Axminster

Most notably famous for its long history of producing exquisite carpets, the bustling market town of Axminster sits close to the River Axe. Ripe with traditional charm, the iconic Saxon Church of St Mary holds prominence in its very own oasis of Minster Green right in the centre of the town. An amble through winding streets showcases the thriving artistic community. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen promotes a fresh, seasonal menu with its emphasis on local produce. Just beyond the town, Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve offers up the possibility to encounter deer, otters and kingfishers, amongst the many other woodland creatures, whilst enjoying a walk.

 

Axminster Aerial View

Things To Do

Axe Valley Wildlife Park
Little ones will fall in love with this child-friendly small zoo nestled in the countryside of the Axe Valley. Designed for all ages, but primarily aimed at being accessible for families with children under 12, Axe Valley Park is home to plenty of animals, including flamboyant flamingos, zany zebra, prickly porcupines and bearded dragons. With plenty of play areas throughout the park children will have the chance to hang loose while their parents treat themselves to tea and cake.

www.axevalleypark.co.uk

Axminster Heritage Centre
Discover the rich history of Axminster with a visit to the Heritage Centre. Explore the exhibitions and shows held here that celebrate the development of modern Axminster from its Bronze and Stone-Age origins. No trip to Axminster would be complete without investigating the famous carpets, and more importantly, why does the bell ring in the Minster Church. Free Entry.

www.axminsterheritage.org

Go Stargazing
Take a trip up to Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve car park in the evening to gaze upon the stars. Far away from major light pollution and with good access, the site has been awarded Dark Skies Discovery Site Status. Take a blanket to keep the chill away while you enjoy the clear night sky.

Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve

Follow A Treasure Trail
Starting from the train station follow the spy-themed treasure trail by discovering and deciphering the sneaky clues set on the buildings and landmarks of Axminster. A great day out for families.

www.treasuretrails.co.uk

 

Eat And Drink

The River Cottage Canteen
The famous and award-winning River Cottage Canteen run by local food hero Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall can be found on Trinity Square. Here the regularly changing menu allows for local, seasonal produce to take the main stage; you will always find something delightful within the fresh, organic and sometimes wild food options.

www.rivercottage.net/canteens/axminster

Le Pisani
A contemporary Mediterranean restaurant with a relaxed, laid-back fiesta feeling. The menu caters well for gluten-free diets and the décor revels in authentic features.

www.lepisani.com

Furzeleigh down Dairy
This farm shop and tea Room is set just outside Axminster enjoying the beautiful Devon countryside. The home-made ice-cream is worth the walk out, let alone the lemon drizzle cake.

www.furzeleighdowndairy.co.uk

The Giant Club
Only open on Friday and Saturday evenings, this restaurant demands booking at least 24 hours in advance. A set six-course menu (with vegetarian alternatives) doesn’t disappoint and the use of locally sourced organic ingredients means that this menu is ever changing. Among recent desserts the strawberries, buttermilk posset and feuilles de brick were an instant hit with the customers. Also, a great spot for cocktails.

www.giantclub.co.uk

The Tytherleigh Arms
A family-run 16th Century coaching inn that offers an exquisite lunch and evening menu. Be aware that the evening is restricted to adults and children over five only. Dogs are welcome in the bar area and outside on the sun-drenched patio. The kitchen is very flexible with dietary requirements and the menu embraces traditional pub classics alongside creative modern twists.

www.tytherleigharms.com

Wild Walks

Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve
As well as being a perfect spot for stargazing, Trinity Hill also provides a stunning circular woodland walk that is perfect for dog owners and adventuring families. Delight in seeking out the often-spotted deer and other wildlife that roam freely amongst the wild flora and fauna. There are two car parks at different entrances to the reserve so you can start your walk from different areas and wander along alternative paths.

www.eastdevonaonb.org.uk

Events & Festivals

MAY

Gourmet Food Walk, Axminster
Taking place from Millers Farm Shop on Gammons Hill, a three-course meal spaced out between three venues over an eight-mile walk. A footed foodie tour of some of the best eateries in and around Axminster.

JUNE

Axe Valley Festival, Axminster
Pop along to this traditional rural show featuring arts, crafts and flower arrangements from the local community. This is a family-friendly day out with stalls and refreshments amongst the crafty exhibitions.

AUGUST

River Cottage Summer Festival, Axminster
An exciting weekend of live music and cooking masterclasses from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his team at the wild food hub of River Cottage. Join in on the foraging workshops and discover the wild ingredients you can find in the hedgerows and clifftops to add to your staple home recipes. Masterclasses to join cover pizza making, sushi, super salads and curry, to name a few.

SEPTEMBER

Axminster Carnival, Axminster
A procession of floats from local groups make their way through the streets of Axminster raising money for local charities. A fairground provides the backdrop for some good old-fashioned family fun. Fancy dress is optional but encouraged.

Shop Till You Drop

Lyme Bay Winery
A visit to the Lyme Bay Winery is a must for anyone interested in the local wine and ciders. Traditional recipes from the West Country inspire the production at this small winery. Drop in for a tasting and pick up some quaffable gifts for others, as well as yourself.

www.lymebaywinery.co.uk

Millers Farm Shop
This family-run farm shop specialises in growing and supplying locally sourced products such as vegetables, plants, dairy and fresh meat from local farms, as well as cider from the Lyme Bar Winery and Perry’s Cider Mill. The owners take weekly trips to France to scour the markets for quality and interesting produce to add to this self-proclaimed ‘Aladdin’s Cave’.

www.millersfarmshop.com

Apple Tree Gift Shop
You are bound to find a little piece of Axminster that will speak to you in this haven of local artist-and-crafters. With over 70 talented individuals contributing to the Apple Tree’s four rooms, this shop is a showcase of the varied creative community surrounding Axminster. You can pick up Artisan Jewellery, ceramics and textiles alongside furniture and other larger pieces.

www.appletreegiftshop.co.uk

Cottages in and around Axminster

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The Peach House

V4890 Axminster, Devon

The Peach House at Symondsdown House has been lovingly converted to provide very good quality accommodation while retaining much c...

Available From £300 for 7 nights
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Changeover: Friday
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
VIEW PROPERTY

The Orangery

V4891 Axminster, Devon

The Orangery@Symondsdown House has been sympathetically converted to offer high quality accommodation while retaining much charact...

Available From £300 for 7 nights
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Changeover: Friday
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
VIEW PROPERTY

Abode April Rise

V6088 Axminster, Devon

A beautifully presented, detached cottage in a delightful, wooded setting not ten minutes drive to the Jurassic Coast and the char...

Available From £305 for 7 nights
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Changeover: Saturday
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
VIEW PROPERTY

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