Ladram Bay to Sidmouth

About this route

The views from Ladram Bay to Sidmouth are some of the most dramatic on the East Devon coastline. Both Ladram Bay and Sidmouth are situated on the Triassic Otter Sandstone. This is the same sandstone which, at depth, is an important oil reservoir at the Wytch Farm Oilfield near Poole.

Among the more impressive sights along this stretch of coast are the sea stacks at Ladram Bay. The sea hollowed out caves in the relatively soft Otter Sandstone and these, in time and with the further action of the sea, came to form arches of rock separate from the main cliff. Eventually, these arches collapsed, leaving the stacks we see today. The base of the stacks is formed of a harder band of sandstone and this is preventing their complete destruction by the sea.

Getting Around

On foot: one of the best ways to get to Ladram Bay is by following the South West Coast Path from either Budleigh Salterton or Sidmouth. Please take care whilst walking along the coastline.

By bus: regular services run between Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth. The Sidmouth Hopper runs to Peak Hill in the summer. See for latest times.

By road: From the A3052 at Newton Poppleford, take the B3178 towards Budleigh Salterton and go through Colaton Raleigh. After one mile turn left towards Otterton and Ladram Bay.

All facilities available in Sidmouth. Large caravan park at Ladram Bay with facilities.
Access to Ladram Bay via steep concrete slipway. South West Coast Path route to Sidmouth is steep and uneven in places.

Interesting information

Towards the south-west of the Bay can be seen some pale pipes in the sandstone, a visual echo through time of the roots of plants that managed to survive in the dry Triassic conditions. Within the cliffs below High Peak and Chit Rocks at Sidmouth a number of very rare fossils of Triassic fish, reptiles and amphibians have been found.

At Windgate Cliffs you can head inland to visit Peak Hill and Mutter’s Moor. These sites overlay an interesting geology in their own right. For example, Peak Hill is underlain by flint gravel that was probably left behind following the solution of an original cover of chalk during the early Tertiary period. These sites also make a pleasing diversion for their wildlife and views, with areas of heath and woodland to be enjoyed.

This stretch of coastline is part of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Site of Special Scientific Interest and World Heritage Site.

Photo looking across Ladram Bay in East DEvon with red cliffs and sandstone stacks
Ladram Bay Credit: Robin Lucas

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