One of the many nice things about Seaton is that is doesn’t conform to the usual East Devon stereotypes.

It always feels slightly more lived-in than, say, Sidmouth or Budleigh Salterton, which are lovely but more grown up and well-manicured.

Seaton is changing, however. There are plans for a seafront enhancement project in the pipeline (although there have been some funding issues) and work is already underway on a luxury landmark housing development.

It’ll get there, probably. But there’s plenty to appreciate already here in this comforting coastal town that has always lifted my spirits.

The kids and I usually park in the long stay at Underfleet, walk past the giant Tesco and on towards the mile-long pebbled Seaton Beach. As sandy shore dwellers, the novelty of picking up and examining the pretty pebbles along this stretch of the Jurassic Coast is always a real treat.

When the mechanics of walking on a gently sloping stony surface gets too much, you can simply switch to the wide flat walkway that runs alongside the beach. Here, there are ice-cream, tea and coffee pit-stops, plenty of benches and toilets. It’s worth mentioning too that the beach is accessible to all. Last summer, a special 85-metre path made from a combination of plastic and aluminium was installed along a section near the promenade, allowing wheelchair and mobility scooter users to enjoy parts of the seafront which would normally be off-limits. It’s a pilot scheme at the moment but if it’s well used, there are plans to extend the path in both directions.

Great British Life: The beach huts are ar familiar sight at Seaton beach. Photo: GettyThe beach huts are ar familiar sight at Seaton beach. Photo: Getty

Town is just a pebble’s throw away and well worth a mooch around (you can’t help but adjust your settings to the slower pace of life here). Take the time to explore and spend your cash in the local independents. They need as much support as possible in a town well served by supermarkets, including a new Aldi set to open later this year.

Taste of Devon in Fore Street is a lovely traditional butcher’s shop, which also sells local milk, pies, pasties and sausage rolls, baked on the premises.

There’s also Paul’s Bakery (Marine Place) and one of those rarest of rare finds – an amazing fishmonger Just Fish (Harbour Road).

At this point, it’s usually time to hit the trams. Seaton’s star attraction is its narrow-gauge electric tramway that takes passengers on a scenic trip through the Axe Valley to Colyford and Colyton.

Another highlight used to be Seaton Jurassic visitor centre until it closed recently. There are various options being discussed about what the building could become. Locals are keen for that to happen soon – it’s a very visible empty shell at the moment.

In the meantime, the well-designed skatepark and playground are nearby to provide a final flourish of activity at the end of a full day out. Ah, it’s great here. One of my favourites.


Great British Life: Feast in Fore Street. Feast in Fore Street.

Surrender to the stereotypes and enjoy the traditional seaside fayre on offer. Frydays fish and chips (The Burrow) on a seafront bench takes some beating. Just watch out for the pesky seagulls. They’re organised here.

Crab sandwiches and fries at Coast Café (Esplanade) is another winner.

For families, Le Pisani (Fore Street) is a Mediterranean restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a small outside area during the summer months.

Monsoon Indian restaurant (Underfleet) was a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice in 2022.

Feast Lyme Bay (Marine Place) is a pizza and small plates restaurant and takeaway. It’s not your average pizza place, either. Toppings options include shredded beef brisket and smoked mackerel.

The Malt House is a beautiful historic pub in the centre of the town square. The menu here balances pub classics with modern flavours.

For beachside fodder, The Spot On and Jane’s Kiosk are close at hand.


Great British Life: Pebbles bed and breakfast. Photo: Pebbles B&BPebbles bed and breakfast. Photo: Pebbles B&B

The Old Picture House has individually designed rooms just 50 metres from Seaton Beach.

Mariners Hotel is also in a prime seafront position with a choice of rooms and apartments.

Seaton also has a Premier Inn for know-what-you’re getting accommodation with plenty of parking.

Out of town, there’s a good selection of camping and holiday parks. Andrewshayes Holiday Park is a four-star, family-run park in Axminster. Oakdown Touring and Holiday Park is a well-placed spot from which you can easily explore most of East Devon.

Gatcombe Farm is just half-a-mile from the main road into town. The 230-acre family-run working dairy farm has two ensuite rooms.

Pebbles B&B offers four-star accommodation inside a grand Victorian house, just metres from the sea.


Great British Life: The beautiful coastline at Seaton, with Axmouth harbour. Photo: Getty ImagesThe beautiful coastline at Seaton, with Axmouth harbour. Photo: Getty Images

Axmouth harbour

The river Axe flows into the sea forming a natural harbour near Seaton Beach. In prehistoric times, this was the most important harbour in the West of England.

Seaton rocks

The cliffs either side of Seaton have long been of interest to geologists. The Seaton Fault, visible at Seaton Hole at the western end of the beach, is responsible for the presence of chalk cliffs extending to Beer Head.

Wildlife haven

Seaton Wetlands is made up of beautiful marshland and reedbeds along the River Axe. There are five bird hides and nearly 4km of level trails and boardwalks, suitable for wheelchairs, bikes and pushchairs. This is a dog-free nature reserve.