Budleigh Salterton is a small seaside town in East Devon. With a
population of about five thousand, Budleigh has a very relaxed feel to
it and is very popular place to live for slightly more affluent
retirees. The town has a good number of quaint shops and cafes,
beautiful parks and wonderful pebble beach.
The beach at Budleigh is two and half
miles long stretching from Littleham Cove west of the town, to the
mouth of the River Otter at Otterhead in the east. Unlike the golden
sands of nearby Exmouth, the
beach at Budleigh consists of large pebbles (no sand in your sandwiches
here). The promenade with its colourful beach huts, elegant seafront
houses, and seaside cafes passes along the bottom of the low cliffs at
the eastern edge of the town, where it is extended by a sturdy beach
path out to Otterhead. This make for a relaxing and varied stroll on a
warm summer day or evening, and a bracing walk in less clement weather.
The row of trees above the eastern bank at the mouth of the River Otter
has become a defining landmark for the area.
The history of Budleigh Salterton can be traced back to Roman times with remains of a Roman Villa found near Otterhead. Traditionally, agriculture, fishing and undoubtedly some smuggling have sustained the town but tourism and retirement living are more important these days. The Salterton part of the name comes from the Doomsday records of important salt panning industry located at the mouth of the River Otter.
While at first glance the town may appear
sleepy, a slightly deeper look reveals plenty of varied activities with
well established golf,
and lawn bowls clubs,
horse riding school, male voice choir, art club, and
annual music and literary festivals. The town
has Anglican, Baptist
and Methodist churches and an interesting old
Presbyterian chapel in East Budleigh. A short distance from
Budleigh on the road towards Newton
Poppleford and Sidmouth are
the beautiful gardens at Bicton
The reed bed and grazing marsh at the mouth of the River Otter are an important haven for migratory birds and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Swans gliding apparently effortless over the top of the water is a common and beautiful sight.
Sir John Everett Millais painted his famous picture 'The Boyhood of Raleigh' in Budleigh Salterton. The ancient wall featured in the background of the painting can still be seen today. Sir Walter Raleigh was born in nearby Hayes Barton. His father was a church warden of the Church of All Saints at the now adjoining village of East Budleigh where the family pew on the left side of the knave is dated 1537.