Explore the Jurassic coast from Sidmouth

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is a 95-mile stretch of coast between Exmouth in East Devon and Studland Bay in Dorset. The site spans 185 million years of geological history covering the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Sidmouth, nestling beneath majestic Triassic red cliffs, is a great location from which to explore the Jurassic Coast.

We recommend your first port of call should be to the Arches Interpretation Centre on the Sidmouth seafront, a short walk from the Royal York & Faulkner Hotel. 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.

The best way to explore the Jurassic Coast is to walk the South West Coast Path which passes through Sidmouth.

Sidmouth to Seaton coastal walk

The 8-mile Sidmouth to Seaton walk takes in some of the best scenery of the coast. This rugged section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site crosses 200 million-year-old rocks. Leaving the red cliffs behind you’ll reach striking white chalk cliffs around Beer before arriving at the mouth of the River Axe and the rich red cliffs of the village of Seaton. The pretty village of Branscombe is a good pit stop along the way.

If you don’t fancy the walk back you can enjoy the scenic countryside bus route via Beer and Branscombe to Sidmouth.

Sidmouth to Exmouth coastal walk

Heading in the opposite direction, the Sidmouth to Exmouth walk provides wonderful views as you head over the red clifftops. This 11.5-mile route takes you past the dramatic rugged red rock stacks at Ladram Bay, through Budleigh Salterton with its unique quartzite pebble beach and finishes at Exmouth and the geoneedle.

The five-metre high geoneedle at Orcombe Point was unveiled by Prince Charles in 2002. Made from the various rock types found along the World Heritage coastline it marks the start of the Jurassic coastline.

Regular bus services run from Exmouth to Sidmouth so you can rest your legs after this fairly steep section of the South West Coast path.

Fossil hunting

If you fancy an afternoon fossil hunting nearby Lyme Regis or Charmouth are the perfect spots to find a relic from the ancient Jurassic past. The cliffs around Lyme Regis constantly crumble and slip into the sea, revealing more fossils to be found on the sea shore. Both towns are easily accessible by car or a bus service runs to Lyme Regis from Sidmouth.

For more information on the Jurassic Coast visit the Jurassic Coast website.

Image credit: Robin Lucas. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0