Sidmouth has some spectacular gardens, parks and meadows around the town, some huge and some hidden away. Whilst in the town visiting or even if you live or work here, they can be a relaxing place to walk around or sit and watch the world go by. These award wining gardens are beautifully kept and relaxing all year round.
Located at the very heart of Sidmouth lies Blackmore Gardens. Once the gardens to Blackmore House, now no longer standing, the gardens were acquired by the District Council in 1952 and made a public park.
The Gardens contain beautiful flower beds, large areas of grass and a greenhouse containing a fountain and exotic plants. There are traces of the historical garden walls which originally grew wall climbing fruits. Blackmore Gardens also host part of the Sidmouth Folk Week with craft and food tents and dancing.
Here's where Blackmore Gardens are located.
Connaught Gardens are located at the western end of the Esplanade part of the way up Peak Hill. The Gardens are named after His Grace, The Duke Of Connaught. Strategically placed looking out over the coast line and out to sea, they played an important roll in the defence of the South Coast during The Second World War.
They contain a Showhouse, Topiary Gardens, Jungle Explores, views along the cliffs, Jacob's Ladder and the Clock Tower Cafe.
Here's where Connaught Gardens are located.
Built in 1810 the original cottage Orne was built under the personal supervision of Lord Le Despencer. Improved over the years with additions and collections from T.L. Fish the house and gardens grew. The house is now currently the Council Offices but the grounds remain as a public park.
Here's where Knowle Gardens are located.
The byes is a huge long park hat runs from Sidmouth to Sidford, roughly 2km in length and cotains Margaret's Meadow. 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.
You can find out more information on the Byes here including the Byes Walk.
Margaret's meadow is located at the bottom of Livonia Road in Sidmouth and is roughly half way to two thirds form the Toll House entrance of the byes. It contains a great trail for dog walkers, walkers and kids and also is home to an English Oak feature in Sidmouth's Arboretum.
Here's where The Byes and Margaret's Meadow are located.
The Glen Goyle park is a beautiful secluded area in the Manor road part of the town. It stretches from near the Royal Glen Hotel to the top of Cotmaton Road.
Here's where The Glen Goyle is located.
The Knapp Copse Local Nature reserve is located at the top of Peaslands Road and also has an entrance at the top of Alexandria Road. With many attractive walking routes through the park there is plenty to take in. There are stunning views across the Valley at the peak of the park and a pond at the bottom with stepping stones.
Here's where The Knapp Copse is located.
Sidmouth has a great abundance of beautiful Public Gardens, Parks and Meadows.
Returning after a sell out run in last years summer rep season and presented by Paul Taylor Mills
By John Buchan.
Call the Mano Pavilion on 01395 514413
Find out more at the The Manor Pavilion website.
The Manor Pavilion Theatre, Manor Road, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8RP.
An evening of adventure awaits in John Buchan's The 39 Steps at the Manor Pavilion in Sidmouth.
For over 100 years the Norman Lockyer Observatory has been host to a society of around 300 members. This has grown from the Sidmouth and District Astronomy Society and the Sidmouth Amateur Radio Society. Founded by Sir Norman Lockyer in 1912, the observatory was a centre for astrophysical and geophysical research until the 1980s.
East Devon District Council became the owners of the site in 1984, giving the societies increased access and better use of the facilities. In 1995 the two societies join together and formed the Norman Lockyer Observatory Society maintaining the site and giving the public increased access.
From top left - One of the powerful telescopes - One of the Observatories telescope domes - The picnic area
Membership is open to all with all members entering into the same class and are free to enter all the groups and activities. Details of memberships can be found here.
Throughout the year the Norman Lockyer Observatory provide courses to assist people in expanding their knowledge in a variety of different subjects. Courses generally run on Saturdays for most of the day and booking in advance is advised. Details on the courses, Intro to Astronomy and Intro to Imaging can be found on this page of their website.
The Observatory is open from a variety of times throughout the year all of which can be found on the updated page here.
From top left - A Dome hidden in the hillside - The lecture hall - The Norman Lockyer Observatory site
Looking to pursue a new hobby or interested in the universe already? then try the Norman Lockyer Observatory.