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The Byes Riverside Park walk in Sidmouth from the Toll House.

This time of year is a great time to be out and about walking in the beautiful area of Sidmouth. There are acres of countryside to explore so why not begin right in the heart of the town in the Byes.

The Byes Riverside Walk

The Byes Riverside Park The Byes Riverside Park, between the village of Sidford and The Old Tollhouse, is one of Sidmouth's most important green spaces. About 2km in length, The Byes is made up of the many fields and meadows surrounding the River Sid, which is the smallest river in Devon at just over 6 miles long. The Sid Vale Association (SVA) Natural Reserve forms a major part of The Byes. It was purchased to encourage wildlife conservation and to provide free public access for residents and visitors to enjoy in perpetuity.

Useful information The paths through The Byes are shared by both pedestrians and cyclists. Well-controlled dogs are welcome everywhere, apart from in the Community Orchard, which is a dog-free area. If you would like to find out more about the Byes Riverside Park, then please contact The Friends of the Byes, on, or phone the Parks Department at East Devon District Council. For information on the SVA, please visit

The Byes Riverside Walk

The Toll House

You are standing lust inside the most well-used part of The Byes Riverside Park, called The Lawn. The Toll House here is thought to have been built for the Honiton and Sidmouth Turnpike Trust in 181 7, with the new bridge alongside providing a more accessible crossing than the ford Oust 5 minutes walk downstream).

The Lawn has a more formal character, with a wide variety of specimen trees complementing the elegant villas along the boundary, mostly now hotels and guest houses. The oldest trees might have been planted as much as 300 years ago and are now being supplemented with a wide variety of younger trees, which will one day take their place.

The Byes are used for orienteering as well as informal recreation and maps of the course can be obtained from the Information Office, the Museum or the National Trust shop.

Where can I go next?

A 5 minute walk north along the River Sid into The Byes will take you into Sid Meadow and The Community Orchard, where a variety of apples trees specific to the West Country has been planted. Walking onwards in a northerly direction will take you to the tranquil meadows owned and managed by The Sid Vale Association.

It will take you around 35 minutes to walk as far as Sidford, at the other end of The Byes, or turn off earlier, towards Fortescue, to explore Soldiers Hill, Enjoy the tranquility of this peaceful stretch of river landscape, look out for kingfishers, and dippers, or watch for trout jumping.

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