Top five places in Sidmouth to explore and photograph

Updated: Jul 17

A high-up view of Sidmouth's seafront, as seen from High Peak Hill at the western end of the coastline. The photo was taken during summertime at low tide, which reveals the golden sands of this beautiful stretch of the Jurassic coastline.
Golden sands, wildflower meadows and hidden gardens are just some of the treasures in Sidmouth waiting to be discovered. This gem-of-a-view can be seen from High Peak Hill at the Western end of the coast.

What is Sidmouth like? Take a camera and find out

This guide provides the avid photographer (of any ability) with five of my recommended spots around Sidmouth to explore with a camera.

Sidmouth in East Devon is often referred to as the 'jewel in the crown' on the Jurassic coast. It certainly is a beautiful seaside town and a photographer's dream to explore, with an abundance of subjects and locations to discover.

Ever since I was little Sidmouth has been a much-loved place for me and my family. While growing up in nearby Ottery St Mary, I would regularly spend my weekends in the regency town with my mum, dad and three siblings. 

When my father died in 2001 he left me his old SLR Pentax ME camera and that was when I first discovered my passion for photography.

Six years later and my passion became my career. I joined the local newspaper, the Sidmouth Herald, as a staff photographer and I have since explored and photographed nearly every corner of this delightful seaside destination.

Sunset at Jacob's Ladder beach, Sidmouth. Taken from the top of the ladder looking down with a golden sunset bathing the sea in a warm hue.
Golden view of Jacob's Ladder beach.
Join in | Why not join my Facebook Group - Sidmouth Pictures - to see more stunning photos of this wonderful place and share your own.

1. Connaught Gardens

A wild flower bed in Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth. The flowers are in bloom during summertime. There are ruins of the old brick building, which have been preserved and make up the backdrop to the walled gardens.
A wild flower bed in bloom during summertime.

To the western end of the seafront you will discover the beautiful public park of Connaught Gardens.

No visit to Sidmouth would be complete without a stroll around this wonderful secluded area. Maintained by East Devon District Council and the volunteers of local horticultural group Sidmouth in Bloom, these gardens provide any photographer with a near endless array of subject matter. 

There is a different mix of plants and trees to discover in the glorious wildflower beds and don't miss the cacti greenhouse, especially if you enjoy taking close-up pictures.

(Take a look at my macro photography Facebook page - My Little World - to see some examples of the shots you could capture while exploring the gardens).

View of Sidmouth town and seafront in East Devon (UK) from the clifftop walkway in Connaught Gardens. Picture taken in summertime when visitors flock to the town. Many people gather at the end of the walkway to look over the railings at the packed beach and sea.
Looking East across the seafront from one of the many walkways found in Connaught Gardens.

The sights from the eastern side of the gardens are simply beautiful and on a clear day you can enjoy stunning views right across the seafront, towards Salcombe Regis and beyond.

There is a small, fairly hidden, old stairway that connects Connaught Gardens to the walkway and beach below - but be careful; it is steep and not for the feint-hearted.

The Connaught Gardens bandstand in the heart of the grounds. Picture shows the striking, unique, architecture of the roof-covered stage during summertime with beautiful flowers in the foreground and a sunny blue sky with puffy white clouds.
The bandstand where many performances take place, especially during the annual week-long Folk Festival (first week in August).

In the very heart of the grounds you will find the bandstand and lawn, which is the place to be to enjoy the many public performances throughout the year. You can often watch the Sidmouth Town Band in concert here, as well as a whole host of other musicians and dance groups, performing during Sidmouth Folk Festival week in the summer.

There's nothing quite like taking a picnic along and sitting back to enjoy the live music and dance. See my gallery from Folk Festival 2018 for more pictures of this fantastic event.

Remember to keep an eye on the notice boards by the steps to Manor Road for a list of upcoming events and remember to take your camera along!

Remember to keep an eye on the notice boards by the steps to Manor Road for a list of upcoming events and don't forget to take your camera along.

At the western end of the gardens you will find The Clock Tower Cakery & Restaurant - a welcome place to stop for a coffee and cake and enjoy the glorious views across the water. While you are here, don't miss my exhibition in the restaurant where you can also purchase some of my work.

When you are ready to continue your photographic adventure then head out through the picturesque stonewall archway, which beautifully frames High Peak hill and the sea stacks of Ladram Bay in the distance. From here you will discover the steep white steps of Jacob's Ladder, which descends to the pebbly beach below.