Sidmouth, a hidden gem tucked between the Jurassic Coast and the East Devon AONB.
With its Triassic red cliffs and Regency styled esplanade, Sidmouth is a unique and special seaside town that appeared in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Sedemuda, a fishing village which has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age.
As with many coastal areas, it wasn’t until the late 1800’s when fashion for visiting seaside resorts was at its height that the village grew into a town, with Georgian and Regency buildings still lining the seafront today.
Much of the charm of Sidmouth still remains, and it is one of the few coastal areas in the South West that is thriving year round, thanks to a large local population, and eclectic independent businesses and eateries that encourage people from the surrounding areas to visit.
There are so many truly fabulous independents on the streets of Sidmouth, but here are our top must visit shops and restaurants in the area:
As a family run jeweller with over 40 years of experience, offering beautiful antique second-hand and bespoke jewellery, we offer an alternative to the mainstream. With services including jewellery repairs, bespoke jewellery design and expert advice on anything from engagement rings to cufflinks, we are more than just an antique jewellery shop, and we love to pass our knowledge onto our customers.
This quintessential seaside hotel is a boutique gem with a luxury spa and outdoor pool, close to the beach and with views across the bay. They do a delicious afternoon tea (which we're rather partial to), and their restaurant has fabulous views across Sidmouth.
We are big fans of reducing plastic waste, and this beautiful sustainable local produce shop is a fantastic addition the high street. With a range of household refills, sweets, alcohol and more this is a great visit for stocking up the pantry.
Next to the beautiful Sidmouth Parish Church of St Giles and St Nicholas is a corner cafe full of warmth, scones and fabulous coffee.
With Jamey and Lois offering a friendly smile with fabulous service, you have the choice of sitting in the warm bustling interior, or outside where you can admire both the Church and the wonderful Church Street.
A treasure trove of books, with a fantastic selection for children, this independent bookshop is able to order in almost any book, and usually next day. Friendly advice, and lovely little gifts to boot, you will pop in for a quick read, and leave with a tote bag, three children's books and a bookmark (that's our experience anyway)!
Libra Court (Something Lovely Pottery and more...)
Tucked away off the main high street, not far from the sea front is this fantastic little enclave of independent businesses. Run by Em Swallow, who also owns Something Lovely Pottery (most Sidmouth children have a 'beautifully' painted unicorn somewhere in their bedroom), you can find a pop up shop offering local businesses the chance to sell on the high street, alongside art work, crafts and a lovely little cafe.
If you take a stroll up Church Street you will find a wonderful stretch of otherworldly shops that wouldn't look out of place transported to the 1800's. One of these shops is a truly magical sweet shop offering traditional English sweets, with a huge selection available, wonderful for children to pick and choose what they would like, and it's rare the parent will leave empty handed either!
A staple of Sidmouth, Fields has been in the same location it is now since 1809 and as an independent business offers first class service alongside an array of well known and loved brands from clothing and shoes, to homewares and make up.
Some of the best cake Sidmouth has to offer, this is a business that has to keep expanding due to their success. Make sure to visit on an empty stomach though - their helpings are plentiful and filling!
Crane and Kind gives Sidmouth the pop of colour it never knew it needed.
You can't miss this pink shop at the bottom of Old Fore Street, and the window displays draw you in to a beautiful selection of baby, children and adult clothing alongside toys and accessories.
Framing, crafting supplies, paints and more. This shop is a must visit for the creative soul and they have a lovely collection of local art to purchase too.