Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

A Day in Regency Sidmouth

I recently went, as a passenger, on a Coach Trip to Sidmouth, on the South Devon coast.

This was one of the trips run by Woods Coaches of Leicester. They are a very good company, and in fact the company from whom I hire coaches for my own excursions.

And as usual on these trips, I was able to sit back and enjoy, without any onerous responsibility!

Sidmouth was a tiny fishing village until the explosion of interest in the seaside in the late 18th century. It then grew to accommodate well-to-do people.

Queen Victoria stayed at Sidmouth when she was a little girl, and her father, the Duke of Kent, died there.

As is my wont, I looked for a nice teashop – very important to me, that. Out of a pretty big selection for what is only a little town, I chose the Willow Tree in Church Street. A good choice – I had a very nice cup of coffee and a tea cake.

Later on, I visited the Royal London tea rooms, and had a jolly good cream tea.

Sidmouth is built in a gap between the red sandstone cliffs facing Lyme Bay, through which the little River Sid reaches the sea.

A very good innovation at Sidmouth is the Hopper Bus. This started life as a Park and Ride service, but has been extended to run along the seafront from the Alma Bridge in the East to the Connaught Gardens in the West.

I tried the service, and it’s certainly very useful, especially in the very hot weather. The Hopper is in its third year, but has been extended this year to be a more frequent service.