East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty



River Otter
The coastline is the main attraction of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the westernmost 18 miles of the Jurassic Coast, between Exmouth and Lyme Regis. These two towns are excluded from the protected area, as are Sidmouth and Seaton, also along this part of the coast, though another seaside resort, Budleigh Salterton, is included. The western half of the coast is lined by richly-coloured red sandstone, while to the east, the sea cliffs are mostly pure white chalk.

The coastal bluffs are subject to landslips and in many places the coast path runs some way inland to avoid uneven terrain from previous disturbances, but much of the shore can also be explored at beach level, at least around low tide. Major sections, from west to east, include Budleigh Salterton to Ladram Bay, Ladram Bay to Sidmouth, Beer Head, and Axmouth to Lyme Regis.

Inland, the 103 square mile AONB includes the lower reaches of the valleys of the River Otter, River Axe and River Sid, together with scattered woods and much picturesque farmland, crossed by narrow, winding lanes. Two other geological features of interest are East Hill, a lengthy but narrow ridge covered by ancient beach coppices and conifer plantations, and the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, a group of commons and rough grassland with acidic soils, underlain by river-deposited pebbles from the Triassic era: a rare example of a lowland heath. The northern boundary of the AONB, partly defined by the A35, runs just south of the larger towns of Honiton and Axminster.



Coastline



Axmouth to Lyme Regis
Axmouth to Lyme Regis
Cliffs, beaches and landslips along a remote, 7 mile section of the Jurassic Coast

Rating: ★★★★
Beer Head
Beer Head
Sheer cliffs, sea caves and scenic beaches along the Jurassic Coast. Also many summer wildflowers

Rating: ★★★★
Budleigh Salterton to Ladram Bay
Budleigh Salterton to Ladram Bay
Red-rock coastline east of the River Otter; sheer cliffs above narrow, inaccessible beaches and marine terraces

Rating: ★★★★
Sidmouth to Ladram Bay
Sidmouth to Ladram Bay
Red sandstone cliffs, isolated beaches and large sea stacks; part of the Jurassic Coast

Rating: ★★★★★

Nature Reserves



Bystock Pools
Bystock Pools
Varied nature reserve with a lake, several smaller pools, heath, scrub, grassland and woodland

Rating: ★★★★★
Venn Ottery Nature Reserve
Venn Ottery Nature Reserve
Heath, rough grassland and a spring-fed raised bog, home to rare plant species

Rating: ★★★★


Map of Featured Locations