Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Ten years on, Budleigh gets an 'honourable mention'

On the South West Coast Path,
just a few miles west of Budleigh Salterton

Ten or so years after being described as "the last retreat of Britain's chronologically challenged" and a "grey icon" noted for becoming less and less tourist-friendly, Budleigh Salterton has been ranked with Bath in a survey of best places to visit in the South West of England.

Travel writer Simon Heptinstall, who was brought up in the nearby village of Woodbury, succeeded in ruffling a few feathers when in a Telegraph article still online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/722544/South-Devon-The-home-of-winceyette-jimjams.html he described in Budleigh a town that takes pleasure in not inviting you, and which, after dark "slips into an Ovaltine-induced coma" having successfully repelled the tourist invasion.  

But in a recent article based on his independent selection of the ten best days out in England's South West - including Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall - he places Budleigh on a par with St Ives, Burgh Island and many other noted tourist hotspots including Lands End and Bath. All gain what he calls 'honourable mentions.'

The town may rise even higher in the Heptinstall ratings in future, given its location on the South West Coast Path. The 650 "memorably scenic miles along the seashore between Minehead and Poole" which he describes in the article as "simply one of the best things in the world" came top in his survey. 

And it may be that when he next visits Fairlynch he'll discover more than the "delightfully eclectic mix of locally donated period costumes, radioactive pebbles and natural history (ie, stuffed seabirds)" on which he commented back in 2001.

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