Thursday, 17 March 2011

SIDMOUTH

The story of Sidmouth’s development into its present guise repeats a familiar pattern. Starting out as a fishing village, it became fashionable as a resort during the Regency period. Apart from the inevitable graceful Regency seafront hotels and other buildings, there are some striking examples of architecture dotted around the town. For example, Beach House, which by means of a blue plaque proclaims itself the “first building on Sidmouth’s seafront”, built in 1790, has a distinctive facade with church-like windows and an intricate balcony on the first floor, the Gothic features having been added during the 1800s. Sidmouth received a royal seal of approval in 1819, when the Duke and Duchess of Kent arrived in the town along with their daughter Victoria the future Queen, although the visit was marred by tragedy when the Duke died of complications arising from a bad cold.

Looking to the east from Sidmouth’s seafront, the eye is drawn towards the enormous red cliffs towering up from the beach down below, forming one of the most dramatic stretches of this fiery-hued coast. The name of the town is derived from the River Sid, and there is a large riverside park called The Byes for which funding is being sought to develop it into a rich habitat for wildlife.

Probably the biggest and best known event in Sidmouth’s annual calendar is its Folk Week, which takes place in the height of summer. The festival takes place in a variety of venues around the town, and very family-friendly including activities such as music and dance workshops and art and craft activities.

For a list of events in Sidmouth, see here.

Map of the area.

File:Sidmouth Esplanade - geograph.org.uk - 1494844.jpg
Photo by Ian James Cox, via Wikimedia Commons

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