- About this route
The Devon coastline not only played a strategic role in the active defence of Britain and the Allied invasion of Normandy, it also served to provide a training ground, particularly for the Royal Air Force. Anyone walking the South West Coast Path between Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth would be hard-pressed to miss a simple, single-storey brick-built structure at Brandy Head. Today this building offers the passer-by a place to sit in peace, perhaps picnic, and look out over the English Channel, but its origins are less serene.
Constructed in July 1940, this was a bombing range observation post, monitoring the gunnery training range of Lyme Bay. The range was used for both air-to-air, and ship-to-air combat training, including by Navy fighters from Yeovilton firing at flying target tugs put out from Haldon Airfield. Brandy Head was also reputedly used for the testing of rocket artillery fired by planes stationed at RAF Exeter at steel land-based targets and at sea-based buoys.
The observation post is now holiday accommodation but the benches outside are available to anyone walking along the South West Coast Path.
- Getting Around
By bus: Otterton is served by the 157 service between Exmouth and Sidmouth. Budleigh Salterton is served by the 357 service from Exmouth, the 157 service from Sidmouth, and the 58 service from Exeter City Centre. Timetable available at Travel Devon.
By road: The nearest parking to Brandy Head can be found at the Lime Kiln Long Stay Car Park, Budleigh Salterton. Alternatively park roadside in Otterton.
On foot: Directly alongside the South West Coast Path at Brandy Head. Accessed from the west via Budleigh Salterton, from the north via Otterton, or at a greater distance from the east via Sidmouth.
- The nearby charming town of Budleigh Salterton has many of the facilities expected to ensure your visit is an enjoyable experience.