East Devon represents the most westerly section of the Jurassic Coast, and is full to the brim with exciting and informative opportunities for visitors.
- The East Devon section of the Jurassic Coast begins with the Orcombe Point Geoneedle in Exmouth, which marks the beginning of the World Heritage Site and its epic journey across 185 million years of Earth History. One of the best ways to see this section of the coast is on a boat trip with Stuart Line Cruises.
- Next up is the charming town of Budleigh Salterton, which hosts a fabulous annual literary festival, and whose red cliffs are home to some exquisite ancient plant fossils (known as Rhizoconcretions).
- From here, the coastline takes in the distinctive red sea stacks of Ladram Bay, before turning to the charming Regency period town of Sidmouth, with its towering cliffs and delightful promenade.
- This is followed by the villages of Branscombe and Beer, the latter of which features the most westerly chalk cliffs in England, as well as the incredible Beer Quarry Caves, where stone quarrying dates back to Roman times.
- Beyond here is Seaton, home of Seaton Tramway and Seaton Jurassic, along with the picturesque village of Axmouth, which is the gateway to the mysterious Undercliffs Reserve.
- East Devon’s section of coastline concludes at the westerly end of Lyme Regis, taking in Monmouth Beach and its amazing (and rapidly vanishing!) ammonite pavement.
Exmouth is the western gateway to the Jurassic Coast.
The town has been a popular seaside resort since the 18th century and is thought to be the oldest holiday resort in Devon.
The beach has two miles of golden sand and a wealth of rock pools to explore. It is also a popular destination for watersports including kite surfing, kayaking and windsurfing.
The nearby Exe Estuary is one of the most beautiful in Britain, and is a haven for birdlife.
Based at Exmouth Marina, Stuart Line Cruises offer regular Jurassic Coast boat trip, which are a brilliant way to see the area’s stunning red cliffs up close.
Picturesque Sidmouth nestles beneath majestic Triassic red cliffs and the green hills of the Sid valley.
It originally developed as a fishing village, before experiencing considerable development as a seaside resort during the 18th and 19th centuries.
There are many fine villas and mansions dating from this period which give the town a charming, timeless feel – many of these have now been converted into hotels, and Sidmouth’s wide promenade has been a prominent seafront feature since the Regency period.
The distinctive Jacob’s Ladder is a white, 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.
The white chalk cliffs at Beer are the most westerly in England, representing the end point of a geological phenomenon that spans continents.
Beer makes an ideal holiday destination, whether you’re staying for an hour or a week.
Seaton is one of the Jurassic Coast’s up and coming towns, and is a great place to visit to get your Jurassic Coast fix without the crowds.
The town’s coastal promenade is great for contemplative strolling, whilst its shingle beach is the perfect spot for a dip on a warm Summer’s day.
Seaton Wetlands is a protected nature reserve that offers fantastic bird-watching and all-ages walking opportunities year-round.
Lyme Regis (western end)
Although Lyme Regis town itself is located in Dorset, its western end creeps into East Devon.
This section includes the access point for the Undercliffs Reserve, which makes for a fantastic walking experience with a hint of wilderness to it.
There’s also Monmouth Beach, home to the Ammonite Pavement, an incredible collection of “in situ” fossils, embedded in the rock of the beach.
Treading the beach here is like stepping back in time, to when this part of the world was underwater, and its warm tropical seas played host to predatory Pliosaurs, bountiful belemnites, and an abundance of ammonites.
It’s also a reminder of the fragility of our geological heritage, as recent rising sea levels and changing weather conditions have rapidly broken up the preserved fossils, returning them to the sea.