The Heritage Trail Walk in Axminster
It is very easy to live in a place and never really take time to look at it properly.
My little stroll around Axminster with my mum and the girls was surprisingly interesting. We we discovered our local town through new eyes and Heritage Trail Walk in Axminster East Devon is the prefect way to explore.
A Little History
Axminster was an important coaching stop on the Dorchester to Exeter route – 16 coaches a day would pass though in the mid 1700’s. I am sure there would have been a great deal of activity in the town. The chance to step back in time to see and hear the hooves clattering on the cobbles in the courtyard of the George Hotel, the shouts and cries of market traders and hawkers when the coaches stopped and wealthy people picking their way through the litter would be fascinating.
Heritage Trail Walk in Axminster East Devon
We started our trail at the tourist information office , now located in the Heritage Centre just off the main square (a very useful place which is not just for visitors) and picked up a copy of the Blue Plaque Heritage Trail as our guide to discover new things around the town.
We took each plaque in turn following the map, reading and learning something new in a number of locations, including finding the grave of Thomas Whitty. At one point there are some steps, but these can be avoided if needs be, you just carry on round the slightly longer road route.
“We never new that one of the buildings in Axminster was once a training college for priests or that there used to be a cinema in the town”
His large patterned carpets became world renowned, adorned many famous buildings and even warranted a visit to his factory in Axminster from King George III himself.
Now the good news about a walk around Axminster is that there are no shortage of places to stop for a decent cuppa or a bite to eat.
The most well known food stop in Axminster is the River Cottage Canteen in Trinity Square with it’s lovely airy dining hall and open plan kitchen. Other cafés popular with locals are Gilly’s on Castle Hill, Sublyme Café tucked away behind the post office (access via the walkway up from Tesco) and The West Country Higgler on South Street.
Our little outing ended at the lovely Arts Café. Set inside what was the Old Courthouse and Police station this is a fascinating little place to look around. The café has lovely arts and craft displays and exhibitions from local artists with items for sale. You can even enjoy your drink in private sat in one of the old prison cells!
The real bonus of this café is the lovely secluded garden where you can relax in the peace and quiet. However if you like a bit of live music then on most Saturday’s from the end of May to September you can enjoy entertainment in the garden. Check out the local listings on the Arts Cafe facebook page
So anytime you have an hour or two to spare or just like the idea of leaning a bit more about this historic local town then take a wander and see what you can discover. The Heritage Trail Walk in Axminster East Devon is free and surprisingly interesting with a great coffee or cup of tea never far away!