The beautiful market town of Axminster is set on the River Axe within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is filled with traditional charm and character.
With its quaint villages and unspoilt countryside, and just a few miles inland from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Axminster is the perfect place to unwind and get back to nature.
With excellent rail links to London and Exeter, Axminster is a very popular town, with the best of Devon and Dorset on its doorstep.
Axminster achieved worldwide fame for its Axminster Carpets, first made by Thomas Whitty in 1755. Each time a carpet was finished the bells at the Minster were rung in celebration. The Minster stands in its oasis of green at the heart of the town, and was once so prestigious that Saxon princes were buried here. Nearby is Axminster's Heritage & Museum in Thomas Whitty House where you can find out more about the town's carpet industry.
Things to do
Discover the history and heritage of this town at the local museum, explore the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, walk for miles in the stunning countryside and ancient woodlands, and explore the Axe Valley rivers – spotting otters and kingfishers along the way.
Interesting places nearby include Loughwood Meeting House (NT) at Dalwood and the important non-fortified Middle Ages manor house of Shute Barton (NT) which supposedly boasts the largest open fireplace in England.
The East Devon Way footpath and Buzzard Route cycle track pass close to the town, while the mudflats of the Axe estuary are superb for birdwatching with curlew, oystercatcher, and egret.
Axminster is also an excellent touring centre within easy reach of the Blackdown Hills, Hardy's Dorset, and the picturesque coastal resort of Lyme Regis, famous for its fossils.
Something a little different
The town has a thriving artistic community and this is reflected in the Axminster Art Trail which includes sculptures like Roger Dean's farmer and cow by the Tesco walkway, representative of the town's long-established livestock market. Axminster also hosts the Axe Vale Festival of Gardening and Crafts in June, the largest festival of this type in the south west.