Around Cadhay – what to see and do in the Otter Valley and East Devon
Cadhay is located just outside of Ottery St Mary, an attractive parish town on the River Otter some ten miles from Exeter and six miles from the sea at Sidmouth. Mentioned in Domesday in 1086, the town is the birthplace of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is probably most famous today for its annual Tar Barrels, an event that takes place each year on Guy Fawkes Night when the tar barrels are set alight and carried through the streets of the town by local residents. Apart from this extraordinary happening, Ottery is a peaceful and beautiful town that has all the amenities, including excellent independent shops for local food as well as one of the best wine merchants in the South West.
East Devon is an ideal place to enjoy walks, along the lovely Otter Valley, around West Hill and Woodbury Common, and on the South West Coast Path. The nearby coastal stretch that extends across East Devon and West Dorset takes in the so-called Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, covering some 95 miles of stunning coastline with rocks recording 185 million years of the Earth’s history. Each stretch of coast tells its own history, from the red sandstone cliffs of Exmouth and the smooth East Devon pebblebed that washes out to sea at Budleigh Salterton, to the chalk white cliffs of Beer and Lyme Regis’s fossil-laden Undercliff.
In seaside towns such as Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth, to the west, and, to the east, Branscombe, Beer, Seaton, Lyme Regis and West Bay you can explore prehistoric geology or pursue traditional seaside activities alike.
In addition to walking, East Devon is great for cycling along quiet, near traffic-free lanes.
Attractions near to Cadhay include Escot, Bicton Park, Seaton Tramway, The Donkey Sanctuary and Crealy all of which will appeal to families. Otterton Mill is extremely popular for its arts and crafts, food and nearby walks. Sporting activities include swimming at Sidmouth and Honiton; Leisure Centres at Ottery St Mary (fitness suite and dance studio) and Honiton; watersports on the Exe; golf at Honiton, Woodbury and Budleigh Salterton; and a range of outdoor activities on Dartmoor including rock climbing, canoeing, orienteering and more.
Devon in recent years has emerged as one of the best regions in the country for local, quality food and drink. There are outstanding independent food shops, producers, excellent pubs and restaurants, all virtually on the doorstep.
Devon is a compact county. From the seaside to the grandeur of wild Dartmoor, over rolling green pasturelands and thickly wooded forests, and from town and city to rural and quiet country, it is a place that deserves to be visited and explored.
Cadhay is your ideal base for discovering this fabulously beautiful region.
Jayne Covell, Cadhay house manager, knows Cadhay and the area intimately and is happy to advise on your stay.
Listed below are some suppliers which might be helpful in planning your stay here:
Christopher Piper One of the best independent wine merchants in the South West
Country Farm Butcher
Crusty Cob Bakery
Joshuas Harvest Store Farm shop with good local foods, fruit and veg and much else
Ginny Lyons Catering Our recommended outside caterer
We can recommend two excellent pubs serving food not far from Cadhay:
The Golden Lion at Tipton St John
The Five Bells at Clyst Hydon
Only slightly further afield, we can also recommend the following outstanding food destinations:
Darts Farm at Clyst St George near Topsham - a food lover's destination
Jack-in-the-Green at Rockbeare - award-winning gastro-pub and restaurant
River Cottage HQ - the headquarters of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - courses, food shop, canteen
Hix Oyster & Fish House at Lyme Regis - outstanding fish and shellfish in Lyme Regis