Axminster in East Devon sits close to the Dorset border, around 6 miles from the Jurassic Coast and on the southern edge of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Axminster is famously home to The River Cottage Canteen and Deli which showcases the finest seasonal South West local produce in its award-winning restaurant and deli. The town also famously lent its name to a particular weave of carpet, Axminster Carpets, first made here in 1755 by Thomas Whitty. Visit the Axminster Factory Outlet for traditional patterned Axminsters available to purchase at outstanding value prices! Axminster has its roots in Celtic times – the Saxons settled here in the 7th century but much older ancient Iron Age forts surround the town. Many examples of historic architecture are dotted in around the centre including the Saxon church of St Mary and a selection of beautiful Georgian houses.
Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool and local attractions include Burrow Farm Gardens with welcoming tea rooms. The East Devon and Dorset Jurassic Coast is within easy reach, and Axminster’s border location makes it a perfect gateway into Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Accommodation in this beautiful rural Devon area only a few miles from the coast includes stunning spacious barn conversions and country caravan parks perfect for families. Cosy cottage retreats for two and an exceptional choice of luxury holiday cottage accommodation are widely available. Axminster and its rural surrounds pushing into the Blackdown Hills AONB also contains a collection of award-winning, Grade Listed farmhouse B&Bs.
Museum, Gardens & Historic Attractions
Discover the town’s ancient history at the Axminser Museum with old police cells, courtroom and exhibits of the famous Axminster carpets. Local archaeological finds and old photographs of the town are also on display. The museum is housed in what was the old police station and courtroom – admission is free. Visit nearby Forde Abbey House and Gardens, a spectacularly beautiful building with equally stunning gardens. As well as being available for weddings and special events, Forde Abbey has a tearoom, plant centre and gift shop, making a great day out for visitors to the area. Two magnificent National Trust heritage attractions are in the Axminster area including Shute Barton Manor dating back to the Middle Ages and Lambert’s Castle, a fine example of a surviving Iron Age Fort. Musbury Castle is another fort in the area and the site of the Musbury Castle challenge which sees competitors run seven miles over the hills around the area.