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Seaton Bay on Devon's Jurassic Coastline.

The Axe Valley.

The Axe Valley and East Devon.

The East Devon landscape is an unspoilt treat, the South West Coastal path from Exmouth to Lyme Regis gives walkers on clear bright days some of the most stunning views in England. Inland there are intimate wooded combes, vast areas of heathland, fertile river valleys and high hilltops with more outstanding views.

The Axe Valley with its picturesque scenery, on the border of Devon and Dorset holds charming Devon villages and towns which are just a few miles from the coast.


Colyton, Devon

Colyton a historic medieval town

Colyton is a historic medieval town nestling in the Axe Valley 3 miles from Seaton. The circular street arrangement, often refered to as a maze is typically Saxon and the narrow winding streets are lined with picturesque stone built houses.

St Andrews Church in the centre of the town dates back a thousand years from Norman Times.

Its unusual lantern tower was added in the 15th Century.

This and other improvements were financed by the profits from the wool trade when Colyton was one of the three richest wool towns in Devon.

Colyton is the home of Britain’s only remaining traditional oak bark tannery which has been a tannery since Roman times.

The Seaton Tramway runs to Colyton, with the terminus a few minutes walk from the town centre.

Visit the Colyton web site on


The Lord of the Manor of Colyton obtained a grant from King John for a fair at Colyford in 1207. This was for a 7 day fair at Michaelmas and is celebrated once more by the revival of the Goose Fayre which is still held on the Saturday nearest to Michaelmas.

The medieval town of Colyford was was awarded Borough status in 1230 and established on the road from Dorchester to Exeter where it forded the River Coly.

The Borough flourished for 300 years, with traders and merchants establishing their businesses in the borough free from all manorial duties.

The medieval town of Colyford

The deep-water Axe estuary allowed sea-going vessels to berth at quays as far up as Colyford.

The Borough flourished for 300 years, with traders and merchants establishing their businesses in the borough free from all manorial duties.

visit the Colyford web site on


Axmouth is a pretty village 1 mile from the estuary mouth of the River Axe.

There are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on Hawksdown hill above Axmouth indicating that the area has been a settlement for thousands of years. Later the Romans built a settlement at Axmouth (Alaeni Ostia) taking advantage of what was then a natural harbour and Axmouth became one of the most busy ports on the South West coast and by the 16th century Axmouth accounted for 15% of Devon’s harbour trade.

The Silting up of the estuary stopped the passage of shipping up the river leaving the village as it is today.

Axmouth is a pretty village

Axmouth is a pretty village

Once rumored to have 14 inns, it now has only two. The Harbour Inn which claims to have been an Inn since 1150 and the Ship Inn. The Ship has been rebuilt after a fire on Christmas day, 1879 burnt down the original building.

Axmouth’s history as a prosperous trading port can be seen in its 18th and 19th century farm houses, its Norman church, quaint cottages and two fine houses, dating from the 15th and 17th centuries.




Classed as a market town, Axminster still holds a weekly market every Thursday in Trinity Square.

The history of the town is very much linked to the carpet industry, started by Thomas Whitty at Court House near the church in 1755. The completion of the early hand tufted carpets was marked by a peal of bells from the parish church as it took a great amount of time and labour to complete them.

Axminster gave its name to a type of carpet. An Axminster-type power loom is capable of weaving high quality carpets with many varying colours and patterns.

While Axminster carpet is made in the town of Axminster, this type of carpet is now manufactured all over the world.

The celebrity chef and TV presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has his River Cottage H.Q. farm nearby in the Axe valley. He has also converted an old inn of the town into the River Cottage Local Produce Store and Canteen. It is open 7 days a week and can be found in the centre of Axminster on Trinity Square.


The historic town of Honiton became known as a centre for the cloth trade in medieval times and later earned a world famous reputation for lace making. The town became a busy coaching top on the road from Exeter to London.

Now a major centre for the antiques trade, there are over 30 shops devoted to furniture, art and second hand books

visit the Honiton web site on

Ottery St Mary.

Ottery St Mary is one of the oldest and most historic towns in East Devon.

The medieval church of St Mary set on a hill above the town has been voted amongst the 20 finest churches in England. Ottery’s most famous son, the romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772 – 1834 was born in the college opposite St Mary’s church.

visit the Ottery web site on




Before 1800 Sidmouth was a small fishing village with a population of 1200 clustered in tiny cottages near the beach.
In Regency times, the Nobility and members of London Society built fine houses in Sidmouth.

Many still exist, while others have become hotels without losing their Regency charm.
The Sidmouth folk festival each August is one of the biggest in Europe and fills the town with folk musicians and street entertainers.

2018 Sidmouth FolkWeek – 3rd – 10th August.

visit the Sidmouth web site on

Budleigh Salterton.

Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton

visit the Budleigh web site on

Budleigh Salterton lies 17 miles to the east of Seaton at the foot of the Otter Valley where the River Otter flows into the sea. Budleigh’s gently sloping High Street leads down to the Parade and it’s 2 mile long pebble beach.




Exmouth is one of England’s oldest holiday resorts yet still has the feel of a small Devon town. Exmouth’s 2 mile long sandy beach and Promenade are popular with tourists throughout the summer months.

The Exmouth Local Nature Reserve is one of the biggest in England and is visited by thousands of migratory wildfowl and birds during the winter months.

visit the Exmouth web site on

Areas of Natural Beauty

The Blackdown Hills form a tranquil, beautiful, and relatively isolated landscape on the Devon and Somerset border. Steep ridges, high plateaux,valleys and springs create a stunning mosaic of countryside dotted with farms, villages and ancient

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