnival Week starts on 26th August- 2nd September. During Carnival week there will be a number of events including street fairs, fishing and darts competition, bingo, classic cars, quiz nights, a dog show, I-Spy competition, Seaton trails and so much more.
Cost: Free

 

Sidmouth Carnival
Sidmouth

The procession will start at Woolbrook, go down through the town, across the seafront and up Station Road From 4pm until 7:30pm there will be no access onto Woolbrook road between Ice House Lane and Balfours. From 7:30pm onwards the road from Balfours down to and including The Esplanade will be closed to allow the procession to pass through the streets. 
Cost: Free 

 

Sidmouth Regatta
Sidmouth 


Like many coastal places around Devon, Sidmouth is home to its very own annual regatta. Taking place every year, the Sidmouth Regatta is a highlight of the town’s calendar and happens over the August bank holiday weekend, alongside the Air Show. The Lyme Bay and Jurassic Coast offer something unique that other local regattas just can’t compete with, those dramatic cliffs and the picturesque Lyme Bay make for a racing circuit like no other, providing endless entertainment for the participants and the viewers alike.
Cost: Free 

 

Sidmouth Science Festival
Sidmouth 

Sidmouth has been playing host to its own Science Festival for over five years and with each year, the event grows in popularity. The festivals each follow a new theme and feature activities and workshops for families of all ages to get involved with. Having started out as a weekend event in 2012, it now runs across ten days, is aimed at all ages and many of the events are free, meaning everyone can join in!  
Cost: Some events free 

seaton wetlands

Seaton Wetlands
Seaton

Seaton Wetlands is made up of four main sites: Seaton Marshes, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh. Please note, this is a dog free site. 
Cost: Free

Dumpdon Hill Fort
Honiton

Based in Luppitt, stunning views and perfect for picnics.
Cost: Free

 

Hembury Hill Fort
Nr Honiton

Great views and substantial Iron Age earthworks remain.
Cost: Free

 

Wolford Chapel
Nr Honiton

This historic chapel is owned by Canada and is a fascinating place to visit!
Cost: Free

 

Blackbury Camp
Honiton

Famous for bluebells in May. Iron Age Hill fort, good place for picnic, adventures on earthworks.
Cost: Free

Upottery Airfield Heritage Centre and WWII Nissen Hut
Smeatharpe, nr Honiton

Open from April onwards. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11am - 4pm; WWII airfield with exhibits including films of D Day landings, tribute to real "Band of Brothers" from HBO TV Series   
Cost: Free

 

Fire Beacon Hill/ Core Hill Woods
Sidmouth

Lovely places for walks and picnics.
Cost: Free

Honiton Bottom Nature Reserve
Hontion

A hidden gem of green space in Honiton, Wild Bottom Nature Reserve is managed by Wild East Devon and aims to celebrate the nature on your doorstep. Perfect for those who want to get outside with young children, who don’t want to walk long distances to get close to nature, there are lots of wooden bridges, walkways and benches around the reserve with lots of long grasses, wildflowers and birds to see and supports a wide range of common plants and wild creatures.
Cost: Free 

honiton bottom

Seaton Labyrinth and Geological Timeline

Seaton Labyrinth and Geological Timeline
Seaton

Created by Seaton Town Council in partnership with Devon County Council and Fields in Trust, Seaton Labyrinth and Geological Timeline can be found at Cliff Field Garden overlooking the seafront. 
Cost: Free 

Ottery Tar Barrels Nov 05

Every year, 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. The Tar Barrels event is the most famous and unique tradition in Ottery St Mary. It usually occurs annually on Bonfire…

South West Astrofair at Norman Lockyer Observatory
Sidmouth

Find out more here https://normanlockyer.com/astrofair/
Cost: up to £10

 

All Hallows Museum
Honiton

The place to go to learn more about Honiton Lace and the history of the area.
Cost: Free

 

Fairlynch Museum
Budleigh Salterton

Tickets £2.50 per adult, free for under 16s
Cost: depends on number of visitors

 

Ottery St Mary Heritage Museum
Ottery St Mary

 

Open from April onwards, closed during the winter months.
Cost: Free

Honiton Gate to Plate
Honiton

Honiton’s Gate to Plate is a free one day annual food festival that celebrates the finest food, drink and craft producers in East Devon. The popular food festival is set to return to Honiton High Street on August 19th. 
Cost: Free 

honiton gate to plate

sidmouth skate park

Sidmouth Skate Park
Manstone, Sidmouth 

Manstone Skate park is situated on the Manstone Recreation Ground and is a brand new Spray Concrete park. It is a transition and street facility. The free-flow closed bowl is linked into a street area via a stair-set and some fun transfers proving popular with skaters and wheeled sports fans from across the region.
Cost: Free

Explore the East Devon Way
Across East Devon

Several walks, nature, picnic spots and cycle ways to explore.
Find out more here https://www.eastdevonway.org.uk/
Cost: Free

 

Explore the Railway Tunnels in Harpford Woods
Sidmouth

Pass the Bowd, see East Devon Way Circular Walk no. 5
Cost: Free

This circular walk from the town takes you along the River Otter to the nearby village of Tipton St John. The route runs for about 5 miles along public footpaths on both sides of the river. It's a fairly flat path with some small climbs along the way. The town is very pretty…

Sidmouth Museum Walks
Sidmouth

Taking place throughout the summer. Tickets £2.50 per adult, free for under 16s and students; Walks every weekday in holiday season
Cost: depending on number of visitors

Seaton Museum
Seaton

Located on the top floor of the Town Hall on Fore Street, Seaton. The museum is open between late May and October from Monday to Friday – 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2.15pm to 5pm. Admission is free, although donations towards running costs are gratefully accepted.
Cost: Free

Ham Playpark
Sidmouth

Cost: Free

Sidmouth Museum is progressive and outward looking, it aims to attract the widest possible audience and bring enjoyment to all, a recent visitor review described it as a ‘gem’ amongst museums. There are many displays in galleries and rooms over two floors of our Regency building next to…

Pebblebed Heaths
Woodbury, nr Budleigh Salterton

Conservation area, good for walks and wildlife spotting.
Cost: Free

 

Lower Otter Nature Reserve and Wetlands
Budleigh Salterton

Newly opened for 2024, great for nature lovers and walkers.
Cost: Free

Delderfield Community Nature Reserve
Sidmouth

Secluded nature reserve, half way up Peak Hill.  Wild flower meadows and great for butterfly spotting with some of the best views of Lyme Bay
Cost: Free

 

The Knapp Community Nature Reserve
Sidmouth

Great for walks, two picnic benches, Can you find the secret playground?
Cost: Free

The Sidmouth Toy & Model Museum first opened in August 2020. The museum contains the collection of vintage and modern toys and models collected by Ian and Rebecca Gregory over a period of 40 years. The museum is located within The Old Chapel, Chapel Street, Sidmouth, previously the Sidmouth…

the byes

Nature spotting in the Byes
Sidmouth

You can easily spot bats in the evening, otters in the River Sid, rabbits in Margaret's Meadow and towards Sidford
Cost: Free

South West Coast Path
Several walks around the East Devon area

The South West Coast Path is England’s longest footpath running for around 630 miles and linking Minehead in Somerset through to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The path offers the ultimate challenge for the long distance walker or someone who just wants a quick coastal stroll with access points across the south west.  
Cost: Free 

South west coast path

Underfleet Play Area and Skatepark
Seaton

This Jurassic themed adventure play park is next to Seaton Tramway and is fantastic for children, who will enjoy exploring bat tunnels, scale rocks at the cretaceous zone, or zipping down a 30-foot zip wire! The town’s skate park can also be found here.
Cost: Free 

underfleet

How about discovering Sidmouth through some of our family friendly walks: 

An introduction to some of the exotic trees in Connaught Gardens. Uphill from the Esplanade but a gentle stroll around a level public garden that is only 150m x 100m, most fully accessible but one set of steps to reach the upper lawn.

The Knowle was the most impressive of Sidmouth’s wealthy estates through the 19 th century and used to house a private menagerie including Zebras and Kangaroos.  Much of the estate has since been sold off but the gardens and park, which have been acquired by the Town…

Sidmouth Arboretum has produced several local trail leaflets that allow visitors and residents to find out more about our remarkable treescape.  This walk around the town centre, which begins and ends by the parish church, is fully accessible to wheelchair users and mobility…