Seaton Tramway is a relaxing way to while away an hour or a day!
This scenic three-mile track along the Axe Valley from Seaton to Colyton celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2010.
Transporting its customers along the beautiful banks of the River Axe and over the Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve, the Seaton Tramway gives visitors a unique ride and an excellent view of the stunning local scenery and wildlife.
Operated by Modern Electric Tramways, this isn’t truly a heritage line, although parts of the track do run on the bed of the old British Rail Seaton line.
Oddly, the electric tramway started life in the late 1940s as the hobby of a man whose business was making electric milk floats. On a whim, he used his factory to turn out a large-scale model tram and then ran it at various resorts, where it proved a popular attraction.
Now permanently sited at Seaton for four decades, the Tramway has an impressive range of large-scale replica trams carrying up to 50 people at a time.
In fair weather, the top deck of a double-decker is the place to see excellent views of the River Axe, the nature reserve and an abundance of waterfowl, waders and other birds. In the wet, you may prefer the downstairs seats, where the views are almost as good, but a lot dryer!
Some trams are fully enclosed, which is probably a blessing in the worst of weather, but otherwise, try to catch a ride on one of the trams with open tops and open sides. This gives you a real connection with the wondrous nature through which you are travelling whether you sit upstairs or down.
As the tram trundles its clickety-clack way along the riverside track, you won’t be blown away by the wind in your hair as the pace is fairly gentle, but you will be blown away by what you see, including, if you’re lucky, an osprey!
The Seaton Tramway is an attraction that can be enjoyed at several levels. You can simply go for the ride and choose between a short trip to Colyford or a longer one to Colyton. Or you can enjoy the three-mile ride to Colyton and then take lunch or a coffee at the well-appointed café at the former Colyton Station, which now serves as the northern terminus for the tramway. You can also explore the pretty village of Colyton itself, which has its own pubs and eateries. You can even get a ride in a horse drawn wagon!
And if the wildlife you’ve seen during the tram ride has whetted you appetite for more, there is an impressive selection of purpose built hides on the Nature Reserve by the side of the tram tracks. These will allow you to get a different view the trams and the wildlife!
Seaton Tramway isn’t an adrenalin-rush ride. It is a proper system of public transport that is also entertaining and fun. The young will love it just for the ride. The old will enjoy the sense of nostalgia. And any train and transport buffs will love it just the way they love anything with tracks and wheels - so no surprises there!
What’s more surprising is that, if your thing is wildlife and nature, you’re probably going to love the tramway too; for whilst the trams are rather more brightly coloured, they are, to a large extent, mobile hides.
Chances are that, with birds and animals habituated to the regular passage of these electrically powered, open topped, iron-wheeled Axe Valley safari buses, you’ll get closer to most birds than you would normally get on foot. So you can get a good look even without your bino’s. True, you are not going to get the chance to sit and stare for long, because the tram keeps moving on. But the beauty is that, as one interesting specimen disappears from sight, another is just coming into view. And all from the comfort of your seat!
So, if you’re looking for something a little different to do, that’s not all rush and tear, Seaton Tramway could be the trip for you.
And if you’re hopping over the boundary into East Devon for the tramway, you could always take a peak at Pecorama or grab an ice-cream back in Dorset on the Cobb at Lyme Regis!
Transporting its customers along the beautiful banks of the River Axe and over the Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve, the Seaton Tramway gives visitors a unique ride and an excellent view of the stunning local scenery and wildlife."