Seaton - gateway to the past

Jubilee Gardens Seaton

Nestling in a sheltered cove at the mouth of the River Axe, Seaton is a small seaside town. The town enjoys spectacular views across Seaton Bay, to Portland on the East and Teignmouth and south Devon on the west.

Its position on the South West Coast Path guarantees that you will be able to enjoy some beautiful views wherever you are staying. Many people have chosen to retire here, so the town enjoys a very leisurely pace of life.

It’s an interesting place because it has chalk cliffs on the west, towards Beer, and the more familiar Devon red cliffs on the East. Both provide spectacular views for walkers and Seaton is a good base to walk from.

It has a small beach and harbour, but is best known for its tramway, running inland to Colyton. No visit to East Devon is complete without enjoying the breathtaking scenery around the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. It absolutely should include a ride up the delightful Axe Valley on the historic Seaton Tramway. The tramway runs for about three miles along the River Axe, which is also an excellent place for bird watching

The harbour has been in use for many centuries and the Romans were here too, the Fosse Way starts at Axmouth and runs up towards the north of England. The name Seaton developed gradually from the Saxon farm on the salt marshes that was known as Sea Tun, meaning sea farm.

Salt processing was an important industry until it’s declined during the 19th century when the town turned to fishing to support its residents. However, in modern times the lack of a railway meant that this lovely friendly little town was left rather out of things. The benefit of that today is that it’s almost a step back in time to the less rushed pace of life that we enjoyed a few years ago.

In 2005 Seaton celebrated the one thousandth anniversary of the granting of its Charter. This long-standing town by the sea waits to welcome you too.

The Jurassic Coast

Chalk cliffs near Seaton

Along with Exmouth, Seaton is hoping to be one of the locations for two world-class Jurassic Coast Visitor Centres. The idea of the centres would be to enhance sustainable Eco-tourism for the region.

The 95-mile stretch of Jurassic coastline and other local features such as the Axe Estuary and Exe Estuary are here to enjoy now. Any high tech exhibitions are still for the future.

The Gateway Visitor Centre is likely to be on a site adjacent to the Seaton Tramway terminus and visitor car park. This is where the majority of visitors to the town arrive, making it accessible for both tourists and residents.

This is the only Gateway Town to the Jurassic Coast where visitors can walk relatively quickly to parts of the site with rocks from all three eras - Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous - and allows access to the spectacular Undercliff National Nature Reserve. In addition the town offers the award winning local nature reserve, the wildlife of Seaton Marshes and the Tramway amongst other attractions.

Getting to Seaton

There are plenty of places to stay around Seaton, but if you feel like simply enjoying a day trip then why not take the bus?
The popular CoastLinX53 route between Exeter and Poole is operated by six new easy access buses in an eye-catching Jurassic Coast livery featuring the ammonite symbol of England's first and only natural World Heritage Site. Local residents were invited to give each bus a name that reflects features of the Jurassic Coast or people associated with it and the winners have now been chosen.

In Devon, seven-year old Sam Ford suggested Jack Rattenbury, a famous smuggler from Beer. Jack Rattenbury is now a familiar sight on the road! Lucy Hurved from Exeter, who is also aged seven, suggested Lost World, the name of a stack off Ladram Bay.

The names now appear on the side and front of the X53 buses, with an additional plaque inside giving details of the name and who suggested it.

Where to stay near Seaton

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