Sitting at the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Seaton is a seaside town with oodles of character and beauty to explore. Featuring some of the best beaches in the whole of Devon and tucked between charming towns such as Axmouth and Beer, Seaton is a must-visit if you're in the area. We wanted to highlight what to see and do during your time in Seaton if you're visiting in 2023, let's get into the guide:
Where is Seaton?
What is there to do at Seaton?
Seaton is a great place to visit, but there is also a number of other great things to do and see in places around Seaton. Here are some of our favourite things for you to check out:
Visiting wetlands might not sound like a great day out, but if you fancy a change from the beach then Seaton Wetlands is a great place to head to. Based around the River Axe, the wetlands are a mix of beautiful marshland and reedbeds, and an absolute must-visit if you're a fan of bird watching - you'll find a variety of species here and 5 bird hides to use if you wish. If you fancy walking a bit, you've got almost 4km of trails and boardwalks to explore, all of which are suitable for wheelchairs, bikes, and pushchairs. Seaton Wetlands is made up of 4 sites - Seaton Marshes, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh. You can visit all 4 or choose one to explore, however, Seaton Marshes is probably best to visit if you're looking to see wildlife such as birds and otters. Learn more about the wetlands here - eastdevon.gov.uk
Towards the town you'll find the Seaton Tramway, an electric tramway which was initially opened in 1970. The trams run along a 3-mile route next to the Axe Estuary and the River Coly, running between Seaton, Colyford, and Colyton. If you're looking to enjoy some views of the wetlands without actually visiting, a trip on the tramway is a good option as it offers views of the nature reserves along the route. The trams used on the route are narrow gauge heritage trams and are very cool to look at, making it a great experience for young and old alike. The whole experience is actually very well done and the tramway is generally considered to be one of the best attractions in Devon. We especially like the idea of the 'quiet trams' that they run, which are a great option for anyone who finds noisy crowds challenging. Learn more about the tramway here - tram.co.uk
Explore the South West Coast Path
The whole of southwest Devon is excellent for walking along the South West Coast Path, and there a number of routes you can walk or cycle along from Seaton. Probably the most popular would be the Seaton to Sidmouth route, which is about 10 miles long and takes you right through the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This route has a number of steep and tricky parts so isn't one for anyone not up for a challenge, but there are plenty of places to stop for a rest along the way if you're feeling knackered. Learn more about this route here - southwestcoastpath.org.uk
Visit the Gardens
There are a number of gardens to visit in Seaton, the most notable of which include Windsor Gardens, Cliff Field Gardens and Seafield Gardens. Our favourite is probably Cliff Field Gardens, which is a bit of a hidden gem. From the seafront you simply follow the footpath up Castle Hill and you'll eventually find the gardens, which are also home to the Seaton Labyrinth. Cliff Field Gardens is also a great place to start if you're looking to hop onto the South West Coast Path. Learn more about the gardens here - seaton.gov.uk
Visit Seaton Museum
There is a very small museum in Seaton based on the top floor of the Town Hall on Fore Street, but despite the small size of the museum we think it is well worth a visit. The museum provides information about Seaton and the lower Axe Valley, and also includes lots of fascinating information about other nearby places including Beer, Colyton, and Colyford. The collection of old photos here shows how much Seaton has changed over the years, and you'll also find displays about the Roman site at Honeyditches and the natural history of Seaton. It's free to enter but we'd highly recommend leaving a donation to support this lovely and very interesting little museum.
Take a trip to Beer
Beer is a town just up the road from Seaton, only a 5 minute drive or a leisurely walk. There are a number of things to do in Beer and we think it is well worth your time visit Beer for a day or 2 during your stay in Seaton. The distinctive white cliffs are hard to miss and the beach is lovely, but probably the must-do thing in Beer would be to visit the Beer Quarry Caves. As part of a guided tour, you'll get to explore the caverns which were built by the Romans to quarry stone used to create some of the most important historical buildings in the country including Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. Learn more here - beerquarrycaves.co.uk
Seaton Hole Beach
There are a number of beaches at Seaton and the bay is probably the number 1 reason people visit the town, however our favourite would be have to be Seaton Hole. Tucked away from the town and the main beach, Seaton Hole is a slightly more secluded beach with a cove. It's a quiet and beautiful area to explore or just to simply relax in. Because it's sheltered from the wind, the water is often very calm and you'll often see people paddleboarding here. If you don't yet have a paddle board, here are some suggestions for good inflatable paddle boards which cost less than £500. You can also walk all the way to neighbouring Beer from this beach, a very enjoyable walk.
Things to be aware of before visiting Seaton
If you plan to undertake any of the walks along the beach or along the South West Coast Path, then definitely make sure you've brought suitable clothing and footwear. Like most areas of the UK, the weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, so it's always best to be prepared. Consider getting something like a dryrobe for the windy weather near the sea.
Other than that, we'd say the best thing to be is prepared to stay a bit longer than you expected! You might be surprised at how much you enjoy your time in this town, plus you've got plenty of surrounding towns which are well worth a visit.
It's also worth keeping in mind that Seaton Wetlands is a dog-free nature reserve and is about 8 miles east of Sidmouth, so a great place to visit after you've visited that town. We also had an enjoyable visit to Upottery from Seaton, which is just 30 minutes up the road. A stay at the glamping site Hartridge Springs in the area is highly recommended, as is a trip to the charming little Wolford Chapel, which has an interesting story attached to it.