Sidmouth is a seaside resort town in Devon. Host to an international folk festival for one week every year, for the other 51 weeks, Sidmouth is a very pleasant but small beach-side town. The town has a long stony beach and a vibrant and surprisingly diverse town centre, with a large number of quality independent shops, cafés and restaurants.
Sidmouth is bypassed by the A3052 road, which follows the coast between the A35 near Lyme Regis and junction 30 of the M5 at Exeter.
Sidmouth is well-connected by Stagecoach bus services to / from Exeter (service number 9/9A) and Exmouth (service 157). Most buses arrive/depart "The Triangle" 200 m from the sea front.I
Sidmouth is also served by AVMT Buses' service 899, which runs from Seaton to Sidmouth via Beer, Pecorama, Beer Quarry Caves, Branscombe and the Donkey Sanctuary. It is one of Devon's most scenic bus routes.
It's easy to walk around this compact town. Driving and parking are easy enough off-season, but in summer months can be a lot more challenging. There is a 'park and walk' service from the council offices on station road, which involves a 15 minute walk into town
- Sidmouth's beach. is mainly one of stones although there is some sand at the western end of the esplanade, near Jacob's Ladder.
- Jacob's Ladder. Climb and enjoy good views of the town and in all directions along the coast. Don't miss the chance to sit in the pretty Connaught Gardens or grab a tea and huge slice of cake from the gardens' café.
- 1 Donkey Sanctuary, Slade House Farm, EX10 0NU, ☏ . daily 9am - 4pm. A charity looking after donkeys, with 500 in Sidmouth. The site has a restaurant and shop, and some muddy fields to wander around looking at the donkeys. free - donation welcome.
- Swimming in the sea is popular during summer heatwaves.
- 1 Sidmouth Folk Week. A significant feature of Sidmouth is this week-long Folk Festival, which takes place during the first week in August every year. The event is remarkable, but free activities are becoming increasingly scarce. Nevertheless, the bustling seafront promenade, thick with musicians performing for change or simply for pleasure, is an enjoyable experience for all.
Despite its size, Sidmouth is something of a foodie town, with several delicatessens and at least one of each kind of artisan food store: bakeries, butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers.
- Haymens Butchers. offers a good range of (mostly) meat-based take-away options. Good old-fashioned shop, great value (they do some great cakes for 50p!) and deserved 'Taste of the West' award winners. Highly recommended. The centre of the town has many cafes and restaurants.
- Sidmouth Trawlers. not only a good fishmongers in its own right, selling locally caught fish and shellfish, it's also great for lunchtime snacks. The fresh fish baps are popular and delicious, as are the sandwiches (tuna, prawn, Lyme Bay crabmeat...), or why not try an old-fashioned seaside treat, a pot of vinegary cockles.
The town's restaurants are of generally good quality, and most inevitably have a fishy theme to their menus.
- 1 White Horse, Old Fore St, EX10 8LP (From the Market Square walk away from the sea past The Anchor and it's on your left). Fish, chips, etc. to take away or sit in and eat.
Late afternoon is a good time to grab a "cream tea". Several cafes offer this including The Clock House (at Connaught Gardens), The Chattery and Libra Court.
- The Marine.
- The Anchor (Close to the Market Square).
There are a variety of large hotels lining the sea front as well as smaller B&B further into the town.
- 1 The Belmont, The Esplanade EX10 8RX. is extremely popular with the older generation from £140.
- 2 Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, The Westcliff, Manor Rd, EX10 8RU, ☏ . Has beautiful view of the town and sea from the dining room and many of the bedrooms. from £75.
- 3 The Bedford, Esplanade, EX10 8NR. is on the seafront, very popular with locals for Sunday lunch. from £53.
- 4 Dukes Inn, The Esplanade, EX10 8AR. can be seen as the most lively as it also encompasses a popular restaurant/bar with young locals.
- The Kingswood and Devorian, The Esplanade, EX10 8AX. slightly more for families
- Victoria Hotel, The Esplanade, EX10 8RY. old fashioned grandeur
- The Riveria, The Esplanade EX10 8AY, ☏ . Old fashioned grandeur but very welcoming, gets great reviews for comfort, service and food. No large dogs. B&B double £300.