Thursday, April 15, 2010
If you are seeking the best countryside and coastal scenery East Devon has to offer, the Axe Valley is the place to visit.
Approach the valley along the main road through Colyford and you will be rewarded with astounding views.
The picture postcard village of Axmouth, with its thatched buildings, is just a few miles further on across the River Axe from Seaton.
There are lots of opportunities for walking, cycling, or simply taking it easy and having a picnic. There is plenty for all the family to enjoy, from a meal in a friendly pub to visiting places of historic interest or enjoying the wonderful countryside and abundance of wildlife.
The river is a wildlife haven, and the perfect site for a picnic is Coronation Corner, where visitors can relax and take in the scenery.
Despite its size, Axmouth has a fascinating history it was once a busy port and also a centre for smuggling, and today still offers a very safe haven for mooring boats.
The attractive St Michaels Church features examples of work from the Norman to Victorian eras, including 15th century paintings of Christ and St Peter depicted on two Norman pillars.
There are some excellent pubs too, offering fine home-cooked food in a warm friendly atmosphere, with alfresco facilities during the summer months.
There are lots of nearby villages well worth exploring, such as Combpyne, a tiny village featuring a church with ancient wall paintings, and a medieval manor house overlooking the village pond.
Musbury church is home to a unique 17th century tomb of the Drake family, and Whitford boasts a fine example of a Devon longhouse, besides being the perfect place to stop and have a picnic.
There are many more places to visit, and the TIC at Seaton has a wide range of leaflets and brochures available including the Devons Axe Valley 2004 guide .
The area is a magnet for wildlife, so take your binoculars to get a really close look, and dont forget your camera. You can spot everything from kingfishers, cormorants and herons to a wide variety of ducks and waders.
Seaton TIC can give you lots of information on the whole area, including where to stay, where to go and where to eat.