Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton is a small town on the coast in East Devon, England, 15 miles (24 km) south-east of Exeter. The town lies within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[1] It forms a major part of the electoral ward of Budleigh, whose ward population at the 2011 census was 5,967.[2]

Budleigh Salterton

The seafront looking west towards Exmouth. The red cliffs are around 250 million years old.
Budleigh Salterton
Location within Devon
Population6,575 (2012)
OS grid referenceSY066818
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtEX9
Dialling code01395
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament


Budleigh Salterton lies at the mouth of the River Otter, where the estuary forms an area of reed bed and grazing marsh. This forms an important haven for migratory birds and a Site of Special Scientific Interest for those interested in bird watching. It has a designated area for naturists.[3]

Budleigh Salterton lies on the South West Coast Path, with clifftop routes eastwards to Sidmouth and westwards to Exmouth. The pebble beach and cliffs are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site.

Facilities and transport

Fairlynch Museum is housed in a listed, thatched marine cottage orné dating from 1811. It covers the history and geology of the region, and opened in 1967, offering exhibitions and a local archive. It possesses a large collection of period costumes.[4] The town has a male-voice choir, which performs for charity.[5]

Budleigh Salterton lies on the B3178 and the B3179 ends on the western edge of the town. It is served by three bus routes: The Coasthopper 157 (hourly) to towns Exmouth and Sidmouth, the 357 (hourly to Exmouth, also forming the local town service), the 58 every two hours to Exeter and the 57C (one journey each way) to Exeter and Bicton College. Between 1897 and 1967, Budleigh Salterton was served by a station on the Budleigh Salterton Railway, a line built and operated by the London & South Western Railway, which ran from Tipton St Johns to Exmouth,[6] which is now the nearest railway station 8 kilometres (5.0 mi).


Budleigh Salterton is home to the scenic East Devon Golf Club.[7] Its 11-lawn croquet club (offering croquet, bowls and bridge), founded in the late 1860s, is one of the oldest and largest in the country.[8] The first team of the Budleigh Salterton Association Football Club plays in the South West Peninsula League Division One East. The club also has a second team, a ladies' team and a youth team.[9] In addition, there is a cricket club, a rifle club, and a games club offering tennis, bowls and other pursuits.[10]


Budleigh Salterton Anglicans were originally served by a chapel of ease that came under the parish of All Saints, East Budleigh. As the population grew, this was replaced in the 1890s by what became the parish church of St Peter in 1901. The church was heavily damaged by enemy aircraft bombing on 17 April 1942, but reopened in 1953. Today the Raleigh Mission Community at St Peter's, Budleigh Salterton, and All Saints, East Budleigh, are part of a joint mission with St Michael’s, Otterton.[11]

The Roman Catholic Church is also dedicated to St Peter.[12] The Temple Methodist Church was completed in 1904, to replace an earlier, smaller chapel dating from 1812, built by the bookseller James Lackington, an associate of John Wesley.[13] There is a Baptist church in the town, whose congregation dates back to 1843.[14]

Notable residents

Writer Dame Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, dwells in the town.[15] Charles Warrell, creator of the I-Spy series of children's books, lived in the town from his retirement in 1956 until his death in 1995.[16] The German-born English painter Hubert von Herkomer died at Budleigh Salterton in 1914.

In 2003, Budleigh Salterton featured in episode 3 of series 3 of Top Gear as the destination for a road test by Jeremy Clarkson of a Bentley Continental GT. An episode of the BBC series Blackadder the Third refers to the town. It is also mentioned in Noël Coward's 1941 comedy Blithe Spirit. The town features regularly in the BBC radio satirical series Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off.


  1. "East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Website". Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  2. "Budleigh ward 2011". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  3. Rutherford, Tristan (15 June 2015). "Britain's best nudist or naturist beaches". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  4. "Fairlynch Museum".
  5. "Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir". budleighmvc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  6. "Budleigh Salterton". Disused stations: Closed Stations in the UK. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  7. "East Devon Golf Club". eastdevongolfclub.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  8. "Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club". budleighcroquet.org. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  9. "Bobbies Social and Food Club". bsafc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  10. Activities and Sports at the Wayback Machine (archived 2014-07-09)
  11. "Raleigh Mission Community". raleighmissioncommunity.org.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  12. Catholic Church of St. Peter at the Wayback Machine (archived 2014-08-20)
  13. "Temple Methodist Church Budleigh Salterton". budleightemplemethodist.org.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  14. "Budleigh Salterton Baptist Church". budleighbaptistchurch.org.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  15. Larissa MacFarquhar. "How Hilary Mantel Revitalized Historical Fiction". The New Yorker. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  16. Tucker, Nicholas (30 November 1995). "Obituary: Charles Warrell". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2016.

Further reading

  • Cooper, Andrew (2007). East Devon Pebblebed Heaths: 240 Million Years in the Making. Impress Books. ISBN 978-0-9556239-0-5.
  • Ford, Alan (2002). Mark Rolle: His Architectural Legacy in the Lower Otter Valley. Otter Valley Association. ISBN 978-0-9507534-5-4.
  • The Jurassic Coast Trust (2003). A Walk Through Time, the Official Guide to the Jurassic Coast. Coastal Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9544845-0-7.
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