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7 Great Reasons to live in... Exmouth, a great Devon seaside town

PUBLISHED: 08:31 26 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:25 20 February 2013

7 Great Reasons to live in... Exmouth, a great Devon seaside town

7 Great Reasons to live in... Exmouth, a great Devon seaside town

Anna Turns meets the locals who share a passion for Exmouth and the vibrant mix of music, arts, culture and sports the town offers

Anna Turns meets the locals who share a passion for Exmouth and the vibrant mix of music, arts, culture and sports the town offers



Renowned for its two miles of golden sands, Exmouth has been a popular holiday resort since the 18th century. Now The Strand is being transformed into a proper piazza with a pedestrianised market place and an open-air performance stage for showcasing Exmouths performers. Town Mayor Darryl Nicholas explains that Exmouth is now a great example of community working closely alongside local businesses to regenerate the town.




Exmouth Rocks



The town is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, Englands first natural World Heritage Site. The geoneedle monument at Orcombe Point marks the start of this special coastline which stretches east for 95 miles to Dorset, through 185 million years of history and great fossil hunting territory.



This coast also offers fantastic rockpooling, great for kids of all ages, as marine biologist Charlotte Coleman knows all too well. Here at Maer Rocks I have set up a marine education business, Seafaris, because so many people including locals who have always lived here just dont know whats here right under their nose. No one makes enough of the amazing marine life we have here on the estuary.




Seafood



Fisherman Myles Blood Smyth works on the estuary 360 days a year and loves to SCUBA dive here. The Exe estuary is sensational for mussels, says Myles who runs the Exmouth Mussels Company. We are probably the biggest mussel farm in the region, producing 500-600 tonnes of mussels a year, and because the Exe estuary is so protected from waves, its the ideal spot to farm mussels.



And only six miles from Exmouth docks, The Greendale Farm Shop has also recently opened their own fish shop for great local fish and seafood.


For adrenalin junkies



Kitesurfer Eric Bridge has lived in Exmouth for nearly 20 years where he runs Edge Watersports with his wife, Steph who was born and brought up here. The Exe is a great place as it offers a lot of different watersports, from kitesurfing to paddleboarding. The Exe is there for ordinary people, and locals will be on the water all throughout the year. For sailing and wind-powered sports, the Exe is wide and more open than other South Devon estuaries, and the Duck Pond is more sheltered without the strong rip. Our three young boys love it here, theyre out on the water after school as much as possible.



Eric also regularly uses the new cycle path which links Exmouth to the beautiful village of Lympstone, and will eventually go to Exeter. But if straight lanes arent your cup of tea, try mountain biking at Woodbury Common, or take centre court at Exmouth Tennis and Leisure Centre at one of their six great indoor courts in the heart of town.




For families



With a carousel, fairground, donkey rides and beach huts for hire, Exmouth offers everything for a traditional family day out at the seaside. Throughout the season there are plenty of town events too, from the Bear Festival, Kite Festival and the main Exmouth Festival.



Exmouth Festival has expanded from 2 days to 9 days because theres just such a diversity of things going on in the town, and the locals are all very enthusiastic, says Town Manager Tony Collins. The infamous sand sculpture competition is a much-loved part of the Exmouth Festival, with some teams spending hours building their specially designed creations.



For wildlife enthusiasts



Exmouth is a mecca for birds and twitchers alike, especially in the winter season when the rare avocets, a distinctive black and white wading bird, are the highlight. Stuart Line Cruises and the RSPB run wildlife and birdwatching cruises. About 8 years ago, Myles Blood Smyth, who SCUBA dives in the estuary regularly, found a seahorse on the mussel beds. The seahorse was badly damaged, so I passed it on to the Seahorse Trust and they have still got it in their aquarium, says Myles. Its amazing what you can find in the water here.


Behind the lens


Createxe is a group of artists, photographers and designers living and working in Exmouth who post a different piece of their art online every day (www.createxe.co.uk/365). Local photographer Daniel Smith uploaded the first of 365 daily images taken at Maer Rocks in Exmouth, showing the combination of glorious sunset and wonderful seascapes on offer. Daniel says We can truly say Exmouth Rocks!



In the Spotlight


The local community is home to the lively Exmouth Musical Theatre Company, and the Blackmore Theatre is owned by the Exmouth Players who can trace their roots back to 1910 when the Exmouth Amateur Dramatic Club was founded.


People cant say theyre lonely in Exmouth theres always something going on, no matter what age you are, says Tina Burke who works for Stuart Line Cruises. From the towns own noisy Samba band, Street Heat to the Exmouth Shanty Men, theres something for everyone.

Getting There


By car: 20 mins from Exeter and M5, follow the A376 south.
Satnav ref: EX8 1NZ
By train: Exmouth is connected to the mainline at Exeter, trains every half hour.
By boat: pedestrian ferry across the Exe to Starcross in summer.
Tourist Information Centre: Alexandra Terrace, Exmouth.
01395 222299

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