Honiton Town Guide – Why live there?
A brief guide to what we think is great about Honiton.
Honiton is an attractive market town in East Devon with a lot to offer. It sits in an enviable location nestled between the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Blackdown Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, giving easy access to both The Jurassic Coast and the beautiful countryside. There are great road and rail links with Exeter approximately 30 minutes to the West and the A30 and the M5 both in easy reach. Exeter International Airport is close by and Honiton Station is on the main Exeter to Waterloo line giving access to London in just a few hours.
For those looking for an active lifestyle, the area around Honiton offers ample opportunities to get out and about, whether that is taking advantage of the wonderful countryside or the famous Jurassic Coast, great for cycling and water sports and access to the South West Coast Path. Honiton also has a great leisure centre with a wide range of classes and swimming pool, a golf club and a community and arts venue called The Beehive. Honiton is a great location for families with good local schools and plenty for kids to do locally – see our list of useful links below for more information.
Honiton town itself has traditionally been famous for antiques, lace and pottery. It remains a great place for antique shopping with a large number of well established antique shops in the town. The Honiton Lace shop has one of the best selections of antique lace in the country, albeit it is now only possible to visit by appointment, they do offer sales via their website as well. Honiton Pottery is no longer produced in the town but remains collectable and can be found when rummaging around in the myriad of antique shops, something which you could easily spend an enjoyable day doing!
Honiton boasts a vibrant High Street with a great mix of larger retailers and smaller, independent shops offering almost anything you can think of from stationery and rare books to fresh fish and flowers, as well as pet supplies, eclectic gifts, and fresh, locally produced food, including clotted cream ice cream from The Honiton Dairy in an incredible 48 flavours! There is also a great range cafes and restaurants in the town.
For special occasions and amazing food in a relaxed but luxurious surroundings visit The Pig at Combe. It is part of a small, eclectic chain of hotels offers a wonderful dining experience with all the food sourced locally within a 25 mile radius – that is if it is not grown in it’s own kitchen garden. The Deer Park County House Hotel is another award winning 5 star boutique hotel in nearby Buckerell which offers a spectacular venue for parties and weddings.
Historically, Honiton grew along the line of the Roman Fosse Way, an ancient route linking Exeter and Lincoln via London and it became an important staging post along this route. There are still historic toll houses at either end of the town – The Copper Castle toll house and ornate gates on the way down the hill into Honiton on the Axminster Road and the Turks Head Toll House on Exeter Road.
The High Street has many fine Georgian buildings and this makes the town centre very attractive architecturally. This mainly due to two large fires in the town in 1747 and 1765 causing a large number of houses to be destroyed and subsequently rebuilt. Whilst these fires were undoubtedly devastating at the time, they have made the High Street what it is today and this architectural coherence is a large part of it’s charm.
Daniel Defoe, writing in his travel book, ‘Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain’ said of Honiton ‘it stands in the best and pleasantest part of the whole county; and I cannot but recommend it to any gentlemen that travel this road, that if they please to observe the prospect for half a mile, till their coming down the hill, and to the entrance into Honiton, the view of the country is the most beautiful landskip in the world’.
In and around Honiton, and East Devon generally, agricultural is an important part of the local economy and community. The Annual Honiton Show – always held on the first Thursday in August, is one of the largest one day agricultural shows in the country, showcasing the best of local farming, produce, crafts and rural skills and promoting agriculture and related industries.
As well as the Honiton Show, Honiton also maintains another, much more ancient tradition – the oddly named ‘Hot Pennies Day’ (held annually on the Tuesday following the 19th July as part of the town Fair). Dating from the 13th Century when Honiton was granted its Royal Charter. Thankfully, the tradition no longer involves the peasants of Honiton literally getting their fingers burned by trying to pick up the hot pennies thrown by the local gentry whilst they watched for amusement, the pennies are only warm these days!
These are just some of the reasons why we think that Honiton is a great place to live and work – to see our available properties – visit https://www.seddons.com/contact/honiton/. Our Honiton office staff know the area well and are always on hand to offer their advice. If you are looking for property in the area, be sure to register your details with us or pop in for a chat!
Kids stuff & Things to do
Arts and Entertainment
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