Ottery St Mary, one of the oldest towns in Devon, lies in the beautiful Otter valley a few miles from the Jurassic Coast. It has a magnificent church set on a hill overlooking the town, built in 1342 by John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter and modelled on Exeter Cathedral. While admiring the beautiful architecture and artefacts don't forget to look up at the fan vaulted ceiling and the colourful ceiling corbels, some carved as animals and birds.
The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St Mary in 1772 and spent most of his childhood there. The poem Kubla Khan is even engraved in the curbstone along a path in Canaan Way park.
In the southern corner of Canaan Way you will find the Tumbling Weir. Looking like a giant plug hole it is a circular weir from where the water from a leat plunged down a pipe onto a water wheel to power the nearby woollen mill.
Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival in early June celebrates everything the surrounding area has to offer in food and drink with a full day of fun, food demonstrations, street market, street food and entertainment for the whole family.
Another fun family day is "Pixie Day", celebrated on a late June Saturday when local Cubs and Brownies dress up in pixie costumes, capture the church bell ringers and cause havoc in the town before being banished to the local caves beside the River Otter, known as Pixies' Parlour.
Carnival night always draws great crowds and the famous Tar Barrel night, celebrated on November 5th, is a unique and adrenalin filled spectacle.