The friendly seaside resort of Seaton, at the mouth of the River Axe, is a gateway town to the stunning World Heritage Jurassic Coastline, with its impressive cliffs, family friendly beaches, and opportunities to uncover a piece of earth’s ancient history with a fascinating fossil find.
Seaton’s mile-long stretch of pebble beach provides excellent water sports facilities such as fishing, sailing, swimming and windsurfing, as well as easy access to the South West Coast Path which links to Beer in the west, and Lyme Regis to the east, and offers abundant scenic views from the high cliffs.
The Seaton tramway runs seasonally, inland along the beautiful Axe estuary to Colyton and makes for a great day out for children, birdwatchers, and transport enthusiasts alike. Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve, with its newly installed viewing hide and wheelchair/pushchair-friendly paths, gives easy year-round access to this beautiful area, and the wildlife that has made its home here.
The town boasts many small independent and specialist shops, and high quality places to enjoy locally produced food and drink. It’s also less than a 20 drive to the picturesque market towns of Axminster and Honiton where you can get your retail therapy fix.
The Dorset coastal town of Lyme Regis is just a 15 minutes away by car, where you can spend the day learning about this unique stretch of coastline at the family-friendly Lyme Regis Museum, try your luck at fossil hunting, enjoy the beach, a 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 Seaton makes for the perfect base from which to enjoy a traditional seaside holiday in beautiful Devon and explore the magnificent Jurassic coastline stretching into neighbouring Dorset.
Cycling in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a wonderful way to get outside and explore the area. With miles of National Cycle Network across it, it’s also a comparatively easy way for cyclists to explore safely and really get to see the remarkable landscape that the area has to offer. With plenty of rural pubs, riverside taverns and tea shops along the routes to sit and enjoy, it’s a great day out for the while family. The Buzzard Cycle Route in particular (otherwise known as Sustrans regional route number 52) is a firm favourite amongst cyclists in the area, and is an opportunity to explore glorious East Devon on a regional 80-mile circular route around Sidmouth, Seaton, Axminster, Honiton and Woodbury. Some of the route follows the National Cycle Network Route 2 along the south coast of Devon.
One of three local nature reserves including Colyford Common and Black Hole Marsh, the Seaton Marshes can be reached with a short walk from the Harbour Road car park, providing views of the estuary and its mud flats as well as the creeks and adjacent flood plain. It’s an impressive sight at any time of the year with flocks of wigeon, teal, shelduck and curlew as well as other native and migratory species. A beautiful location to really enjoy the peace, quiet and natural habitat, in the Summer Kingfishers are often seen fishing from a perch directly in front of the hide, and a bird table provides close-up views of birds that you wouldn’t find in your garden. There’s even a pond dipping platform at Borrow Pit, it features built in benches from which to enjoy the beautiful views and special adjustments to allow larger groups to pond dip together.
In three miles of unspoiled countryside in the Axe Valley, Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton. Travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves, it gives you an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life, the tram is a delightful way to get to know the area with prices starting at £10 for adults and £7.50 for children.Dogs are also welcome on the trams!
To celebrate Seaton’s 1000th anniversary in 2O05, the Axmouth Spiral Centre constructed a Labyrinth in the cliff field above the West Walk. A 60ft diameter spiral, the walk, which measures 453 yards from start to centre, connects with the way in which the 95-mile coastline reveals 185 million years of evolution. It has an eleven-circuit form based on a combination of designs, the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France and the one at Saffron Waldron in Suffolk, and as you wander along the artistic installation, you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding scenery as well.
Seaton Bay is in a conservation area within the Lyme Bay region including a mile-long shingle beach sheltered between the chalk cliffs to the west and the red Haven Cliffs to the East. Axmouth Harbour is at the eastern end of the beach at the foot of the Haven Cliffs and the mouth of the River Axe Estuary. There are two bridges, and beyond that an expanse of mud flats that are now a nature reserve, rich in food for migratory birds. It’s a beautiful location to explore with an abundance of attractions including tramways, the Pecorama Gardens, a model railway, and the Beer Quarry Caves amongst other delights.
An 800 year old traditional thatched public house with a great atmosphere and plenty of period features surrounded by beautiful Dorset countryside. The Harbour Inn prides itself on good cooking with fresh, local produce and is popular with families aswell as walkers and birdwatchers looking for a place to relax after a day exploring the Axe Estuary.
The Harbour Inn Church Street, Axmouth EX12 4AA (T: 01297 20371)
An award winning gastro-pub making the most of the wonderful local produce including top quality local seafood and free range traditionally reared meat. Please note this restaurant does not allow children aged 5 or under.
The Seafood Platter Fore St, Beer EX12 3EQ (T: 01297 20099)
Located in the ancient village of Axmouth, the Ship Inn is a family run restaurant and pub with a varied menu offering locally sourced meats, fresh fish from Lyme Bay, hand-picked crabs from Beer and vegetables from nearby farms. Enjoy a meal or a drink in the sleek and stylish bar or sit outside in the huge beer garden with lovely views over the River Axe.
The Ship Inn Church Street, Axmouth, EX12 4AF (T: 01297 21838)
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Friendly pub restaurant with great food.
This is well worth a visit. The staff were kept incredibly busy (a very popular place), but were efficient and polite. The food was excellent, packed with deep flavours that lingered in the mouth. Certainly a repeatable experience of given the opportunity. A good selection of ales and dog friendly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This pretty harbour town dates back to the 14th century, and is sheltered by a curving harbour wall, The Cobb, as its known contains a small sandy beach made famous in the opening shot of the film The French Lieutenant’s Woman. You reach the beach between the RNLI station and the slipway, and there is lifeguard cover in the summer months. Activities nearby include fishing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, surfing and water skiing, while facilities close to the beach include cafes and restaurants and toilets. There are lots of walks in the area including guided tours of the famous fossil bearing cliffs. There is paid parking nearby, Axminster train station is five minutes away as the crow flies and buses are available to the town centre. Dogs are allowed on the beach from 1st November to 30th March as long as they’re on the lead, but they are not permitted in the summer months.