Sidmouth approaches perfection as it has everything you could possibly want - beaches, stunning coastal walks, gardens, a theatre and cinema, stylish eating places, and some of the best shops in East Devon selling desirable items such as unusual gifts, designer clothing, and lifestyle goods.
With over 500 listed buildings, a liberal sprinkling of blue plaques testifies to Sidmouth's charm with a host of famous visitors including Princess Victoria, the Grand Duchess of Russia, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Things to do
Sidmouth lies on the Jurassic Coast, and its Millennium Walkway, which runs along the beach, passes beneath vivid red Triassic sandstone cliffs scoured and sculpted into fantastic shapes by the passage of ancient rivers. From here you can climb the South West Coast Path to Ladram Bay with its stunning red rock chimneys in one direction or picturesque Branscombe in the other.
Find out more about the town's history and connections at Sidmouth Museum housed in a delightful Regency cottage, also the start point for interesting town tours.
The town has plenty of entertainment ranging from band concerts in Connaught Gardens to Sidmouth Regatta and the Charles Vance Play Festival, while in autumn it is the turn of Sidmouth Carnival's illuminated procession of colourful floats. However, the town's main event is the famous Sidmouth Folk Week in August, a scintillating blend of multi-national music and dance that draws thousands of visitors each year.
Something a little different
Just a short distance from the town you will find a variety of experiences. To one side lies the dramatic heathland of Mutters Moor, the haunt of the elusive nightjar, while on Salcombe Hill the space age domes of the Norman Lockyer Observatory are an unexpected sight, offering regular open evenings - a unique opportunity to marvel at the night sky through powerful telescopes.