Aerial view of sea and cliffs

Things to do in East Devon

During your stay at Hotel Riviera you should certainly take the opportunity to explore some of the fantastic things to do in East Devon! With copious amounts of delightful villages to visit, rolling countryside to explore and the coastline of East Devon to walk along.

On foot, there are breathtaking walks along the Heritage Coast Trail as far as your legs will carry you. By car, the possibilities are too numerous! Discover all the best things to do in East Devon and make the most of your stay with us.

View over Dartmoor

Local Walks

Here are just a few of the endless things to do in East Devon:

  • Dartmoor; with its mile after mile of ever changing scenery, is of course a ‘must’ for every visitor
  • Just to the west of Sidmouth lies the Raleigh Country. Sir Walter was born at Hayes Barton, in a beautiful Tudor building which is now a farmhouse.
  • Neighbouring East Budleigh is a peaceful village with thatched cottages climbing a steep hill.
  • Due North of here are Bicton Gardens, which were designed by Andre le Notre, who planned the gardens of Versailles, and are of outstanding horticultural interest.
  • South of Sidmouth is Budleigh Salterton, whose sea wall is the setting of Sir John Milais’s’ famous painting ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’.
  • To the north is the small town of Ottery St. Mary, birthplace of the poet Samuel Coleridge. The enormous 14th century church was modelled on nearby Exeter Cathedral.
  • To the East of Sidmouth, the coastline is riddled with shallow caves and was once notorious for its smugglers.
  • A memorable cliff walk links Beer, an enchanting fishing hamlet, with Branscombe, Britain’s second longest village.
  • Axmouth, an unspoilt village with a cluster of cottages, and Colyton, a charming little town with a history dating back to AD 700, should also be included on your itinerary.
Aerial view of sea and hotel

Local Attractions

Hotel Riviera is within easy strolling distance of Sidmouth’s, and East Devon's, many attractions.


Directly opposite the hotel you can enjoy a swim or simply laze on the sand and shingle beach; children love nearby ‘Jacob’s ladder’, which reveals a long stretch of golden sand at low tide. With Sidmouth’s beaches being particularly noted for their cleanliness and water purity, this is of particular importance when considering your seaside holiday.  The warm welcome does not fade with the end of summer either, as Sidmouth’s south facing location, sheltered between pink-faced cliffs, ensures particularly mild winters too!


The mild climate of the area goes some way to explaining the regularity with which Sidmouth wins national and international floral awards, including the Entente Florale Internationale. So, Sidmouth can justly claim to be the floral town of Europe. The Connaught and Blackmore Gardens are an enthusiast’s paradise, and are not only a floral showpiece; they also provide a marvellous setting for the open-air band concerts, as well as having a long association with cricket, going back to 1823, boasting the finest ground in Devon.


Sidmouth, with its enduring architectural charm, is the perfect venue for simply ‘pottering about’. The town centre fully deserves its designation as a Conservation Area, and the shops still retain a tradition of quality and courtesy.