Things to do in Axminster, Devon

Welcome to Axminster, a charming town located in the heart of Devon, England. With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and friendly locals, Axminster offers a delightful experience for visitors. From exploring the famous Axminster Carpets to indulging in delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this quaint town.

Things to do

Visit the Axminster Museum

Located in the heart of Axminster, the Axminster Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The museum showcases the rich heritage of the town, with exhibits ranging from archaeological finds to local crafts and industries. Learn about the history of Axminster carpets, which have been produced in the town since the 18th century. Explore the displays of local fossils, including the famous Jurassic Coast specimens. The museum also offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.

Discover the Charm of Axminster Old Town

Take a stroll through Axminster Old Town and immerse yourself in its charming atmosphere. The narrow streets are lined with historic buildings, many of which date back to the medieval period. Admire the beautiful architecture and explore the local shops, cafes, and pubs. Don't miss the opportunity to visit St. Mary's Church, a Grade I listed building with a rich history. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the River Axe, which runs through the town and offers picturesque views.

Visit the Axminster Arts and Crafts Centre

If you're interested in arts and crafts, a visit to the Axminster Arts and Crafts Centre is a must. The centre showcases the work of local artists and craftsmen, offering a wide range of unique and handmade products. Browse through the art gallery and shop for paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and more. You can also participate in workshops and classes to learn new skills or improve your existing ones. The centre is a hub of creativity and a great place to support local artists.

Explore the Axminster Heritage Trail

Embark on a journey through Axminster's history by following the Axminster Heritage Trail. The trail takes you on a self-guided tour of the town, highlighting its historical landmarks and points of interest. Discover the stories behind the buildings and learn about the people who shaped Axminster's past. The trail is well-marked with informative plaques, making it easy to navigate. It's a great way to explore the town at your own pace and gain a deeper understanding of its heritage.

Visit the Axe Valley Wildlife Park

Located just outside Axminster, the Axe Valley Wildlife Park is a fantastic destination for nature lovers. The park is home to a variety of animals, including lemurs, meerkats, wallabies, and birds of prey. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and observe the animals in their natural habitats. The park also offers educational talks and feeding sessions, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the wildlife. Don't forget to visit the on-site cafe and gift shop for refreshments and souvenirs.

Enjoy a Meal at River Cottage Kitchen

Indulge in a culinary experience at River Cottage Kitchen, located near Axminster. This renowned restaurant offers a farm-to-table dining experience, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The menu features a variety of dishes inspired by British and international cuisines, all prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail. Whether you're a meat lover, vegetarian, or vegan, you'll find delicious options to satisfy your taste buds. The restaurant also offers cooking classes and events for those interested in learning new culinary skills.

Take a Trip to Lyme Regis

Just a short drive from Axminster, Lyme Regis is a picturesque coastal town that is well worth a visit. Known for its fossil-rich cliffs and sandy beaches, Lyme Regis offers a range of activities for visitors. Explore the famous Cobb, a historic harbour wall featured in the novel 'The French Lieutenant's Woman'. Take a walk along the beach and search for fossils, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning views. Visit the Lyme Regis Museum to learn more about the town's geological and maritime history.

Go for a Hike in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Axminster is located in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails that wind through the countryside. Enjoy breathtaking views of rolling hills, lush valleys, and picturesque villages. The area is home to a diverse range of wildlife, so keep an eye out for birds, butterflies, and other creatures. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, there are trails of varying lengths and difficulties to suit all abilities.

Visit Forde Abbey and Gardens

Located a short distance from Axminster, Forde Abbey and Gardens is a historic estate that offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Explore the magnificent house, which dates back to the 12th century and features stunning architecture and period furnishings. Wander through the beautifully landscaped gardens, which include a formal parterre, a walled garden, and a tranquil lake. Don't miss the chance to visit the tearoom, where you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea or a light lunch. Forde Abbey also hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year.

Attend a Performance at the Marine Theatre

If you're a fan of live performances, make sure to catch a show at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis. This historic venue hosts a variety of events, including plays, concerts, comedy shows, and more. Enjoy a night of entertainment in a unique and intimate setting. The theatre is known for its diverse program, featuring both local talent and renowned artists. Check the schedule in advance and book your tickets to experience the vibrant arts scene of the area.