Lea Hill Cottages is ideally located for exploring the beautiful south Devon and Dorset coast. It is also not far from Quantocks, Exmoor and Dorset. Within the local area there are three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to discover, one in East Devon another in Dorset, and the Blackdown Hills, which the cottages lie within.
For lovers of the beach and fossil hunting, the historic Jurassic coastline is less than a 20-minute drive with the pretty coastal town of Lyme Regis being the nearest point to enter the World Heritage Site.
Further Afield, guests staying at the cottages can head to some wonderful market towns, including Honiton with its array of independent shops and cafes or Dorchester, which lies alongside the River Froome. For a larger array of shops and places to eat, the city of Exeter is easily accessible and can be reached via train from Axminster.
To get a better idea of local places to visit we have provided information on just a few of our nearby favorites.
The market town of Axminster is only a few miles from Lea Hill Cottages and overlooks the River Axe. Famous for its history with carpet making, this bustling town is filled with places to eat and several shops. It is also home to celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage canteen and del, which is well worth a visit.
Discover the history of Axminster by visiting the local museum or walk the Axminster Art Trail, which features various sculptures. If visiting in June check out the Axe Vale Festival of Gardening and Crafts, which is held in the town and is the largest of its kind in the South West.
Just along the road from Axminster is Kilmington, which was used as a location in the adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles in the 1990’s. If wishing to venture further afield, Axminster has its own train station with trains running from Exeter to London Waterloo.
Lyme Regis is less than 10 miles from Lea Hill Cottages and lies just across the border in Dorset. The coastal town, which is situated on the Jurassic Coast is fondly known as the ‘Pearl of Dorset’. The town is popular for a number of reasons, including its historic cobb harbour, which featured in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, its wonderful beach perfect for fossil hunting, and its great range of seasonal events such as the annual carnival and regatta and Lifeboat week where there is the traditional conger cuddling to enjoy.
Within Lyme Regis you will find a number of things to do, as well as shops to browse and restaurants to enjoy a wonderful meal, many serving locally sourced seafood.
The pretty, unspoilt village of Charmouth on the Dorset coast is a lovely place to visit with a beach ideal for relaxing or fossil hunting. Lying in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on the Jurassic Coast, the Dorset village is a firm favourite with families and couples. The village, which is just a couple miles along the coast from Lyme Regis and less than a 20 minute drive from Lea Hill is home to a number of good pubs, cafes and shops and has a relaxed atmosphere perfect for getting away and sunbathing on the beach. It really is well worth a visit when staying at Lea Hill Cottages.
Seaton on the South Devon coast is perfect for great day out whether you are looking for outdoor activities, attractions or just somewhere to sit back and relax as you watch the world go by. The seaside town is at the heart of the Jurassic Coast and is also on the South West Coast Path, so it is a wonderful place to go for walk, there is also the Seaton Westland Nature Reserve to discover with wonderful scenery and wildlife to discover.
For water sport enthusiasts there really is nowhere better than Seaton with kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding available at the beach, however, cyclists and walkers will also love the town.
If looking for an attraction or two, look no further than Seaton. There is the Jurassic themed Play Park, which kids will love and the Seaton Tramway, which runs for miles through stunning scenery. The newest attraction is Devon Wildlife Trust’s Seaton Jurassic, which is a visitor centre allowing you to travel back in time to explore the history of this famous coastline.
The beautiful seaside village of Beer is situated alongside the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast and is a lovely place to spend a day wandering the streets or watching the fishing boats bring in their daily catches. The picturesque village is surrounded by chalk cliffs and has its own shingle beach, thanks to its position on the South West Coast Path it also has some great coastal walks, including those to Seaton. In a recent Countryfile pole, Beer’s Jubilee Garden’s which lies at the top of the headland was named at the UK’s best picnic spot, so if visiting on a clear day make sure you walk up the hill to see this stunning location.
Attracting visitors all year round is the Devon coastal town of Sidmouth, which is surrounded by countryside and home to a lovely family friendly beach. This beautiful town has lots of places to eat and shop, with everything from small boutiques to larger high-street stores. This part of the Jurassic Coast is dominated by red sandstone cliffs dating back to the Triassic period, which lie behind the beach, which made up mainly of pebbles that create wonderful rock pools at low tide.
If visiting Sidmouth to go walking there are some amazing routes to explore along the South West Coast Path such as those to Branscombe and Beer, as well as routes to Budleigh Salterton and Ladram Bay.
There are a great range of attractions near Sidmouth, however a favourite for many is the Donkey Sanctuary, which is home to more than 500 rescue donkeys. The award-winning World of Country Life is also nearby.
If visiting during June, the town hosts the Sidmouth Literary Festival and in August there is the very popular Folk Week as well as the Sidmouth Regatta.