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Otterton Mill

otterton mill

Discover a Watery World at Otterton Mill

On the banks of the River Otter in East Devon, historic Otterton Mill invites visitors into a traditional water-powered world. With its working waterwheels, milling machinery, craft workshops and nature trails, it provides a real fun family day out exploring centuries of milling heritage.

Watch flour being stone-ground, see metals shaped in glowing forges or try your hand at pottery. Otterton Mill brings together scenic nature, heritage skills and retail therapy for all ages. Here’s your complete guide to this must-visit Devon attraction.

otterton mill

Getting There

Otterton Mill is located just outside the village of Otterton, approximately 5 miles east of Budleigh Salterton in Devon. It sits just off the B3178 alongside the winding River Otter. Free parking is on site once you arrive.

By Car

It’s very easy to reach Otterton Mill by road. Simply take the A3052 towards Sidmouth and turn off at East Budleigh following signs for Otterton village.

On Foot

You can also walk to Otterton Mill along the scenic East Devon Way footpath from Budleigh Salterton. It’s a picturesque waterside ramble taking around an hour each way.

Opening Times and Prices

Otterton Mill is open daily all year round from 10am – 5pm. Some workshops like the wheelwright close earlier in winter.

Entry is free with some activities like the crafts having charges:

  • Waterwheel Tour – £5 adults, £2.50 kids
  • Craft Workshops – From £5 per item
  • Pannier Market – Mostly free browsing

The Mill’s Historic Machinery

At the heart of Otterton Mill are the original working mechanised waterwheels and grinding stones still in use today. Join a guided tour to learn about the complex systems powering the mill. Watch wheat being milled into fresh flour before your eyes.

The massive iron waterwheels are an impressive sight as they turn cascading waters into power. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the ingenuity of historic mills.

otterton mill

Traditional Crafts

Skilled artisans demonstrate their trades on site daily. Have a go yourself or watch them create:

  • The Blacksmith – See iron heated and hammered at the raging forge.
  • Pottery Studio – Try the wheel and glaze your masterpiece.
  • Wood Workshop – Watch the carpenter deftly shaping wood.
  • Silversmith – Marvel at jewellery being crafted.
  • Wheelwright – Appreciate the wagon restorer preserving rare skills.

It provides a newfound respect for how everyday items were painstakingly hand-made prior to mass production.

The Mill Shops

After watching Otterton’s craftspeople, browse their wares in the Mill Shops showcasing artisan produce:

  • Mill Bakery – Freshly baked cakes, pastries and breads.
  • Farm Shop – Selling local jams, chutneys, meats and cheeses.
  • Greengrocers -Colourful seasonal fruit and vegetables.
  • Pannier Market – Ever-changing stalls of handmade gifts and jewelry.

Don’t miss the opportunity to pick up some authentic Devon gifts and gourmet goodies.

farm shop at otterton mill

Riverside Walks

When you need some fresh air, enjoy relaxing rambles along the River Otter and mill leats. Look for kingfishers, otters and other waterside wildlife as you appreciate the babbling brooks powering the waterwheels.

With its idyllic setting and working machinery, Otterton Mill makes a fulfilling day out for curious minds and lovers of nature or history alike. It’s a Devon gem where the past comes to life.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Otterton Mill? – Dogs are allowed in the cafe on leads, but not in the Mill or the Farm Shop

Is there parking at Otterton Mill? – Yes, there is an ample free car park

Is it wheelchair accessible? – Yes, wheelchairs are fine in the cafe and farmshop and much of the mill, but there are some awkward steps

Nearby Attractions

There are some great attractions in East Devon to visit if you are in the area, including:

  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – Beautiful ornamental gardens from the 18th century containing glasshouses, woodland walks, play zones and railway.
  • Donkey Sanctuary – Charity donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth where you can meet and learn about the rescued residents. Fun and educational visit.
  • RSPB Darts Farm – Nature reserve with trails winding through wetland, grassland and woodland habitats. Spot birds like cirl buntings. Family activities available.
  • Pecorama – Quirky miniature world near Beer with model railways, gardens and exhibitions. Ride the narrow gauge railway for scenic views.
  • World of Country Life – Indoor recreation of a 19th century rural village including costumed re-enactors demonstrating traditional crafts.
  • Seaton Tramway – Nostalgic narrow-gauge tramway between Seaton, Colyton and Colyford offering delightful Axe Valley views.
  • Axe Valley Wildlife Park – Family friendly zoo with over 100 species including big cats, primates, reptiles and more. Walk with lemurs too.
  • Sidmouth Museum – Charming local museum housed in a historic building detailing Sidmouth’s growth from a fishing village into a popular resort.
  • Beer Quarry Caves – Fascinating ancient manmade caves near Beer used to mine Beer stone since Roman times. Guided tours available.

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