The Regency seafront at Sidmouth
The Regency seafront at Sidmouth. Photo: Steve Belasco

The picturesque seaside town of Sidmouth nestles beneath majestic Triassic red cliffs and the green hills of the glorious Sid valley. As with many settlements along this part of the coast it originally developed as a fishing village, but a lack of shelter in the bay has prevented its growth as a port.

The town saw considerable development as the popularity of seaside resorts grew during the 18th and 19th centuries. There are many fine villas and mansions dating from this period which help give the town a charming, timeless feel – many of these have now been converted into hotels. The wide promenade has also been a prominent seafront feature since the Regency period.

The clean waters of the beach at Sidmouth are a popular location for swimming and a variety of watersports including sailing and windsurfing. Jacob’s Ladder beach is particularly popular with families – Jacob’s Ladder itself is a wooden staircase leading from the beach up to Connaught Gardens in the cliffs above. From here you can enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding coastline.

Jacob's Ladder at Sidmouth
Jacob’s Ladder at Sidmouth. Photo: Copyright John Copleston

Getting there

  • Bus services run regularly from Exeter and Honiton.
  • The nearest railway station is at Honiton, with services running west to Exeter and east to Salisbury and London.
  • By road, the A375 connects Sidmouth with the A3052 at Sidford.

Need to know

The Arches Interpretation Centre on the Sidmouth seafront provides an excellent introduction to the Jurassic Coast. The centre is free to enter and features a map of the area, walking routes, short films and a range of Jurassic Coast-themed interactive exhibits.