A South Devon Time Warp
Prior to about 1800 AD Sidmouth was a small fishing village at the mouth of the River Sid where it flows into Lyme Bay. Because of its exposed position on the bay early attempts to construct a proper harbour were defeated by the winter storms and so the village remained relatively obscure. This obscurity had its benefits and by some accounts the revenue from its fishing industry was secondary to that gleaned from the more illicit uses of its small fleet.
In the early 1800's as the London trendy crowd began looking to the English south coast for their countryside escapes Sidmouth enjoyed a brief burst of popularity and over the next 50 or so years the town developed into the resort as it stands today.
Because the town is shouldered by the Jurassic cliffs on both sides the only way it has been able to expand is northwards up the Sid Vale and so from the mid-1800's not much has changed in the town and its seafront. Many of the fine Regency period townhouses have become hotels and the various other constructions from the time, such as the marketplace and The Esplanade, are also substantially as they were 150 years ago.