Off to Sidmouth on a last minute house rental :grinning:

Not a part of the world I know at all.

Any suggestions for visits, activities, things to see from anyone who knows the area?

Go see the lovely Donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary


I’ll second that.


It’s a nice enough little seaside town. Nearby Lyme Regis is nice, although I’m guessing it will all be horribly overcrowded right now.
The coastline between the Lyme and Seaton is the Downlands Landslip, which is geologically fascinating and has a unique woodland environment. Well worth walking through it if the paths are open. You can only access the path from either end.
The donkey sanctuary is nice for a day out too, if not overcrowded.


Ditto similar, we tend to go to Dorset, North Devon or Cornwall for quickie UK seaside breaks
However I’ll be watching this thread with interest as we’re off to Branscombe in 2 weeks, its about 8 miles to Sidmouth & our first time to stay in East Devon.
We’ve sometimes come from Dorset to just over the border to Seaton, now if you are around that part, be sure to get crab sandwiches to die for at Chapple’s on the seafront at Beer.


Dartmouth, Exeter, Torbay or just a little further round the coast (westwards) Slapton Ley nature reserve.


For reasonable food and beer I’d recommend The Anchor Inn in the main part of the town – you may need to book as, I understand, eateries on the coast are v busy.

If you are going to walk the town/prom, I’d start at the left hand end (there’s a green called The Ham - and close to this is the visitor centre and the non-RNLI lifeboat station) and then walk along and explore the gardens and steps at Jacob’s Ladder, where there’s a very pleasant cafe - you can sit in the gardens.

Beer and the Beer Caves are worth a visit - about 20 mins by car, along the A3052.

What kind of activity do you prefer?

Yes, will be making a trip to Exeter, it’s on my daughter’s Uni shortlist!

Happy to consider most things but we’re none of us feeling very sporty just now!

Nice beaches, harbours, historic sites, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, anything interesting to eye!

We’ve stayed at nearby Branscombe in the past and visited Sidmouth which is a lovely seaside town. As others have mentioned, Lyme Regis and Beer are nice places to visit in that locality.

1 Like


Sidmouth isn’t a beach destination - the best part is to the west of Jacob’s Ladder and is quite small. There are some canoeing and kayaking places on the prom now.

I think I would:

Visit Lyme Regis – but be very careful of the parking, as it’ll likely to stacked. It’s ~45mins away by car and the A3052 runs from Exeter to LR, and is a quasi-coast road. Avoid Branscombe/Seaton, as there’s not much there IMO. For food, The Ship Inn in Axmouth is good.

If you’re interested in wine, there’s the Lyme Bay Winery – not much to look at but interesting and located out of the way.

Beer is good, very steep and Exmouth is also worth a look.

Visit Exeter and see the cathedral - you might want to consider using the buses from what’s known as Sidmouth Triangle (bus stop) as, IME, these are reasonably priced and (I think) you can get a day trip ticket.

Careful not to deviate off the main roads in explorer mode, as there’s not much inland off the A3052, apart from farm lanes and tracks.

If you want a large breakfast in Sidmouth, I’d go to The Chattery (about half way down the High Street) and have their Chattery Breakfast.

Where are you staying? I may be able to suggest some cheap/easy parking.

1 Like

Cheers for all that.

We’re staying in a place on the esplanade. Just off what I guess is the high street.

I figured parking would be an issue, apparently you can pay £25 for a week in a long stay???

Interesting when I was looking for photos, a couple had sandbags in the gateway!! Right on the front line then…

My daughter has just come back from a few days further west in Devon (Salcombe) and reported that many of the local restaurants were closed because of COVID.

Yep re parking, as space is severely limited inside the town and The Esplanade is ‘the front’ (in old language), where many of the larger hotels are located, which tend to be fed by coaches. If you web search, there’s a webcam or 2 located on The Esplanade.

IIRC, the primary long stay parking (the £25 cost) is up the hill (to the west - where the larger hotels are). It’s probably a 5/10min walk if you are on the flat part - I’m not sure where the pictured building is. But ‘the front’ isn’t very long.

There are car parks within the town/shopping area but (IIRC) these are mainly for day-time and are usually heaving at the best of times, the biggest being behind The Esplanade at the eastern side of the town.

The good news about Sidmouth is that it’s very compact but, in truth, not very touristy (IMO).

The (free) parking I had in mind is about ~20mins walk from The Esplanade so probably not much help i.e. is on the way in to the town, on what’s known as the Fortescue/Sid Road route in to/out of the town.

Yep, apparantly long stay is best and is about 10 mins walk. The parking ticket then lets us use other car parks in Devon I believe. Joy!

Clive, had a meal with relations who were travelling back from Cornwall last week and they encountered problems eating out due to staff and covid issues.

Parking is a joy (not) down in this part of the world.

Be warned Exeter is also bad, with a park’n’ride arrangement, hence why it’s probably better to use the buses, as they can get in to central Exeter (i.e. close to the cathedral) without stress. The Triangle is only 5 mins from the Esplanade (if that!).

I think they still use double-deckers and the views from the top are quite good, what with surrounding valleys etc. Just make sure you’re au fait with what bus you need, as they were doing loops at one stage and the sign on the front could be confusing to the non-local.

If you are catering, the primary food shops are in the upper part of the town – you’ll probably pass them on your way in. The better way in is along the A375 from Honiton but go slow, as there are some tight turns at the start.

That’s where I live😊 Slapton Ley

1 Like

Assuming it is running, the Seaton Tramway is worth it, a good way to see bird life on the estuary.
At Beer, Pecorama if you enjoy model railways.
In Sidmouth, Fields department store has a tea shop in the old style, otherwise the cafe in Connaught Gardens (at the top of the steps down Jacob’s Ladder).
Evenings, the Manor Pavilion always did very good rep style theatre.
Is it not the Regatta this weekend?

1 Like

If you get the time make an outing to the Rock Inn Pub in Dartmoor, great quality food !

1 Like