Budleigh Salterton

Street Map

Budleigh Salterton is a small town on the south coast of Devon, England, 15 miles south of Exeter. It is situated within an Area of Outstandi.ng Natural Beauty designated East Devon AONB.

Budleigh Salterton is a gateway town to the Devon and East Dorset Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Budleigh lies at the mouth of the River Otter, where the estuary forms an area of reed bed and grazing marsh, an important haven for migratory birds and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The town is almost entirely residential, with most businesses being situated in the High Street, Fore Street and Station Road (at the High Street end). It came bottom in a 2003 survey of towns giving value for money to homebuyers. Near the town centre is a park, known as The Green. Budleigh Salterton is also home to East Devon Golf Club.

Fairlynch Museum is a small museum housed in a listed thatched building. It covers the history and geology of the region, and offers exhibitions and a local archive.

Budleigh is on the South West Coast Path, with clifftop routes eastward to Sidmouth and westward to Exmouth. The pebble beach and cliffs are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, although this is an arrangement of geographical convenience, rather than being correct from the geological time point of view. Much of the geology is Triassic, represented by bunter sandstone (Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds) and the area is also known for the radioactive nodules containing vanadium and uranium in red marl at Littleham Cove.

The birthplace of Walter Raleigh is a couple of miles to the north, at Hayes Barton, near East Budleigh and the town is the location for the painting The Boyhood of Raleigh by Sir John Everett Millais. A blue plaque affixed to The Octagon commemorates Millais’ stay in the town.

Budleigh has the following regular events:

  • Gala Week – a series of fundraising events, organised by the Lions, held during the last week in May.
  • Festival of Music and Drama – the inaugural festival took place in August 2005, and is now an annual event.
  • Budleigh Salterton Jazz Festival – held annually in April.
  • Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival – held annually in September since 2009
  • Active Budleigh Festival – sporting activities and events.
  • Budstock – a bi-annual one-day festival featuring local bands, usually at the beginning of August.
  • Sundown – an annual 3 day computer arts demoparty, held every September since 2005.
  • Imperial College Operatic Society visits Budleigh Salterton for two weeks in late July / early August (every year since 1966) to perform a musical.
  • Christmas Day swim on Christmas morning
  • Boxing day raft race down the River Otter, residents and groups make rafts and launch them down the river from Otterton to Budleigh

Budleigh Salterton is situated 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 town service) and the 57C (one journey each way) to Exeter and Bicton College.

The town is twinned with  Brewster, Massachusetts, USA.

  • In the song “(Now) I know (where I’m going) our kid” by the parody group The Shirehorses, Budleigh Salterton is cited satirically as being on the road to Scotland.
  • The character Giles Wemmbley-Hogg portrayed by Marcus Brigstocke in the radio programme Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off lives in Budleigh Salterton.
  • Budleigh Salterton was used as a location for Jeremy Clarkson to review the Bentley Continental GT in a 2003 episode of Top Gear. He described the name Budleigh Salterton as the sort of name an owner of a Bentley Continental GT would have – and “Britain’s most overpriced, dreary place.”
  • In an episode of Blackadder the Third, after one of his failed get-rich-quick schemes, Mr. E. Blackadder exclaimed “I don’t believe it! Goodbye Millionaire’s Row. Hello Room 12 of the Budleigh Salterton Twilight Rest Home for the Terminally Short of Cash!”
  • Referred to in Blithe Spirit – “What ever is wrong with Budleigh Salterton?”
  • Budleigh Salterton is referenced briefly in an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “The Cycling Tour”.
  • The town Budleigh Babberton in the Harry Potter books is named after this town.
  • Budleigh Salterton was mentioned in an episode of Granada Television’s adaptation/dramatisation of the Sherlock Holmes story Charles Augustus Milverton (aired under the title, “The Master Blackmailer”) as an intended honeymoon location. In the original account by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, however, this location (as well as the entire scene) was never mentioned, so it cannot be relied upon as canon under Holmes lore.

The Jurassic Coast stretches over a distance of 153 kilometres (95 mi), from Orcombe Point near Exmouth, in the west, to Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck, in the east. The coastal exposures along the coastline provide a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning approximately 185 million years of the Earth’s history. The Jurassic Coast contains a large range of important fossil zones.

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