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Axminster

National Rail | station code AXM

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The historic market town of Axminster is famous for its carpets, first made in 1755. A Town Trail leaflet is available from the Heritage Centre. Axminster is a convenient transport hub with buses from the station forecourt to places on the nearby Jurassic Coast including Seaton, Lyme Regis and Charmouth.
TI Heritage Centre, tel. 01297 34386.

Axminster booking.com Devon holidaycottages.co.uk Devon National Trust Holidays

Axminster Heritage Centre ½ mile

Axminster Heritage Centre tells the story of the town including the local carpet and brush industries. Temporary exhibitions programme.
Open Apr-Oct, M-F 1000-1600, Sat 1000-1300. Nov-Mar, TTh 1000-1600.
www.axminsterheritage.org

Axe Valley Wildlife Park 1 mile

A small and child-friendly zoo mostly aimed at children under 12 years old. Café and picnic area.
Open TWThFSSu from 1000, closing time varies.
www.axevalleypark.co.uk

Axminster map

Seaton Tramway by bus then ¼ mile

The narrow-gauge electric tramway from Colyton to Seaton (see below) follows the route of the original railway to Seaton which closed in 1966. The 25 minute journey passes beside the River Axe for much of the way. Restaurant at Colyton.
Open Apr-Oct, trams daily, see website for times and other dates.
www.tram.co.uk
Bus 885 from Axminster station forecourt to near Colyton Tramway Station (¼ mile walk). Beware that the tramway is poorly signposted and there are no bus stops - after Whitford watch for a Victorian lamp post at the road junction. 13 minutes journey, M-S every 1-2 hours. Operated by Axe Valley Mini Travel.

Seaton Tramway Colyton station map

Seaton by bus

Seaton is a seaside town and fishing harbour with a shingle beach. It is at the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site which stretches from Exmouth to Swanage.
Bus 885 from Axminster station forecourt to Seaton Marine Place, 29 minutes journey, M-S every 1-2 hours. Operated by Axe Valley Mini Travel. You can also travel on the Seaton Tramway from Colyton.

Seaton Jurassic by bus

Visitors to Seaton Jurassic take a journey through 4.6 billion years of Seaton's history. Café.
Open mid Feb-Oct, Daily 1000-1600.
www.seatonjurassic.org
Bus see Seaton above.

Axe Valley Heritage Museum by bus

Displays cover the history, archaeology, geology and natural history of the lower Axe Valley. Admission free.
Open Jun-Sep, M-F 1030-1230, 1415-1700.
www.devonmuseums.net
Bus see Seaton above.

Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve by bus then ¾ mile

A freshwater grazing marsh with a bird watching hide. The reserve attracts wildfowl and wading birds, plus dragonflies and butterflies in summer. Admission free.
Open at all times.
Bus see Seaton above, then ¾ mile walk.

Seaton map
Holidaycottages.co.uk
Holidaycottages.co.uk
Holidaycottages.co.uk

Pecorama by bus

Home of PECO the manufacturer of model railway track and accessories, the site includes the Beer Heights Light Railway with miniature steam locomotives, gardens and play areas. Model Railway Exhibition with detailed layouts in various gauges. Restaurant and café.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700. Nov-Mar, Model Railway Exhibition only, see website.
www.pecorama.co.uk
Bus 885 from Axminster station forecourt to opposite entrance turning (on right), watch for the Pecorama signpost shortly after Beer village centre, there's no marked stop. 44 minutes journey, M-S infrequent but suitable for visiting, extra journeys return from Beer village centre (½ mile downhill). Operated by Axe Valley Mini Travel.

Lyme Regis by bus

Lyme Regis has been popular as a seaside resort since the 18th century. Georgian houses line the steep main street down to the harbour. The old harbour ½ mile to the west of the town is known as the Cobb. The Lifeboat Station is on the Cobb and usually open to visit daily. The area is rich in fossils and Lyme Regis is at the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site which stretches from Exmouth to Swanage.
TI Church Street, tel. 01297 442138.
www.lymeregis.org | www.jurassiccoast.com
Bus X51/X53 from Axminster station forecourt to Lyme Regis Post Office, 22 minutes journey. M-S hourly, Sun & BH infrequent. Operated by First. Buses also operate from Dorchester and Weymouth.

Lyme Regis Town Mill by bus

Guided tours of the restored working watermill. Other buildings house craft studios and galleries. Garden. Café.
Open Daily, see website for times.
www.townmill.org.uk
Bus see Lyme Regis above.

Lyme Regis Museum by bus

Lyme Regis Museum is built on the site the home of Mary Anning who made some of the most significant geological finds of all time. The museum displays a spectacular collection of fossils and it is a good place to learn about them. Displays also cover Lyme's history, geology and literary associations. Great sea views.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700 (1600 Sun). Nov-Mar, WThFSSu 1000-1600.
www.lymeregismuseum.co.uk
Bus see Lyme Regis above.

Dinosaurland Fossil Museum by bus

A traditional museum with a collection of local Jurassic marine fossils housed in a converted church. Also shells and skeletons.
Open Mar-Oct, Daily 1000-1700.
www.dinosaurland.co.uk
Bus see Lyme Regis above.

Marine Aquarium by bus then ½ mile

A variety of local fish and other marine life on display. Nautical items. History of the Cobb. Tel. 01297 444230.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700. Please see website for winter opening.
www.lymeregismarineaquarium.co.uk
Bus see Lyme Regis above.

Lyme Regis map
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays

Charmouth by bus

Charmouth is a traditional seaside village with a large shingle beach (½ mile from bus stop). Charmouth is at the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and a great place to look for fossils.
www.charmouth.org | www.jurassiccoast.com
Bus X51/X53 from Axminster station forecourt to Charmouth, opposite Church, 33 minutes journey. M-S hourly, Sun & BH infrequent. Operated by First. Buses also operate from Dorchester and Weymouth.

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre by bus then ½ mile

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre has impressive fossil collections and you can find out how to discover your own fossils on the beach. Guided fossil hunting and rockpool exploring walks are available. Admission free.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1030-1600. Nov-Mar, MFSSu 1030-1600 but subject to change.
www.charmouth.org
Bus see Charmouth above.

Charmouth map

Golden Cap and Langdon Hill NT by bus then 1½ miles

Golden Cap is a high flat-topped hill of orange sandstone on the Dorset coast. Its summit at 627 feet (191 m) is the highest point on the south coast with spectacular views east to Portland Bill, west to Start Point (in Devon) and inland to Dartmoor - well worth the effort of the uphill walk! Nearby Langdon Hill woodland is part of the extensive Golden Cap estate, there's a 1½ miles circular walk around the wood with great views of the surrounding countryside including Golden Cap. Bluebells can be seen in spring.
Open at all times.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/golden-cap
Bus X51/X53 from Axminster station forecourt to Chideock, Bridge, then 1½ miles walk. 43 minutes journey. M-S hourly, Sun & BH infrequent. Operated by First. Buses also operate from Dorchester and Weymouth.

Golden Cap and Chideock map
Dorset Hideaways
Dorset Hideaways
Dorset Hideaways

Bridport by bus

Bridport is a historic rope and net making town, it's port is at West Bay, 1½ miles south at the mouth of the River Brit.
TI South Street, tel. 01308 424901.
www.bridportandwestbay.co.uk
Bus X51/X53 from Axminster station forecourt to Bridport Bus Station, 55 minutes journey. M-S hourly, Sun & BH infrequent. Operated by First. Buses also operate from Dorchester and Weymouth.

Bridport Museum by bus

Housed in one of Bridport's oldest buildings the Museum covers the history of the town and local area including the Jurassic Coast. Rope and netting collection with working machinery. Fossils. Events and exhibitions programme. Admission free.
Open Apr-Oct, M-S 1000-1600. Nov-Mar, see website.
www.bridportmuseum.co.uk
Bus see Bridport above.

Bridport map

Abbotsbury by bus

Abbotsbury is a very old village with picturesque stone buildings including thatched cottages. Little remains of the ancient Abbotsbury Abbey except an archway which can be seen just south of the church. Abbotsbury is a 1¼ miles inland from Chesil Beach which can be reached by following the South West Coast Path. A combined ticket is available for the Children's Farm, Swannery and Subtropical Gardens.
www.jurassiccoast.org

Bus X53 from Axminster station forecourt to Abbotsbury, Ilchester Arms. 90 minutes journey. M-S 2-hourly, Sun & BH infrequent. Operated by First. Buses also operate from Weymouth.

Abbotsbury map

St Catherine's Chapel EH by bus then ½ mile

On a hill overlooking Abbotsbury and its Abbey, St Catherine's Chapel was built by monks in the 14th century as a place of pilgrimage and retreat. There are spectacular views of Chesil Beach below. Admission free.
Open any reasonable time.
www.english-heritage.org.uk
Bus to Abbotsbury, Ilchester Arms (see above) then ½ mile (uphill).

Swannery by bus then ¾ mile

Abbotsbury Swannery is home to the only managed colony of free-flying mute swans in the world. Nesting and hatching take place from late May into June and this is a particularly good time to visit. Visitors can help hand feed the swans. Café.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700
www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk/swannery
Bus to Abbotsbury, Ilchester Arms (see above) then ¾ mile.

Subtropical Gardens by bus then ½ mile

A magnificent Victorian walled garden in a woodland valley with a micro climate that allows rare and exotic plants to thrive. Nature trail and adventure play area. Teahouse.
Open Daily 1000-1700 (1600 Nov-Mar).
www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk/gardens
Bus to Abbotsbury, West Street (just beyond village), then ½ mile.
The Subtropical Gardens are 1 mile from the Ilchester Arms at the centre of Abbotsbury.

Explorer Map 116 (includes Axminster, Seaton & Lyme Regis to Bridport)

Explorer Map OL15 Purbeck & South Dorset (includes Abbotsbury)

Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall

South West Coast Path Guide, Exmouth to Poole

Pathfinder Walks Guide South Devon

Pathfinder Walks Guide Dorset