Exmouth - gateway to the Jurassic Coast

Donkeys on the beach at Exmouth

Exmouth, on the eastern side of the Exe estuary, is the largest town in East Devon and is also one of the most popular tourist destinations. It’s easy to see why. Whether you are a beach loving sun worshiper, theatre going addict or like to shop till you drop there’s something for you in Exmouth.

There’s two miles of sandy beach to enjoy. With the mild climate that we enjoy here the beach is the place to go all year round. Don’t fancy the beach? There’s plenty to see here besides the beach. Besides all the traditional seaside attractions, cafés, tea-rooms and ice cream parlours you can enjoy a live show at The Pavilion. They have a good selection of concerts, dances and shows all year round.

From small beginnings as a fishing village Exmouth has grown into a bustling resort, one of the oldest in England. The elegant Georgian terraces that line the seafront proved irresistible to people like Horatio Nelson and Lord Byron.

By Edwardian times Exmouth was an extremely popular seaside resort. Sea bathing was still done from a bathing machine, a sort of beach hut on wheels. You went inside and changed into your bathing suit and a horse would pull the machine out into the sea. You could then step outside, down the steps and into the sea in complete modesty. When you had finished your bathe you went back inside and the horse pulled the machine out of the water again.

The pull of the sea is just as alluring today and thousands of people flock to the town to enjoy the sights and sounds of the seaside. There are many excellent hotels and guesthouses to choose from. Not only that, sea bathing isn’t anywhere near as complicated as in our great grandparent’s time and anyone can enjoy a dip.

Other attractions

Additionally, Exmouth marks the start of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, which stretches along the coast to Poole, in Dorset. You can enjoy spectacular views from the coast as you follow the South West Coast Path eastwards to Budleigh Salterton. There’s an abundance of bird life in the Exe estuary and Stuart Line Cruises on Exmouth Docks do excellent boat trips along the estuary. A regular winter trip is to see the Avocets.

Flowers in the park at Exmouth

The town council works very hard to make Exmouth a pleasant place to live and visit. Much time and effort is expended on the wonderful flower displays along the promenade and in the parks. Their work is extended into the busy shopping area where you will find all kinds of goodies to tempt you.

While you’re here you should plan a visit to Bicton Gardens and A la Ronde, both fascinating and historic places. If you’ve got children the try a visit to the World of Country Life at Littleham. By the way, remember I said that Nelson liked Exmouth? His wife, Lady Nelson lived here for quite a while and she is buried in the churchyard at Littleham.

Have a day trip to Exeter too, it’s easy to get there by train or on the bus and you won’t have any parking problems.

Exmouth and the Exe Estuary is a great area to relax and to enjoy the different aspects of this wonderful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It makes a good base to explore the area from, as it’s easy and convenient to get to the other East Devon towns. There are excellent hotels, guesthouses and caravan sites to stay on and I just know you’ll have a great time.

See you soon, I’ll meet you on the seafront.

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