The Sail Loft and adjoining Beach Hut rooms are available for one night on Sunday 27 July. The views overlooking Budleigh beach, the South West Coast Path and Lyme Bay are stunning!
Over the years Budleigh Salterton has certainly played host to some of the countries best loved figures. From the beautiful 1950's actress Belinda Lee to BBC broadcaster Sue Lawley and now Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel. A lot of lovely ladies have graced Budleigh’s seafront but before they had even tottered by, a much larger than life character hailed from the area.
The poetic aristocratic, exploring solider turned politician (and even spy!) Sir Walter Raleigh was born in East Budleigh, that’s just a pebble's throw away from Budleigh Salterton. Born into a yeoman family, Raleigh’s father was the church warden of All Saints Church and his mother was related to Kat Ashley, Queen Elizabeth’s governess. Raleigh’s beginning in life was humble and he was born in the farmhouse of Hayes Barton, located on the edge of Woodbury Common. Unfortunately Hayes Barton is no longer open to the public but there is a lovely walk around Woodbury Common that allows you to view the house from the road.
Raised in a strongly Protestant family, Raleigh had many near escapes during the reign of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary; as a result he developed a hatred of Catholicism and was eager to prove himself to the Protestant Queen Elizabeth when she came to the throne. Before serving in the Huguenot army in France he studied at Oxford, and became a favourite of Queen Elizabeth after serving in her army in Ireland. He was knighted in 1585 and within two years became captain of the Queen's guard and even became mayor of Plymouth from 1588 – 1589.
As if all this glory and power wasn’t enough for Raleigh, he had bigger ambitions on his mind and during the late 16th Century was granted the right to explore America. On his travels he named, what is now the state of Virginia after Queen Elizabeth and paved the way for many more English settlements to flourish.
However Raleigh’s good fortune did not last and in 1603 after the death of Queen Elizabeth, he was arrested just down the road in Ashburton and imprisoned in the Tower of London due to his involvement in a plot to overthrow King James. Ever the showman, Raleigh conducted his own defence and although receiving a guilty verdict, King James spared his life. He did however spend the next 13 years imprisoned in the tower, where he lived with his family and servants and wrote his first volume of the ‘Historie of the World’.
In 1616, he was released and undertook an expedition in search of El Dorado or the ‘city of gold’. During the expedition he defied King James’ instructions and fought the Spanish outpost of Sanot Tome de Guayana where his son was fatally shot. Outraged by Raleigh's attack Count Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, demanded that King James reinstate Raleigh's death sentence and in 1618, Raleigh was beheaded in the Palace of Westminster.
We think you’ll agree with us when we say that Raleigh was certainly a character, there’s even a legend that he laid down his cloak for Queen Elizabeth to walk across so her feet wouldn’t get wet and while we can’t promise quite that level of hospitality at Pebbles, we will certainly do our best to make your stay as comfortable as possible. While visiting Budleigh and the surrounding areas there is lots of Raleigh based fun to be had.
After your walk around Woodbury Common (ask Richard for top photography spots) your first stop will be East Budleigh and the All Saints Church. Here, Raleigh’s parents are buried so take time wandering around the beautiful graveyard and find their headstones for yourself. Next, take a look inside the church where you will find the family coat of arms displayed on one of the church pews. The church actually has Saxon stone embedded within the walls and dates predominantly back to the 12th Century. It’s definitely worth taking a look inside as well as the beautiful surrounding area. Admire the 80 foot high bell tower, which currently holds 8 bells, the same bells that Raleigh would have heard across the fields almost 500 years ago!
In 2006, a statue of Raleigh by Vivien Mallock was erected, funded by Biritsh American Tobacco. Raleigh is believed to be credited with introducing tobacco to England! Once you’ve admired the statue why not drop into the Sir Walter Raleigh Inn on East Budleigh high street, where you will receive a warm welcome, delicious food and some of the counties most authentic ales. Then it’s time to head back to Budleigh Salterton to view The Octagon that is just across the road from Pebbles. It was here that Sir John Everett Millais painted ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’ which was inspired by the area and painted while the artist was staying on Fore Street in Budleigh Salterton. Look out for Millais’ blue plaque on the side of the black building as you walk to the sea front.
After all this Raleigh-ing about it’s time to come back and relax in Pebbles’ conservatory or garden, over looking the beautiful beach and sea with some tea and home made cake, perfection!
Due to a late cancellation the Boat House room is available for one night on Wednesday 16th July. The weather forecast looks good, why not come to Pebbles and enjoy the view! Sorry, now booked........
Due to a late cancellation we now have the Lighthouse room available for one night on Sunday 6th July. Why not come to Pebbles and enjoy the view!
Due to a late cancellation we now have the Boat House room available this Friday 4th and Saturday 5th July - first come,
We also have the Lighthouse room available on Thursday 3rd July and Sunday 6th July.
We were delighted to welcome Clare Balding and BBC Radio 4 producer Lucy Lunt to stay at Pebbles on Friday May 23rd. They had just completed a walk on Dartmoor along the River Teign from Fingle Bridge to Castle Drogo. On Saturday morning after a hearty Pebbles breakfast they met up with 'The Diamond Ramblers' for a circular walk starting from Otterton, a small village near Budleigh Salterton.
The Diamond Ramblers is made up eleven ladies from East Devon who met up at a local slimming club and who decided to accelerate their weight loss by walking. They have been together for just over two years now and despite most of their group being over 60 their weekly walks together vary from 7 to 13 miles.
Cilla Franks, one of the members, explained “as a group, we have lost 36 stone between us! Our walks help to improve our fitness and keep the weight off, whilst enjoying the gorgeous countryside around us.” She added “One of our members suggested I write to Clare, saying that we thought a group of 60 year old (ish) ladies could be an inspiration to listeners who are overweight, unfit, or both, and think they’re too old to do anything about it. We’re living proof that it’s never too late! Clare and Lucy, her producer, said they wanted to do a waterways walk and I immediately thought of the River Otter and the coastal path. Afterwards, we always finish up at Otterton Mill for some tasty soup and gorgeous bread”.
‘Ramblings’ is presented by Clare and follows her as she joins notable and interesting people on a walk through the countryside. This new series (Series 27) has a watery theme, as Clare walks along rivers, lakes and streams. In this episode the ladies share some of their thoughts with Clare on dieting, being overweight and the tremendous value they've found in walking out together.
The Diamond Ramblers walk airs on BBC Radio 4 Thursday 26th June at 15:00 and again on Saturday 28th June at 06:00 (times may be subject to change). It will be the last episode of the current series.
Due to a late cancellation we have the Lighthouse room available for one night this week, Thursday 5th June
The weather has been glorious in Budleigh over the last few days and the diary is now full for May. The beach and the beach huts have recovered from the February storms and it's been lovely to see people out enjoying the early summer sunshine. We have limited availability for June so book soon and experience the fabulous sea views from your bedroom, the breakfast conservatory and garden.
The diary is filling up fast now that the summer is nearly upon us. If you'd like to come and stay at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast by the Beach and enjoy a delicious AGA cooked breakfast while you gaze out to sea book soon! We only have limited availability for May and June........
We'd heard reports earlier this year that a family group of three wild beavers had been filmed together on the River Otter. It is thought that this could be the first such sighting in the English countryside in hundreds of years. We were determined to get a look at the infamous Otter beavers!
After numerous walks along the banks of the River Otter since our arrival in Budleigh in February this year we were delighted to finally see and photograph a Beaver going about his business on Tuesday 29th April. We have to thank Chris Townend, www.wisebirding.co.uk , a local birder and wildlife watching guide, for tipping us off that he'd seen a beaver the previous evening. We'd also like to thank 'Dave' from East Budleigh who was watching the said beaver when we arrived on the riverbank that evening. We were lucky that the conditions were perfect for photography, the beaver was beautifully illuminated by the evening sunshine.
The three beavers are European and they were filmed in February this year by Tom Buckley, an environmental scientist. The footage shows them grooming themselves, playing together and gnawing at the base of trees. There is also clear evidence of the presence of wild beavers on the river banks where trees can be seen to have been chewed and cut down. The footage of the beavers has been analysed by Beaver expert Derek Gow who suggested that one of the beavers is an offspring and could be at least two years old and appears to be "fat and healthy". This would be the first time in centuries that European beavers have bred in the wild in England. Beavers were once widespread in the UK but were hunted to extinction in England and Wales for their fur and meat.
It is a mystery where the beavers have come from. Devon Wildlife Trust has been running a Beaver Project since 2011. An adult and female were introduced in north west Devon but these beavers are secure in their compound and are not the source of the beaver family in the River Otter.
Alongside beaver prints otter tracks and spraint have been recorded indicating that they may have been interacting with the wild otters present in the river.
For us and many other interested locals the beavers are a welcome addition to the local environment. Beavers are known as "ecological engineers" creating habitats for a host of other species by building dams and digging burrows and ditches. Their dams slow rivers down, reducing scouring and erosion and improving water quality by holding back silt. Some naturalists have called for the reintroduction of beavers in certain areas to alleviate the problems caused by the recent wet weather and flooding....
At Pebbles Bed and Breakfast by the Beach we’re lucky to be just a short stroll from Fairlynch Museum and Arts Centre, a unique thatched museum depicting the local history of Budleigh Salterton and surrounding area. This free-to-visit museum is home to a wealth of resources on the town and the area, and also holds special events throughout the Spring and Summer, making it a 'must-see' if you’re staying at Pebbles or just visiting Budleigh for the day. Fairlynch is open from April to September and currently has a special exhibition ‘the Great War at Fairlynch’ for 2014.
The museum was first opened in 1967 as a way of collecting together information about Budleigh, and is one of few museums to have a thatched roof. Typical of a 'marine cottage' Fairlynch was built in about 1811 for ship owner Matthew Lee Yeates. The house is Grade II listed and has a double-wing staircase which is unusual for a house of this size. It has a lovely decorative garden considered to be a Budleigh showpiece.
Fairlynch is particularly excellent if you want to learn more about Budleigh and the surrounding area, with exhibits on geology, local history and regular themed exhibits on events relating to the area. It also has a dedicated library with family records if you want to explore your own genealogy.
The museum collection has around 4,000 items, which include everything from examples of local Honiton Lace and lacemaking equipment, a costume collection dating from the 1700s, antique dolls, displays on the history of fishing in Budleigh (fish is still sold on the beach when the skull and crossbones flag is flying!) and Budleigh's smuggling past, fossils and minerals from the nearby cliffs. You can also see Roman artefacts dug up from the surrounding area, as well as prints and photographs that detail Budleigh’s past.
This year Fairlynch is hosting a special exhibit commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of World War One. The ‘Great War at Fairlynch’ exhibition includes features on the part played by Budleigh residents and soldiers from East Budleigh, Otterton, Colaton Raleigh and Newton Poppleford, shown through a collection of letters, photographs and other records from the period.
Fairlynch is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 4.30pm, and is closed on Mondays. Open from April to Sunday 28th September, and again in October half-term. We certainly recommend that you visit the Museum whilst staying in Budleigh. Click here for more information on Fairlynch.
The Budleigh Jazz Festival will be celebrating it's fourth year in 2014. The Festival is now well established and the line up for this year continues the policy of music for all tastes. Stars appearing at the Festival include Elaine Delmar, Pete Allen, Ken Peplowski, Georgina Jackson, Julian Marc Stringle, Craig Milverton and The Pedigree Jazz Band featuring Chris Walker and Roger Marks.
The location for the Festival is the Budleigh Public Hall, Budleigh Salterton with events starting on Good Friday 18th April - Easter Monday 21st April. In addition Louise Parker will be appearing at the Britannia Inn, Knowle on Thursday 17th April.
For a full list of events and ticket prices, click on the link below:
There are several great running routes available for Budleigh Salterton, which can allow you to make the most of the beachfront and the country lanes around the town. Longer runs can also take you up to Otterton and Knowle, while more ambitious runners can take part in the Jurassic Coast 10K and the Bicton Blister, popular runs that are held every year in the local area.
Where to Run in Budleigh
Some of the runs suggested by residents of and visitors to Budleigh cover short to middle distance routes through the town and into nearby villages. One run, the ‘Budleigh loop,’ starts from Jubilee Park and Northview Road, only a short walk from Pebbles. You can head up from Northview Road to West Hill, before running east along the High Street and Marine Parade; from there you can go up Coastguard Hill, turning up East Budleigh Road and onto the B3178 via Kersbrook Lane. Loop back through Knowle Village and join back up with Exmouth Road to return to Jubilee Park.
You can also run along the River Otter in a loop. Starting from either Otterton Mill or Budleigh, you can take an approximately 5km route that lines up with the river. If coming from Otterton, you can start from Fore Street, before crossing the river at South Farm Road and running back up to the village. This run is ideal if you want to see some of the local wildlife and birds further out from the town centre.
There are two major races held in and around Budleigh every year; these include the Jurassic Coast 10K, which raises money for Cancer Force, and starts from the seafront before heading around the River Otter and the Coast Path in a loop back to Lime Kiln Car Park. This year’s Jurassic Coast 10K will be held on the 23rd of March 2014. You can also look out for the annual Bicton Blister, a 10 mile run that’s usually held in November; this race begins and ends at Bicton College, and circles through the countryside and Woodbury Common.
For a small town, Budleigh Salterton has been surprisingly well represented in popular culture. While some of the mentions of Budleigh Salterton in popular culture have been a bit ironic, the town has a special place for many authors and humourists looking to tap into its reputation for peace and quiet. What, then, are some of the major popular cultural appearances of Budleigh over the years?
Author J.K. Rowling was an undergraduate student at nearby Exeter University, and based many of the Harry Potter series’ locations on places in the area. Budleigh Salterton is (loosely) represented by the town Budleigh Babberton, which features in the book The Half Blood-Prince. However, the town’s inland spot might put it closer to East Budleigh than the Budleigh beachfront.
Budleigh is the hometown of Giles Wemmbley-Hogg, a clueless young man who travels around the world in Marcus Brigstocke’s radio series Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off. Other comedy mentions of Budleigh can be found in Blackadder the Third and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
One of the more famous mentions of Budleigh comes in Noel Coward’s play and film Blithe Spirit. This 1940s farce features an author who’s haunted by the ghost of his first wife. When she berates him for having spent their honeymoon in Budleigh, the author replies with the fitting question ‘what’s the matter with Budleigh Salterton?’
Find some more examples of Budleigh in popular culture here.