SEATON Gateway to Devon's Jurassic Coast
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Seaton is very much the traditional Devon seaside town with its shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes, offering a full range of activities. Seaton has an attractive children's recreation area and skate park. This small seaside resort has two main shopping areas adjacent to the Esplanade.
Holidays in Seaton are a popular way to explore this stunning coastline.
The town's mile long beach, slopes gently down towards the sea, making it safe for swimming. Seaton beach, in common with all of the beaches in this area of East Devon is a large expanse of pebbles, with strips of sand exposed at low tide. The beach is backed by steep cliffs at Seaton Hole.
The Esplanade, runs along the edge of the beach, stretching for 1000+ meters along the beach - This level paved walkway provides easy access along the whole length of the beach, and has cafes and facilities for holiday makers at various points. Seaton Esplanade stretches from Axmouth Harbour at the eastern end of the bay to the Chine, near Seaton Hole.
Seaton Museum located next to the Town Hall, the museum, displays a collection of photos and interactive media charting the history of the area from the Romans and before. Open from mid May until Oct
Seaton is a gateway town to the Jurrasic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its location in the centre of Lyme Bay with Axmouth Harbour at its eastern end and the Geologically unique landform of Seaton Hole (with its chalk cliffs and older red mudstone cliffs )at its western end, means that it is an ideal base for family holidays - just a short drive to the Jurrasic Coastline
Axmouth harbour is a small natural 'drying' harbour accessed from Seaton's Esplanade via the oldest surviving concrete bridge in Britain. Axmouth Harbour is used by a small number of local fishing boats, but the largest number of current vessels in the harbour are recreation boats used for sailing in the bay.
The harbour was an important commercial centre - the mouth of the Axe estuary was originally nearly half a mile wide, creating an important Trade centre in the period from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages.
Seaton Electric Tramway
Seaton Tramways are famous for their narrow gauge electric trams which travel between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon' glorious Axe Valley Seaton tramway is one of Devon's major tourist attractions carrying over 100,000 passengers a year.
The Electric Tramway's, three-mile route runs through the scenic Axe Valley, from Seaton, to the small village of Colyford and the ancient town of Colyton. The journey takes half an hour from end to end. In Seaton, the impressive Tramway Terminus is close to both the town centre and the beach.
Seaton's Tramways offers discounts for families and groups and pre-booked groups are welcome. The tramway is Wheelchair accessible but advance booking is necessary. As well as standard trips along the valley, Seaton Tramway offers special "Drive a Tram" lessons. There are also Bird watching, and Santa Specialsavailable throughout the year.
The tramway was originally operated in the North Wales Coastal resort of Llandudno. It was later transferred to Eastbourne on the south coast, until 1970 when it was moved again "Lock, stock and barrel" to Seaton. The tracks were re-established on a disused branch line - originally running from Seaton, along the scenic Axe valley to the villages of Colyford and Colton.
The Tramway is an "all year round" attraction, with a variety of tramstock and stunning views of the River Axe - providing a great day out for the enthusiast, tourist and bird watcher.
Colyton - In Colyton, there is a well-stocked shop, in the original branch line railway station built in 1868. The shop has a wide range of tram-related souvenirs and unique gifts to suit all budgets. Adjacent to the Shop is the " Tram Stop Restaurant", offering a good range of meals and snacks.
Colyton town centre is a short ten-minute walk from the station. Originally medieaval, the town has a circular street arrangement -typical of earlier Saxon settlements, and still has many historic buildings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, including the last Oak Bark Tannery in the country, with its excellent leather shop alongside.
Colyton in known as 'the most rebellious town in Devon'- a title earned in the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion, with Colyton providing more men in support of the Duke of Monmouth than any other town in Devon.
Colyford: the Tram terminus is adjacent to the White Hart Inn. Colyford has been a Royal Borough since the 13th century, - so the town has its own Mayor and holds a Goose Fair in September each year. TE Lawrence "of Arabia" was a regular visitor to Colyford. After his famous exploits in the desserts of Arabia he was stationed with the RAF in Mount Batten, Plymouth. He became a regular customer at Colytford's old filling station, until his fatal motorcycle crash in 1935, The filing Station was until recently used as a motor museum, but this was closed in 2012.
Please note that due to visitor numbers Trams often run full from Seaton and Colyton in the summer peak, so delays in boarding may be experienced at Colyford.
Seaton Hole, is a 20 minute walk along the Esplanade or the beach at low tide. The feature was formed by a geological fault interupting the continuity of the coastline, lowering the cliffs to its west by around 60 meters to sea level, allowing the 90 million year old white cretaceous chalk to dominate the coastline. This unconformity has resulted in the best exposure of chalk to be found anywhere along the south coast of England.
Refreshments are available en-route, at one of the cafes (one at the end of the esplanade and one at Seaton Hole itself). There are public conveniences alongside each café but they may not be open all year round.
Holidays in Seaton are an ideal holiday destination if you are looking for a seaside fossil hunting adventure with your family. Seaton is close to the fossil bearing cliffs and main fossil hunting centres of Charmouth and Lyme Regis.
Just along the coast is the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre at Charmouth. Here you can find out how to hunt for your own fossils by joining one of the regular guided fossil hunts.
This stretch of coastline is known the World over for the fossil deposits that are regularly dumped on to the beaches as the cliffs are eroded by the action of the sea and tides.
Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve
Running along the Axe river estuary from the Harbour towards Colyford, is the Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve, the tidal flood plain creates a varied collection of mud flats, scrapes, grazing marsh, ditches and ponds that attract a variety of wildlife throughout the year, but especially in the winter months, when the area is an important feeding station for large numbers of birds.
East Devon District Council owns and manages three Nature Reserves; Seaton Marshes, Colyford Common and Black Hole Marsh. The Seaton Marches Nature Reserve has bird watching hide - adjacent to the main track of the Seaton tramway. Public access to the viewing hide is off the cycle path at the rear of the Harbour Road car park in Seaton. The pathway to the hide is signposted from the cycle path and is graded and ramped to be wheelchair friendly.
At low tide, the mud flats are exposed providing an important food source that attracts many wading birds to feed - Curlews, Redshank Sandpipers and Oystercatchers can all be observed searching for food. Throughout the year, Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve provides a home to Mallards, Moorhens, Herons and many types of Gulls, with Widgeon, Teal and Shelduck over-wintering on the estuary - where they graze on the marshland.