Branscombe is a village in East Devon located in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and overlooking Lyme Bay. Branscombe sprawls along narrow roads down sharp valleys past pretty thatched cottages and finishes at the shingle beach, Branscombe Mouth, which is part of the Jurassic Coast. Towns and villages within a five-mile radius of Branscombe include Beer, Southleigh, Seaton, Salcombe Regis, Colyford, Sidbury, Axmouth, Colyton, Northleigh, Combpyne, Shute, Sidmouth and Musbury.
Branscombe's main industry is tourism and many visitors each year stay in self-catering accommodation, which is becoming ever more popular, especially Devon cottages. The main reason for this is that cottage holidays allows more freedom to explore the whole of the county without worrying about meal times.
A holiday cottage offers home from home comforts, is much more spacious than a hotel room, often has a garden and some allow pets. A cottage in Branscombe is an ideal starting point for walks on the South West Coast Path, which is situated above the beach and is owned by the National Trust.
Devon is known for its hospitality, as you will find out when you go shopping in Tiverton, Honiton, Newton Abbot, Axminster and the City of Exeter or visit the resorts of Lyme Regis, Teignmouth, Dawlish, Barnstable or Budleigh Salterton. There are two public houses close to Branscombe's holiday cottages, the Fountainhead in the hamlet of Street and the Mason's Arms, which is so named because of the stone quarrying that once took place in the neighbouring Beer stone caves. They sell award-winning ales from the local Branscombe Vale Brewery.
Branscombe has three National Trust properties to visit, Manor Mill, the Old Bakery and the Forge. The 12th century Church of St Winifred has the remains of a medieval wall painting, a large Norman tower and nave at its centre, and an extraordinary example of a three-decked, eighteenth century pulpit. The beach at Branscombe Mouth has loads of rock pools, a thatched licensed restaurant and fishing boat trips if you fancy cooking a mackerel supper in your holiday cottage.
Britain's south west National Parks are great for blowing the cobwebs away, nature and birdwatching, whether you choose to walk, ride or cycle and from a holiday cottage in Branscombe it is easy to travel to Dartmoor or Exmoor National Park. Paignton Zoo is an environmental park that is home to thousands of interesting plants and animals and Living Coasts is their sister attraction in Torbay (Torquay).
Branscombe has several annual events including the Branscombe Air Day and Classic Car Rally and neighbouring Beer has a Regatta Week, Beer Rhythm and Blues festival, Rattenbury Day and Sidmouth its Folk Festival. Holiday cottages will be in demand at the time of special events, so its wise to book early. Attractions not to miss include the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth, Norman Lockyer Observatory and the Pecorama model railway exhibition and gardens.
The weather throughout Devon is mild, but as Branscombe is set in a valley it appears to have its own microclimate and can be warmer and sunnier in the spring than other areas.
Plymouth and Exeter airports serve Branscombe, as does the National Express. The nearest railway station is at Seaton. Buses operating in the area include the Branscombe Coast Hopper.