The attractive market town of Honiton has long been famous for lace making and pottery, however today it is more well-known for its twice weekly market, antique shops specialising in furniture, art and second-hand books, and abundance of independent shops, galleries and cafés that fill this vibrant town.
Sandwiched between the East Devon and Blackdown Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and within easy reach of the Dorset AONB, Dartmoor, and Exmoor, Honiton is the ideal spot from which to explore the rich and varied natural landscape of East Devon and neighbouring Dorset.
The seaside towns of Seaton, Beer and Lyme Regis are just a short drive away, where the stunning World Heritage Jurassic Coastline can be enjoyed. Just 20 minutes by car from Honiton, Seaton is a gateway to the Jurassic Coast, and a great spot for water sports, fishing, and many other traditional seaside activities, including viewing the magnificent coastline from the cliffs on the ever-popular South West Coast Path.
Meanwhile, 25 minutes away you'll find the traditional seaside town of Lyme Regis, home to the family-friendly Lyme Regis Museum, and a fantastic place to hunt for fossils, enjoy the beach, stroll along the famous Cobb, or treat yourself to a meal at one of the many bars, cafés and restaurants that line the seafront promenade.
A holiday cottage in Honiton provides a picturesque base from which to explore the many rural and coastal delights of East Devon and neighbouring Dorset.
Honiton is famous for its historic lace industry, and the Allhallows Museum is an homage to some of the highest quality production in the world. In Honiton’s oldest building, dating back to 1327, it features examples of 16th to early 20th century Honiton lace. The museum also incudes Honiton pottery, a mid Victorian furnished doll's house; palaeontology; children's toys; war memorabilia, mementos of Allhallows School and the Borough of Honiton; coins and trade tokens. There are children’s activities when you visit, and lace making tutorials are of course a highlight, helping to keep the craft alive for future generations. The museum is open from March to October although hours vary so keep an eye on the website. Admission is free, but it is a charity, so all donations are welcome.
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This was an amazing museum to visit -and you can try your hand at lace making --- highly recommended visit for all ages. A gem of a place...
A soft play facility in Honiton, Playdome Indoor Play has a café on site, and is a safe environment for children to play and explore. It’s perfect for kids’ parties, and is open seven days a week. Prices start at £3.90 for children aged 1-4 years, and £5.30 for those over the age of 5.
Established in 1896, Honiton Golf Club is a beautiful mature parkland course that’s relatively flat and easy to walk. That said, it still provides a challenge for ambitious players with 18 holes and lovely views in all directions. The clubhouse and bar are charming, and there’s an indoor training facility as well as coaching, a golf simulator, putting greens, pro shop, practice grounds and nets. Green fees start at £18 per day (members' guest fee) in peak season and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
Based in the Roncombe Valley, East Devon, the Alpacca Farm & Trekking breeds Huacaya and Suri alpacas and uses the fleece to produce beautiful clothing. They offer alpaca trekking all year along the beautiful bridleways surrounding the farm, as well as selling alpaca yarns, felt, socks, scarves and felt shoe/boot insoles. For more information, take a peek at their website!
A little secret in East Devon, Burrow Farm Gardens are situated in the idyllic countryside between Axminster and Honiton. The 13-acre garden is brimming with colour throughout the year, providing a peaceful oasis with a variety of different planting styles which complement the rural views. It’s a chance to taste the different design styles within the garden and appreciate the naturalistic planting before sampling Devon cream teas that feature homemade scones, locally made cakes and homemade soups in the tea room, or popping into the nursery to purchase your favourite plants. Entrance to the garden is £7 for adults and £1 for children with group offers available.
A warm and friendly pub, dating from medieval times, in the chocolate box Devon village of Broadhembury. The consistently good food is complimented by tasteful interiors, a great atmosphere, and an array of local beers and ciders at the bar along with a well-chosen wine list.
Drewe Arms Broadhembury, Honiton EX14 3NF (T: 01404 841267)
If you like specialist charcuterie, fresh pork dishes and other tasty specialities you’re in for a treat at the Rusty Pig. This specialist charcuterie shop and restaurant is run by ex River Cottage chef Robin Rea who transforms the freshest local ingredients into mouth watering dishes.
The Rusty Pig Yonder street, Ottery Saint Mary EX11 1HD (T: 01404 815580)
Nestled into a valley that reaches down to the sea, Branscombe Beach is tucked away on the Jurassic Coast, and is linked to a timeless, magical village of the same name. Surrounded by woodland and farmland, the area is peppered with thatched houses, a working forge and a restored windmill. It’s a National Trust location, with a number of charming walks and trails to follow, one of which leads to the Old Bakery tearooms. The beach itself is a long pebble beach below the village. It has a large car park close by where there are toilets available, as well as a picnic area. The beach is a haven for fossil hunters and adventurous rock-poolers. If you want to catch your supper it’s a wonderful place to fish for Mackerel and Pollack, although there is also a restaurant close by.
A small pebble beach in East Devon, Beer Beach is in a picturesque fishing village that hugs the shoreline. Parking is a little distance away from the beach itself, which is accessed via a sloping road and steps at the east end. There’s one large car park that’s around five minutes away on foot, and another smaller one in the centre of the town. As the beach is such an integral part of the town itself, there are cafes and shops close by, simply by dint of its location. There are toilets above the beach, so it’s got all the makings of a charming day out for the family in the summer, or somewhere to stroll and have a cup of tea if it’s a bit cooler. There aren’t any organized activities on the beach, so if you’re bringing the kids then keep that in mind. Dogs are not allowed on the West part of the beach from 1st May to 30th September.
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Visited one evening. A beautiful beach. You can walk to Seaton on the coast path, if you feel energetic and don't mind a lot of steps. Well worth it due to the stunning views.
By the seaside town of the same name, Sidmouth Beach is a long stretch of pebbles that stretches from the River Sid at the east of the town, West to Chit Rocks and Jacobs Ladder Beach and beyond. From the town you go over a footbridge and a number of steps down to the beach, however there are also access points along the sea front esplanade. There are a number of car parks close by, most of which are a few minutes’ walk from the beach itself, and it benefits from nearby facilities, cafes, restaurants and shops. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 1st May to the 30th September, however there is a small area at the East end of the beach where dogs are allowed all year round. It’s a delightful spot for swimming sailing and surfing if the weather permits it, but you do have to take your own equipment.
Seaton Beach is a mile long shingle beach overlooking Lyme Bay in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of East Devon. The gently sloping pebbles make this an ideal place to take a dip or try your hand at windsurfing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding with equipment easily hired on site.
An esplanade links Seaton town at one end of the beach and the popular Seaton Beach Café at the other. The South West Coast Path runs alongside the beach and a walk to the nearby picturesque village of Beer is a real treat. Dogs are welcome all year.
Named after the Duke of Monmouth who landed here in 1685 in an attempt to take the crown from King James II, Monmouth Beach is a large pebble and sand beach that stretches over a kilometer southwest from the Cobb wall. There are beach huts, a bowling green, the Lyme Regis Power Boat Club and paid car parks close by. Meanwhile, for those wishing to have their own exploratory adventures, you can find a layer of limestone called the ammonite graveyard at Monmouth Beach, containing a large number of (you guessed it) ammonites. There are numerous walks close by and dogs are allowed on the beach all year round. There is lifeguard cover in the summer, and all the town’s cafés, restaurants and amenities are within easy reach.