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Local Area and Attractions

There are lots of things to do in and around Rousdon to suit all tastes.

Listed below are just some of the local places to visit and enjoy.  There are also several popular and famous restaurants, bars and cafe’s locally, for a guide to our favourite haunts, please view Places to Eat and Drink.

On the estate itself, the 350 acres are largely accessible for peaceful walks and a map is provided in the property (please respect areas marked private) Access to Charton Bay beach is just 20-30 minutes walk from the house (please note, access to this is very steep in parts and is not suitable for the very young or people with walking difficulties)  It is a very quiet, scenic beach only otherwise accessible by boat. A photographic step by step guide can be found in the guide book at the cottage.

The South West Coast Path also runs through the estate where you can walk to Lyme Regis (East) or Seaton (West).

Just 5 minutes drive away Lyme Regis is probably the safest beach for swimming with a life guard in attendance during the summer. The best fossil finding beaches are Monmouth Beach at Lyme and the beach at Charmouth, although please follow the safe fossiling code during your time here.

In addition to its beaches, the historical seaside resort of Lyme Regis offers a range of shops, galleries, cinema & Theatre and there are many cafe’s, bars and restaurants to choose from (see Places to Eat and Drink guide ) .  Lyme also boasts the RNLI lifeboat, boat trips and fishing trips available from the historic cob walls, the Dinosaur Museum, working Water Mill and Bakery and the small and quaint Marine Aquarium with it’s 60 year old lobster!

Further afield heading west…

Seaton (3 miles) – Through Axmouth and along the Axe estuary with its wildlife nature reserve.  The Seaton Electric tramway also operates from here. (open top trams rides to Colyford.  Well worth a trip.  Antiques centre in Colyford)

Beer (6 miles) – Unspoilt fishing village of smugglers and lace making fame. Sheltered pebble beach offering fishing trips and sailing/pleasure boat trips. Beer quarry caves  – learn about the Beer stone quarrymen of 2000 years ago and Pecorama – a must visit for children of all ages (minature railway ride,crazy golf and extensive play areas) .

Branscombe – Pretty seaside village.  Vibrant Beach cafe, shingle beach

Axminster – Market town, variety of shops and supermarket.  River Cottage Canteen (01297 631862), cafe, restaurant and grocery store–Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls Dorset restaurant, cafe and grocery store. Also cookery workshops held at River Cottage HQ just 5 miles away (booking essential via River

Honiton – Historic town, known for antiques shops and cafe’s.

Sidmouth – Elegant town with stunning architecture, pebble beach and lengthy promenade. Shops, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes. Donkey Sanctuary – Free access to meet and learn about adopted and rescued Donkey’s.

Bicton Park – Historical gardens, 19th Century Palm House, woodland railway, a good family day out.

Otterton Mill – working water mill and museum.  Lovely cafe and studios of local work.  Shop selling locally milled flour and groceries.

Exmouth – Long sandy beaches with sand dunes and a promenade.  Several cafe’s, mainly open air. Family holiday resort.

Topsham – lovely fishing village with good range of shops, cafe’s restaurants and antiques centre.  Boat trips provided from the quay to a lovely riverside pub. Darts Farm, Topsham – retail shopping centre, Fired Earth, Aga, Orange Tree.  High quality local produce and gifts.  Great Fish and Chip cafe, good indoor cafe/restaurant, children park, animals and PYO fruit and veg in summer months.

Further afield heading east….

Charmouth – Pebble beach, great for fossil hunting.  Charmouth Heritage Coast education centre and Beach Cafe.  Traditional shops, several pubs and fish and chip shops.

West Bay – Traditional fishing town and harbour.  Shingle beach, popular family seaside resort.  Selection of fish restaurants, pubs and cafe’s

Chideock – winding roads leading to a wide open shingle beach, flanked by fabulous cliff top paths. Great pub, “The Anchor” (01297 489215 ) lovely to eat outside.

Bridport – Historic Dorset market town. Street markets held every Wednesday and Saturday, Farmers market on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Art centre, galleries, museum.

Eype – secluded, quiet shingle beach, accessed via winding country lanes.  Great walks along beach and cliff top paths.  Golden Cap.

Burton Bradstock – Further along the coast, very pretty village with several small shops and pubs.  Great beach cafe “The Hive” (01308 897 070) at National Trust beach.

Abbotsbury – Another very pretty Dorset village. The Sub-tropical gardens, Swannery and childrens park are all well worth a visit, albeit a little pricey.