The Sid which runs down the valley beneath Salcombe Hill trickles out onto the beach close to where the inshore fishermen keep their boats while those red-coloured rocks – which indicate the arid conditions of the geological Triassic period – are slowly being eroded by the sea and it is beginning to seriously threaten many properties close to the South West Coastal Path.
The creation of several artificial offshore islands have helped in a bid to protect the town's seafront – especially opposite the Victoria and Belmont hotels – but it's the erosion just along the coast that is becoming a nightmare for the Environment Agency.
The wooden white painted steps heading from Jacob's Ladder beach up to Connaught Gardens have undergone some serious repairs over the years while the Sea View Gardens themselves, with their traditional bandstand, were actually renamed after Queen Victoria's third son, the Duke of Connaught, who officially opened them in 1834 – at the age of 84!
One thing that has put Sidmouth on the map is music and its annual week-long Folk Festival takes place in August. It attracts musicians and visitors in their thousands who flock to specially-erected marquees in Blackmore Gardens and The Ham. However the main action now takes place in the hamlet of Bulverton on the edge of town, close to the main campsite.
Places to see around Sidmouth
Located in the heart of some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, the two Brend hotels are close to the stunning, unspoilt scenery of Dartmoor National Park with its dramatic moorland landscape. And close by is the lovely 12th century cathedral and excellent shopping which can be had in the county town of Exeter which also boast a popular racecourse, a top notch rugby team and is home to the annual Devon County Show which takes place this week (May 17-20).
There's the picturesque fishing village of Brixham (home to the replica of the Golden Hind); sailing and windsurfing havens of Exmouth, the lovely mile-long beach at Seaton and the charming and friendly market town of Honiton.
Also close by is Budleigh Salterton, one of Devon’s most unspoilt and tranquil coastal towns while Agatha Christie’s cherished holiday home of Greenway (now owned by the National Trust) is set on the banks of the River Dart.
There's some glorious scenery and the ancient Cobb at Lyme Regis, the pretty and traditional village of Branscombe; and the dramatic Geoneedle stone sculpture at Orcombe Point with its beautiful coastal backdrop.
Meanwhile the two Brend hotels are the ideal base from which to explore the amazing Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site that draws visitors from all over the world and which has been described as a unique ‘geological walk through time’.
Alan and Jo Wooding stayed at both The Belmont and The Victoria hotels. Summer break prices start at £152 per person per night at The Victoria in a standard double room which includes a full English breakfast and five-course dinner. The Belmont's Summer prices are from £132 for a standard double per person which also includes a full English breakfast and a six-course dinner.
Many thanks to Tim Beauchamp, Matthew Raistrick and Sue Bradbury of SBPR Ltd for arranging our stay at both the Belmont and Victoria hotels which are part of the Brend Hotels Group which won the 'Hotel Group of the Year' in the AA Hospitality Awards in 2015 and 2016.
The Victoria Hotel, The Esplanade, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8RY – Tel: 01395 512651 – www.victoriahotel.co.uk and email@example.com
The Belmont Hotel, The Esplanade, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8RX – Tel: 01395 512555 – www.belmont-hotel.co.uk and firstname.lastname@example.org