Colyton The ‘most rebellious town in Devon’

About this route

The East Devon Way is a 40 mile (64km) route which runs parallel to, and inland of, the coast of East Devon between Exmouth and Lyme Regis. Towards its eastern end, it goes through Colyton, one of the larger settlements on its route, although still a small, compact and very attractive place.

This walk is based around Colyton, circling to the south of the town across valleys and higher land, and then uses the East Devon Way to return to the town alongside the charming River Coly.

Getting Around

Colyton is served by a regular bus service from Honiton and Seaton, as well as from Taunton. There is a less regular service to and from Exeter. Colyton also has the scenic Seaton Tramway linking to Seaton on the coast.

Colyton (shops, pubs, tearooms, car park).
Two steady but not especially steep climbs.
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Interesting information

Colyton has an early origin, being one of the first settlements established by the Saxons in Devon. The complex street pattern is almost certainly of Saxon origin. It was documented as ‘the most rebellious town in Devon’ as it supplied more men in the Duke of Monmouth’s rebellion of 1685 than any other town.

As you follow the road signed to Seaton, you will have superb views over the Axe Valley. On the hilltop opposite are two Iron Age hill forts, Boshill to the left above the village of Musbury and Hawkesdown to the right, above Axmouth.

The parish of Colyton is remarkable for the number of farms whose names end in ‘hayne’ or ‘hayes’. These date to early medieval times when new settlements were being made in the area. Many of these settlements became the homes of small local squires.

As the walk joins the East Devon Way the route is waymarked with a foxglove symbol and mauve arrows. Back in Colyton, the market square dates back to the 1400s when the market town was an important centre for wool, cloth and lace.

Photo of fields alongside a river with cows and a bridge in the background
Colyton Copyright Trevor Harris, licenced for reuse - geograph.org.uk

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Photo of a stream through fields on the East Devon Way

East Devon Way

This 38 mile/60km path takes you from Exmouth in the west to Lyme Regis, Dorset in the east, and follows