Seaton Visitor Centre Trust
 
Jurassic Coast
 
 
 
Seaton Visitor Centre Trust
Seaton Beach

Walking

From Gentle, Local Strolls by the Sea and Estuary
to Long Distance World Heritage Coast Path Adventures

Seaton BannersThe World Heritage Coast around Seaton covers some of Britain’s best walks particularly those which go through the two Landslips. The seven mile walk through the Axmouth Undercliff is featured in many “Best Walks” books. It is dramatic but difficult to access. The walk from Seaton to Branscombe, through the Hooken landslip, is also dramatic but easier to walk through and round. Both walks are major interpretive tools of the topography and geology of the World Heritage Coast.

It would be our intention to ensure that both these walks receive maximum exposure as “essential” experiences for the fit and active visitors who choose to start their World Heritage walks from Seaton. At times these could be accompanied walks where local wardens and naturalists could talk about their formation of the landslips and the subsequent changes, the evolving wildlife, etc. These walks could be geared to specific interest groups, age groups and specialism's such as wildlife photography, botany, etc.

Another great plus point for Seaton is that it could be a base for anything from the most gentle, level walks, (some of which can be experienced by those with disabilities or with children in pushchairs) to the most challenging, taking in every type of walk in between.

A volunteer group of local walkers is already primed to be available for visitors who would like to be accompanied by a local guide. Many of these guides would be willing to donate any fees to the Visitor Centre. Some of the walks could be led by “History” guides rather than walkers and would tell the story of the Town and its relevance to the World Heritage Coast.

Some walks are already popular, indeed, the Inner and the Outer Heritage Trails around Seaton are already well signposted and leaflets are available (see Attachment 2).

Better local trail maps will be essential and local volunteers are already working on updating trails and maps already in existence. It is suggested that local schools could design and produce such maps with a “corporate identity” based on the Centre.

Longer walks could be undertaken one way only with the return journey by bus (particularly the X53), boat (water taxi or Stuart Lines) or via Seaton Tramway. Several local groups, notably Axe Vale and District Conservation Society, already organise a very full programme of local walks, many of them linked with World Heritage Coast themes, which could be integrated into the Centre’s programmes.

Some of the trails and walks we have identified so far include:

Grade A (easy)

  1. Colyford Nature Reserve by footpath (4 miles)

  2. Axmouth Village, via estuary-side path (3 miles)

  3. Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve and Hide by footpath (2 miles)

  4. Inner Town Trail (2 miles)

  5. Local Art Exhibitions and Galleries

  6. Open Spaces eg. Honeyditches (a Roman site) and Tracey’s Field (2 miles)

  7. Promenade walk Beachcombing and rock pools (beginners)

  8. Cliff Field Gardens and labyrinth

  9. Axmouth Harbour – boats and barnacles, fishing for crab by line

  10. Renewable Energy walk. See solar and wind power systems

  11. Seaton Churches and the Woodland Burial Site (3 miles)

  12. “Seaton in Bloom” gardens in the summer

  13. Wartime locations, and stories around Seaton

  14. Historic Buildings (2 miles)

  15. Axmouth via the estuary (4 miles)

  16. Sustrans cycle trail (for walkers) to Colyford

Grade B (moderate)

  1. Seaton Hole faultline via Beach (2 miles) – grade B or C depending on route and tides

  2. Around Seaton Heritage Trail (4 miles) by various paths through distinctive habitats
    (a trail guide already exists)

  3. Beachcombing and rock pools (intermediate and advanced)

  4. To Beer over White Cliff – which can be combined with visits to Pecorama or Beer Quarry Caves or the Marine Heritage Centre (4 miles)

  5. Walking part of the Undercliff through the golf course and back through Axmouth

  6. Seaton Down Hill to Holiford Woods

Mixed ability

  1. Trails based on the novel “Winefred” (see History Section)

  2. Part/full Undercliff walks (7 miles one way)

  3. Part/full Hooken landslip/Branscombe walks

Longer Distance Walking

Seaton is well placed on the national SW Coast long distance footpath to explore the coast in both directions. It is about 25 miles from Exmouth at the western end of the World Heritage Coast and about 75 miles from Swanage at the eastern end. By foot Seaton is truly an exceptional “gateway” to the whole coastline and walking is probably the best way to see and appreciate the many dramatic and diverse geological features.

Some potential themed walks based from Seaton:

  1. To Charmouth and its Heritage Centre for the fossil story

  2. To Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast

  3. Inland to the head-waters of the River Axe

  4. Smuggling

  5. Wildlife walks eg. Rare species

  6. Walking events linked with The Ramblers or The Long-distance Walkers Clubs

  7. To the Norman Lockyer Observatory

Some typical organised walks are:

  1. Lincombe Butterfly Conservation

  2. Undercliffs English Nature

  3. Goat Island AONB botany

  4. Chasm AONB botany

  5. Goat Island English Nature & Axe Vale and District Conservation Society

  6. Beer Head Botany AVDCS

  7. Beer Beach Rockpooling, Devon Wildlife Trust

  8. Axe estuary Botany AVDCS

  9. Undercliffs English Nature

Golf

Somewhat unusually the Axe Cliff Golf Club is sited on the Undercliff and many holes are played from the top of the cliff overlooking the Landslip. Few Nature Reserves can claim a Golf Club within their limits and views from the course are spectacular.

 
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