Spending some time vacationing in nature’s cradle with your family is a splendid way to relax and explore the rural countryside.
The rural countryside comes with its fair share of natural and man-made flairs, from quaint shops to rustic museums and local attractions. And you can find plenty of towns in such areas, but none match the natural beauty of the town known as Honiton.
Located in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Honiton is a place rife with mesmerising vistas and rich history. The market town boasts many local beauty spots, from the indomitable Hembury Fort to the Blackbury Camp. There is plenty to learn and explore in Honiton attractions, making it a fantastic holiday destination.
So, let’s look at some of the fun things you can do and the top attractions you can visit in Honiton to make the most of your family holiday!
6 Exciting Activities And Places To Visit In Honiton
1. Explore The Allhallows Museum Of Lace And Antiquities
The Allhallows Museum in Honiton is the home to an astonishing amount of historical information about the town. Fittingly, its wealth of local heritage information is stored in the oldest building in the town.
Allhallows was founded nearly 76 years ago, and over the years, the museum and its knowledge have been preserved by the residents of Honiton. This communal effort to keep the museum alive is a bonafide example of what the structure and its historical records mean to the people of this town. As such, there is plenty to learn about how the town came to be and what it stands for in the modern age.
Some of the oldest artefacts in Allhallows include collections of laces that date back to the beginning of lacemaking in Horiton in the 17th century. One of the first written records of this was found on a plaque that belonged to the tomb of one James Rodge, dated 1617.
We recommend observing the lace-making demonstrations at the Allhallows Museum and learning all about the history of the process. Some of the laces featured in the museum are similar to those used in the making of Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. Moreover, there is sufficient evidence that points to black laces being the symbol of mourning for Victorians of the era.
You can also observe fossils and archaeological artefacts discovered in the area, such as the Honiton Hippo. The Honiton Hippos are assumed to have perished during a brief warm period in the middle of the Ice Age. It was around the time when England had a climate that was rather similar to Africa.
Finally, you can browse through the antique shops to purchase souvenirs, local history books and more.
2. Visit The Blackbury Camp
Blackbury Camp is an ancient site that was used by tribal people during the Iron Age. The hillfort once featured insurmountable ramparts with no more than a single entrance that was protected by a triangular “barbican.” This oval hillfort is now surrounded by woodland, making it a highlight for tourists and local visitors alike.
You can visit the Blackbury Camp at any time of the year to explore the land that was once a settlement bustling with people. Set on a narrow ridge from a plateau, the camp is close to the meeting point of two ancient tracks. It was located close to valley pastures and streams for access to food and water.
Moreover, learn all about the excavations made on the site during the 1950s, where the digging team found ancient remains. Their findings included a hut, a cooking pit, a rudimentary oven, ancient pottery and thousands of sling stones.
The pottery, in particular, has an inherent simplistic beauty to it. Made using the locally-found Greensand clay, the pottery portrays a picture of how life used to be during the iron age.
Note that entry to Blackbury Camp is free, as is the parking. Explore the site, go picnicking in the vicinity of the hillfort and learn all about the local history. Once your tour reaches its end, visit the array of shops and cafes, or look into the nearby village through pub windows.
The camp is dog-friendly so long as they are on a lead, so feel free to bring your furry friend along to explore the hillfort.
3. Bask In The Vibrance Of The Beehive
Ran by a charity organisation, the Beehive is a community venue in Honiton that is the host to a vast selection of programmes. Experience live events, cinematic experiences and community activities that truly take your breath away.
You can also witness artists from the town and beyond perform in visual art exhibitions. Further, try participating in visual art exhibitions, conferences, meetings and workshops to your heart’s content and get your creative juices flowing.
The Beehive aims to be the home to unique events for special interest groups and community organisations. It does so by creating an ambience that is scarcely matched elsewhere and creating an environment that engages with the entire community.
This venue also holds up-and-coming local talent front-and-centre to nurture and promote their skills to the town and beyond. The Beehive offers to educate and encompass the entire town in the fields of visual arts, literature, science and more through various partnerships with universities.
We recommend visiting the Beehive during its monthly open mic Acoustic concert, where musicians from all over Devon and surrounding counties perform. Participate and enjoy the concerts while connecting with new and talented individuals to support larger modern and classical music acts.
The Beehive is all about the community, making it a fantastic venue for locals, tourists and performers alike.
4. Raise Your Creative Spirit At Thelma Hulbert Gallery
Thelma Hulbert Gallery is a public art gallery with several awards under its belt for its contemporary art and craft exhibitions. Named after the famed artist Thelma Hulbert, the gallery is a celebration of art in every form.
The gallery acts as a cultural hub to support communities in more ways than one, including their environment, exhibitions, events, workshops and more. Its goal is to inspire generations old and new to raise their creative spirits and challenge themselves in new and exciting ways.
Thelma Hulbert Gallery Exhibitions include contemporary paintings by painters, photographers, printmakers, and more. The gallery routinely features incredible artwork that depicts life in great detail, showcasing our relationship to nature and the world as a whole. Exhibits are often themed and include artworks and prints made by artists from all walks of life.
There is plenty to learn at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, making it an excellent spot to spend an afternoon. Who knows, maybe you will find the inspiration to pick up a brush after leaving the venue as well!
5. Historical Hike At The Hembury Fort
The historically rich site of Hembury Fort is quite the sight to behold. The fort is a Scheduled Monument and is being continuously maintained to preserve its historical architecture for the foreseeable future.
According to archaeological and historical accounts, Hembury Fort was once a settlement for locals in the Neolithic Period. It was then used as a fort during the Iron Age and finally as a base of operations for the Roman army during the first century.
Due to its historical significance, some of the fort has been sectioned off for protection. As such, you may not be able to explore the entirety of the fort, but there is plenty of ground to be covered still.
Here, you can learn all about the history of Hembury Fort, which stretches from the end of the fifth millennium BC to the advent of the Roman army. And don’t forget to look to the River Otter Valley while exploring the sites to find breathtaking vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. Lastly, take a stroll along a path that coils around the top of the plateau with these spectacular views as your backdrop.
We recommend visiting the fort during sunny days and enjoying the great outdoors walk with a drink in your hand.
6. A Leisurely Walk At The Glen
If you’re in the mood to walk in an expansive garden, the Glen might be the place for you. This six-acre woodland park starts from the beautiful countryside and stretches well into the very heart of Honiton.
Adjoining the Glen is the Millennium Green, which greatly expands the park while technically being separate. Additionally, the park was expanded close to its south west side, making it the most beautiful landscape in the area.
Featuring gates and ashlar granite gate piers near the entrance, the Glen boasts some of the most gorgeous views in Honiton. Stride across woodland walks, past waterfalls and cascades and over bridges while gazing across the valley. Along the way, you may witness the paths that were once walked by the residents of the area in ancient times.
Overall, the Glen makes for the perfect picnic spot, so feel free to visit the park with your family for a memorable afternoon!
And there you have it, the top six places you can visit during your time in Honiton. The town packs plenty of surprises, so be sure to explore it as much as you can!
Honiton boasts attractions aplenty, featuring locations that will pique your interest, inspire you or simply help you relax. From museums to ancient hill forts and more, the market town is home to a wealth of varied experiences.
And the best part is that most Honiton attractions are not time-gated, meaning that you can visit the town at any time of the year. So, the next time you find yourself in Devon, be sure to stop by the wonderful town of Honiton!
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