Bus routes and maps for Sidmouth - valid for 2016. Travelling to Sidmouth festival FolkWeek by bus/train.
have been changes in bus routes and timetables in and around Sidmouth as of May 2016. Some
internet sites may give obsolete details.
As of January 2019 the information below is again out of date because the X52 service has been curtailed and is now the 52 operated by AVMT.
The information given below is therefore not entirely correct as of January 2019 and will be updated!
Sidmouth is primarily served by three different bus companies: Stagecoach (routes 9, 9A, 157), First Group (route X52) and Axe Valley Travel (route 899). There are other services from Ottery St Mary (382)
Services 9 and 9A (Exeter to Honiton and Seaton) have new routes and 9A is extended to serve as far as Lyme Regis. These routes replace the old 52A and 52B - which no longer exist. Route 9 is a straight replacement for the old 52B.
The new X52 service operated by First Group supplements the altered X53/X54 service. Basically the X52 and X53 operate as a pair of routes - X52 serving Exeter/Seaton/Lyme Regis/Bridport and the X53 and X54 further east (Weymouth / Poole).
The new X52 has nothing to do with the old 52A and 52B routes.
Jurassic Coast services including X51, X52, X53, X54 and X55 can be found on First Group website. In a nutshell, and starting from Exeter or Sidford (on the A3052), the X52 goes to Lyme Regis and Bridport (the Stagecoach 9A only goes as far as Lyme Regis). For Bridport, Axminster, Dorchester, Abbotsbury and Weymouth change at Lyme Regis Post Office and take the X51 to Dorchester or the X53 to Weymouth. Once in Weymouth you can get the X54 to Poole, from the King's Statue stop.
The local 899 service uses quaint old buses and is operated by Axe Valley Travel. It runs infrequently between Lyme Regis and Sidmouth via Seaton (and some interesting small villages in-between including Branscombe). The routes are recommended for a few hours tour of the countryside on a fine sunny day,
A useful UK travel website is traveline.info
BY RAIL: Closest Intercity train stations are Exeter St David's or Honiton. Inter-city trains use (always) Exeter St David's and (sometimes) Exeter High St as well. If you can get reservations, www.megatrain.com can be very cheap between Exeter or Honiton and London. They bulk-buy tickets and sell them cheap for advance travel plans. Just don't miss the appointed train!
Stagecoach bus 9 is an hourly service and calls at Honiton
rail station. It goes into Sidmouth via Sidbury and Sidford (not past the festival main
campsite) and then into Exeter along the Woolbrook Road (past LIDL).
There is no bus from either Exeter or Honiton that takes you directly past the official Bulverton campsite. Service 157 is from Exmouth and 382 from Ottery St Mary (and not very often!)
Referring to the maps below: the best bus from either Exeter or Honiton is the 9 or 9A service into central Sidmouth. From Exeter you come along the A3052 (top of map, travelling west to east). The 9/9A bus will turn down Stowford Rise by Waitrose. The fast bus from Exeter (X52) is a two hourly service and goes directly along the A3052 to Seaton and Lyme Regis, not into the centre of Sidmouth.
From central Sidmouth (the terminus is The Triangle near the seafront) you can walk 1.5 miles up to the campsite or get the special festival bus (or a lift!). The walk up can be dangerous - see this link. Alternatively, to avoid going into central Sidmouth and back out again, you can do a short-cut walk to the campsite using the 9/9A bus from Exeter by getting off in Woolbrook Road at the Core Hill Road stop and walking up Ice House Lane (about 0.3 miles, narrow but OK except during very wet weather when it can be flooded). You then have only a short distance to walk along the Bulverton Road.
From Honiton you will arrive at Sidford Traffic Lights along School St (top of first map). Travelling from Honiton on the 9 you can get off at the junction of Arcot Road and Woolbrook Road and walk past LIDL and then up Ice House Lane to the campsite, but it's a trek.
The only petrol station in Sidmouth is on the Woolbrook Road, near the junction with Manstone Lane. The LIDL store is next door and parking is free for up to 2 hours.
For lots of info about the campsite etc, work forwards and backwards from this page.
The map below is adapted from the Stagecoach website and shows only their services as of May 2016. The Jurassic Coast X52 follows the same route as the 9A but bypasses Sidmouth - straight along the A3052. The airport is very poorly served by buses - get a lift or use a taxi!
top of folk festival section