Woodbury is a small village in East Devon. Considered a commuter village in modern times, the area has a long history: an Iron Age fort, Woodbury Castle, is in the nearby Woodbury Common, and a Roman fort and later Romano-British settlement existed at Woodbury Farm, on the outskirts of the village today. Woodbury appears in the Domesday Book with a listed population of 58 households in 1086, considered a large population for the time, and consisting of 30 villagers, 22 smallholders, and 6 slaves.
Nowadays, Woodbury is predominantly residential as it serves as a commuter town for nearby Exeter and, to a lesser degree, Exmouth. It has a population of 1,600. The village centre has two pubs, a Chinese takeaway, a Londis convenience shop doubling as the Post Office, two antiques shops, and a garage. It is nearby the scenic Woodbury Common, a vast area of woodland popular with dogwalkers and outdoors enthusiasts which draws many visitors.
Woodbury is a good base for exploring the area — centrally located, it's a 20-minute drive to Exeter, 15 minutes to Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, and 10 minutes to Topsham. If you're looking for quaint, traditional English villages, it's a 10-15 minute drive to East Budleigh, Otterton, and Newton Poppleford. One very popular destination is The Digger's Rest, a 500-year-old thatched inn serving local ales and meals, located in nearby Woodbury Salterton, a few minutes from Woodbury.
Via the M5 motorway, take exit 30 for the A376, following the A376 until Clyst St. George, then taking the exit onto Woodbury Road (B3179) and following for 3 minutes until you reach Woodbury on your right.
The 56 is an hourly service from Exeter to Woodbury, operated by Stagecoach.
Woodbury has no railway station; the closest station is at 1 Exton; roughly half of trains from Exeter to Exmouth stop at Exton on request, but because it's a request stop you must explicitly ask the conductor to stop at Exton, or clearly signal if you're at Exton and wish to board. While you could walk from Exton into Woodbury, it's not advisable. You would need to alight at Exton, and walk along Rydon Lane until it joins Woodbury Road; however, Woodbury Road has no pavement for the brief walk into Woodbury, and while this could be avoided by leaving Rydon Lane onto an unnamed (but busy!) road at Woodbury Business Park, this unnamed road only has grass verges.
The village centre is tiny, so you'll be fine to walk.
There is not a great deal to see within the village itself.
- 1 St Swithun's Church. 15th-century church, a Grade I Listed Building
- 2 Woodbury Castle. An Iron Age hillfort on a high point of Woodbury Common, at approximately 185 metres (607 ft) above sea level, in a commanding position with views up and down the Exe Estuary and across Lyme Bay in both directions. The structure is a prehistoric military type of earthwork, which can be seen as a mound in the woods.
Enjoy a meal and a local ale at one of the pubs, perhaps sit on the outside seating area of The Maltsters Arms and watch the world go by.
- 1 Woodbury Park Golf Club, Woodbury Castle, Warkidons Way, EX5 1JJ (follow Castle Lane for 5 minutes until you see the signed entrance), ☏ . Upmarket hotel and golf club with 2 golf courses, a spa, fitness centre, sauna and hot tub.
Greendale Farm Shop, situated 5 minutes outside of Woodbury on the Greendale Business Park, is a highlight of the area, and one of the most popular farm shops in Devon.
- 1 Kilve Marchant, Woodbury Castle, Warkidons Way, EX5 1JJ, ☏ . A small antiques shop that draws stock from its house clearance service that aims to recycle all goods received.
- 2 Greendale Farm Shop, ☏ . A popular farm shop selling fruit & veg, meat and poultry, fish, cheeses, sweets, locally-produced cider, ales and beers. Fish caught by their own fishing fleet! Contains a deli and an award-winning butchers. Plus a café. A must-visit!
- 3 Woodbury Business Park, ☏ . Business park with a number of units, including furniture shops, fitness centre, a secure storage facility, design studio, and a caravan and boat shop.
There are two pubs in the village, The Maltsters Arms and The White Hart Inn. Both serve good food, and both are popular with locals, visitors, and passersby alike. Of the two, the Maltsters Arms tends to be the busiest and is better reviewed. Another pub, the Diggers Rest, is located in nearby Woodbury Salterton.
- 1 The Maltsters Arms, Greenway, EX5 1LN, ☏ . Bar: M 6–11PM, Tu–Th noon–2:30PM and 6–11PM, F–Su noon–11PM. A traditional English pub offering tasty food and a variety of ales and wines. Owing to the pub's popularity, it's often very busy so reserving a table is advised. There's outdoor seating out front, and a large car park around the back. Free WiFi!
- 2 The Diggers Rest, EX5 1PQ, ☏ . Bar: M–Th noon–3PM and 5–11PM, F Sa noon–3PM and 5PM–midnight, Su noon–10:30PM. A quaint, cosy 500-year-old thatched inn serving local ales and offering an extensive food menu, with locally-caught fish and a preference for organic West Country produce. Gluten-free options available. The Diggers Rest is very popular, with visitors arriving from around Devon and England.
- 3 Little China, The Arch, EX5 1LL, ☏ . Chinese takeaway offering the standard fare, as well as fish & chips and burgers.
- 1 The White Hart Inn, Church Stile Ln, EX5 1HN, ☏ . Daily noon–11:30PM. Good pub grub and a large selection of beers, ciders and wines, with a particular emphasis on local real ales. Free WiFi.
The only hotel in the area is Woodbury Park Hotel. There are holiday homes available from £15/night at Castle Brake Holiday Park, and Webbers Park offers caravans, motorhomes, and tents for the adventurous.
- 1 Woodbury Park Hotel, Woodbury Castle, Warkidons Way, EX5 1JJ (Follow Castle Lane for 5 minutes until you see the signed entrance.), ☏ . Upmarket 4-star hotel offering standard rooms and luxury suites. Features 2 golf courses, a spa, fitness centre, sauna and hot tub. From £70 per night..
- 2 Webbers Park, Castle Lane, EX5 1EA, ☏ . Family-run camping park with caravans, touring motorhomes, and luxury holiday homes available, or simply pitch a tent. Pricing depends on season. £16–23 per night for 2 people in 2019.
Woodbury has full 3G and 4G coverage, but it can be spotty at times, and coverage indoors is often limited. There is free WiFi available at both pubs, The Maltsters Arms and The White Hart Inn.