10th October 2019
Your 48 hour holidays in Sidmouth
Looking to enjoy a 48 hour holiday in Sidmouth?
Two-day breaks are very popular at The Victoria Hotel, as guests from the South West and further afield visit for a quiet escape year after year. Many also join us as a part of a larger trip around the region. But what is there to do in Sidmouth?
Whether you’re looking for a one or two-night break on the stunning South Devon Jurassic Coast, here’s our guide on how to best spend your time and make the most of Sidmouth!
See the history
Sidmouth has a lot of history, it may not be well known and obvious, but look in the right places and it’s easy to see.
The best way to take it all in and to see the little snippets of the past is to follow the Blue Plaque walk. There are a series of 32 blue plaques found in the town, noting the locations of historic buildings and sites associated with interesting residents who shaped Sidmouth.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a long walk around the town to see the sights and to find the plaques - alternatively, follow the guide via the Sidmouth Town Plaque website.
Also, don’t forget to visit the volunteer-run Sidmouth Museum to see the displays, collections, unique items and photographs of the area. They have a superb collection of rocks and fossils too.
Explore the gardens
There are some wonderful little gardens and public parks in Sidmouth for all to enjoy, whether it be for a picnic under a tree on a lawn or taking pictures of the flower beds.
A couple to highlight include Connaught Gardens which overlooks the Esplanade in an important defensive position throughout the Second World War and The Byes, a mixture of parkland, meadows, open fields and farmland that follow the River Sid.
We cover these two gardens and much more in a news piece discussing grand homes and gardens in Sidmouth and South Devon here:
Enjoy a wander around the shops
Sidmouth is a fantastic place to shop and is a must do during 48 hours in town.
There’s a wonderful mixture of old and new here as high street chains mix with independent shops.
As a little tip from The Victoria staff, our favourite shops include:
Sidmouth Gifts - bears, games, jewellery, gifts and beautiful objects
Seasalt Cornwall - for ladies who need new clothes
Paragon Books - the oldest independent bookshop in Sidmouth
Fields of Sidmouth - a unique department store selling clothes, gifts and more
Don’t forget Sidmouth Market too, for all the latest and freshest food you could wish for! Grab some local produce and seafood to enjoy during the day or to take home.
Relax on the beach
Many people do not realise that Sidmouth is actually an ideal place for a beach break!
The beaches may not be the miles and miles of golden sands seen in North Devon. But here on the South Devon coast, the seas are calmer and quieter whilst the combined pebbles and sand are clean and inviting.
Sidmouth beaches are the ideal place to spend time as a family or walking as a couple along the shoreline before easily popping back to the town, conveniently located by the beaches.
Split into two, there’s the Town Beach, then to our right is Jacob's Ladder, reachable by some steps.
Whilst the shingle beaches may not initially appeal to all, Sidmouth usually has calm seas with little surf, thanks to groynes along the shoreline. This means that when the weather calls for it a gentle dip in the sea is a relaxing experience - and a must do.
Whether you leave your shoes on land and splash in the water, or go all out and have a proper swim, you won’t be bothered by big waves and surfers.
Also, Sidmouth marks the start of the Jurassic Coast, so fossil hunting has always taken place along the shores.
Did you know…? Incredibly rare and fragile fossils have been carefully collected, cleaned and studied around Sidmouth, making it possible to reconstruct the environment of the Jurassic Coast as it would have been some 235 million years ago.
Armour plates form giant amphibians, jaw bones and teeth from carnivorous reptiles that pre-date the dinosaurs have been found here. Along with evidence of plants and skeletal fragments from many other strange animals!
Visit local attractions
Another little tip from the staff here at the Victoria. If you don’t mind a little car journey, make sure you discover these two attractions just outside Sidmouth...
Norman Lockyer Observatory
This unique astronomical observatory just outside Sidmouth regularly hosts wonderful open evenings, where visitors can enjoy a planetarium show and visit the historic telescopes.
Named after the amateur astronomer who discovered the element Helium in the Sun’s corona, Norman Lockyer Observatory is regularly open to the public, staffed entirely by volunteers. It’s the evening talks and stargazing that many visitors enjoy the most!
The Donkey Sanctuary
We know you will love Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary, which is a home for donkeys and mules from around the world. A registered charity, their Sidmouth site is open from 9am to dusk every day with free admission and free parking - so there’s no excuse not to go and support them. For a full day out with many beautiful Donkeys, pay them a visit.
Of course, there’s a lot more to be doing in South Devon with Sidmouth as your base. Check out our things to do guide for a full list of local attractions and day out ideas…
Forget the stresses of life at The Victoria Hotel
We understand that some of the best holidays are when you do as little as possible.
Whilst we’ve been chatting about there being lots to do in the area, it’s also good to switch off and relax sometimes. The Victoria is the perfect place to do this.
You can enjoy lay-ins and early nights in our luxurious accommodation, with sea views and practical touches.
Finally, make use of our facilities which includes indoor and outdoor heated pools, tennis courts, spa treatments and a classic putting green.