Swallows Eaves Hotel

Places to visit

On this page we’ve included some suggestions for local places and areas to visit and explore during your stay with us (you’ll also find plenty of brochures and leaflets of local attractions in our lobby which you are very welcome to take away). To find out more:

Within a few hundred yards of Swallows Eaves is the famous Seaton Tramway linking Seaton, Colyford and Colyton. The Tramway travels from Seaton alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves providing an unrivalled view of the abundant birdlife, arriving at the historic town of Colyton, proud to be ‘the most rebellious town in Devon’ after it’s part in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.

For bird watchers, the nearby marshes of the River Axe provide a magnificent store of wild birds for the ornithologist’s delight. Colyford Common is an important wetland site on the Axe estuary. Being regularly flooded by high tides, this salt marsh has very unusual flora and fauna, supporting many locally rare and nationally important species. For other animal lovers, there is the Donkey Sanctuary (near Sidmouth) which is home to hundreds of rescued donkeys (most of whom are happy to be patted and scratched behind the ears!). The sanctuary is open every day of the year and has five beautiful walks for you to explore.

Recognised as England’s first natural World Heritage site, the Jurassic Coast covers some 95 miles of truly stunning coastline from East Devon to Dorset, with unique rock formations recording 185 million years of the Earth’s history.

For the more energetic The World Heritage Coastal Path offers the opportunity to view the sea at its most dramatic. Walk westwards over the cliffs to Branscombe or head eastwards to tackle the famous Undercliff walk to Lyme Regis.

There are visitor centres and museums along the coast that showcase the local geology (including lots of fossils unique to this area) in Lyme Regis (home to fossil hunter Mary Anning, whose fossil collecting began the study of geology), Beer, Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton. When visiting us, please be aware there is a risk of landslides and falling rocks, so we advise you to keep back from the cliff edges when you’re visiting the coast and be especially vigilant for falling rocks from the cliffs.

We are also in the middle of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

which is a special landscape, protected to conserve and enhance its natural beauty since 1963 and covering nearly 270 sq km of Devon’s finest countryside. It includes the East Devon Way that uses a mixture of rights of way, permissive routes and minor roads From Lyme Regis to Exmouth to take you through heathland, woodland and river valleys. The route provides an opportunity to escape to tranquil inland farmland, visit traditional Devon hamlets or stride uphill to enjoy spectacular panoramic views across this outstanding corner of Devon.  The route is presented from west to east in six stages and is marked throughout, providing an easy to follow trail.

Also within easy reach of Swallows Eaves, there is an abundance of gardens and National Trust properties to you to visit. For example, Shute Barton and Branscombe Old Bakery, Manor Mill and Forge are only a couple of miles away. Further afield across Devon, you will find KillertonKnightshayes CourtMontacute HouseForde AbbeyBurrow Farm Gardens to name a few as well as Bicton Park Botanical Gardens.
For those who prefer to explore towns and cities, a wonderful starting point is Lyme Regis. Known as the “Pearl of Dorset”, the town is famous for its fossils, its historic old town (which dates back to the 14th century), its beaches and The Cobb where Louisa Musgrove fell in Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Meryl Streep stood, looking forlornly out to sea, in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. There are plenty of shops, art galleries and gardens to see, plus a working Water Mill. Lyme Regis also boasts that it is the smallest town in the country to boast its own cinematheatre, and museum. The town and surrounding area have many attractions and host a range of family-centred events, including a Jazz Festival and a Fossil Festival. Plus close by, you can follow the Thomas Hardy Trail or the Smugglers Trail.
If you head westwards on the Devon side of the border, along the coast you’ll find pretty towns and villages including Sidmouth (a delightful regency town, renowned for it’s fine buildings, gentle walks and stunning views),  Budleigh Salterton (which derives its name from the manufacture of salt in large salt pans which were constructed at the lower part of the River Otter) and Exmouth (a popular seaside destination since the Regency period, it’s now renown for its water sports such as windsurfing and kite surfing!).

Travelling up the River Exe you’ll come to Devon’s capital Exeter, with its Norman Cathedral, historic Quayside, a wealth of shopping (ranging from the specialist shops on Gandy Street to the Princesshay Shopping Centre) and plenty of things to do, including art galleries, cinemas and theatres.

So whatever your preference, from country to coast, or village to city, you’ll find plenty to do Out and About!