Seaton in Devon is a coastal town which really makes the most of its location right at the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. With its pebble beach, easy-going vibe and many interesting days out and attractions nearby, Seaton is a good place for a family holiday, a walking holiday or an activity holiday. So here is my list of things to do in Seaton.
Seaton Town Centre
Seaton is not a large town, but it is an easy place in which to spend time. The town centre is largely pedestrianised and has a good selection of shops and cafes. The seafront and esplanade is easy to get to and no part of Seaton is far from the beach. There is a great newly-built play park, as well as lots of must-see attractions including Seaton Tramway and the excellent Seaton Jurassic Centre.
Places to Eat and Drink in Seaton
The Coast Cafe Bar is popular with locals and tourists alike. This is a lovely friendly seafront cafe serving drinks and light lunches plus it’s a good place to enjoy a cream tea. If you want to sit outside but the weather turns chilly there are plenty of warm blankets available to borrow!
In the nearby village of Beer, The Anchor Inn is a traditional pub overlooking the bay. This cosy seafront pub has a fantastic clifftop beer garden with great views. The traditional-looking interior has cosy fires and serves a great menu of simple British classics including fresh, locally caught fish.
For steak, ribs, burgers and other meats, The Shed Steakhouse & Grill has a great reputation. As you’d expect the steaks are the standout feature. They source the beef from a local butcher who hand-cuts the beef, which comes from grass-fed cattle. Their 28 day aged beef is hung on the bone for a week before being further matured off the bone for 21 days.
Great for vegetarians and vegans, The Terrace Art Cafe is a little seafront cafe that doesn’t only sell vegetarian food but they are always able to cater for vegetarians with tasty imaginative dishes.
The local area
Just one mile west of Seaton is the pretty coastal village of Beer. Don’t try to park at the seafront, instead park in the village and walk down - you will be rewarded with one of the most charming villages in east Devon. The beach is sheltered by the tall white chalk cliffs, creating a lovely suntrap, where sunseekers come to bask. The charm of the beach is enhanced by the flotilla of small fishing boats which are pulled up on the shingle.
Seaton Wetlands is an area of wetland comprising four nature reserves - Seaton Marshes, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh. It is at this last location that you can find toilets, hides, wildlife garden and a discovery hut. The wetlands have over three kilometres of levelled walkways which pass through the reed beds and marshland next to the River Axe. The varied marshes and wetlands make great places for wildlife spotting. Bird watchers can look for kingfishers, wading birds and wildfowl; children can enjoy pond dipping and Otters have been seen at Borrow Pit Pond. The wetlands are great for easy walks, picnics, wildlife spotting and spending time in the great outdoors.
The South West Coast Path passes through Seaton. If you walk along it a mile to the west you will arrive at Beer, and if you take the path along the clifftops to the east you will eventually arrive at Lyme Regis. The walk to Lyme Regis is quite a challenging seven mile walk, but worth it for the intrepid. The path passes through Axmouth and the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve. Undercliffs is one the highlights of the Jurassic Coast, with a beautiful and varied landscape of high cliffs and woodland. The walk takes around four hours so pack wisely with water, snacks, appropriate clothing and good walking shoes.
Step back in time with a tram journey on Seaton Tramways. These narrow-gauge heritage trams take you on a tour of the Axe valley, passing through Seaton Marsh and Colyford Common nature reserves. The first part of the journey, through the back streets of town, is quite uninspiring, but the views after that are great. When the weather is good, the seats at the open top fill up quickly.
In Beer village, high on the hillside with panoramic views of Lyme Bay, is an attraction called Pecorama. Pecorama consists of some lovely gardens, a light railway and a model railway exhibition. The gardens themselves include a ruined tower, a pretty stream which tumbles over granite boulders, and many colourful flowerbeds.
Seaton Jurassic is a flagship visitor centre for the Devon Wildlife Trust. Visitors travel through an audio-visual trip through time as they learn about the Jurassic Coast. With hands-on exhibits, including controlling the destination of the time machine, visitors can explore the discoveries of local fossil hunters, paleontologists and explorers, above and below the sea. Find out about the fascinating prehistoric world of 200 million years ago. There is also a fun garden to explore.
Something a little different
Seaton Carnival Week begins on the August Bank holiday weekend, with the carnival itself on the following Saturday. On Carnival night, the town centre streets closed are closed to traffic so that people can watch the illuminated floats pass by.
Visitors can enjoy a guided one hour tour through Beer Quarry Caves. These man-made caves are the result of quarrying the popular Beer stones which were used extensively in church building. The tour focuses on the working lives of the quarrymen who worked long and dangerous hours in the dark. Because of the dangerous conditions, it’s no surprise that accidents were frequent, and the tour makes the lives of these brave quarrymen come to life.