|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Clyst St Mary (SX973909)|
|Distance:||27 miles (43.5 km)|
|Meets:||A35, B3165, A358, B3172, B3161, B3176, B3174, A375, B3176, B3178, B3180, B3184, A376|
|Route outline (key)|
When the A35 was diverted northwards along the former A373 to Honiton, it former coastal route to Exeter was given the A3052 number. It is still a good road, although maybe not up to primary status, and links together Lyme Regis and the east Devon coastal towns, whilst managing to bypass most of them!
Section 1: Charmouth - Colyton
We start at a roundabout on the A35 at Charmouth, with the two roads running almost parallel as the A3052 starts the long descent to Lyme. We pass Penn Cross on Fern Hill, where the pre-turnpike route continues northwards, and then a series of sharp bends (not quite hairpins) drop us down Dragons Hill. Again, there is an even steeper pre-turnpike route alongside.
Entering Lyme on Charmouth Road, we continue to drop to the coast, with views out to sea for much of the way, and then after a short length along Bridge Street (which is barely S1 with flow controlled by traffic lights), the road turns inland once more and starts the climb out of town. At the top of Broad Street, the B3165 (former A3070) continues straight ahead, while we turn to the left a little and take Pound Street. Off to the left here is the road accessing Lyme's famous Cobb - the medieval harbour wall.
As we leave the town, we also cross from Dorset into Devon and soon find ourselves high on the hill, with views out to sea. Slowly, the road diverges from the coast and then starts to dip down into the Axe Valley, meeting the A358 (former A374) / B3172 crossroads just before the Axe Bridge. A level crossing takes us over the Seaton & District Electric Tramway, using the trackbed of the former Seaton branch line, and then the B3161 turns right into Colyford. We now start to climb once more as we pass between Colyton and Seaton, and meet the B3176 towards the top of the hill.
Section 2: Colyton - Clyst St Mary
Before we reach the Hangman's Stone, the B3174 joins us after climbing through the steep lanes of Beer. It used to multiplex with us for a short time, before turning right into Seaton Road and continuing up to Ottery St Mary. Now the two ends remain, disconnected as the middle section is unclassified. We are now approaching Sidmouth, although we bypass the main town and instead run through Sidford. The A375 crosses on its way from Honiton to the coast, although it used to stop here, the road into Sidmouth being the B3175. At Bowd, on the far side of town, the B3176 also used to cross on its way to Ottery, but again that road has become unclassified, so the B3176 just serves Sidmouth these days.
At Newton Poppleford, the B3178 (former A376) heads south to Budleigh Salterton, while we continue westwards, getting further and further from the coast as we approach Exeter. The B3180 is another B road that used to cross the A3052 at Halfway Inn, and rather unexpectedly it still does! It links Exmouth to the A30 somewhat west of Ottery St Mary. A little further on, the B3184 is a new B road, passing Exeter Airport and linking to the A30 at Clyst Honiton.
But that is our final classified junction before the end of the road, and we soon get to the roundabout with the A376 at Clyst St Mary. The final mile takes us past the county showground of West Point. Of course, the A35 used to continue when it used this route, taking the A376 Sidmouth Road, which is primary until it ends at M5 J30, and continuing along the unclassified section through the Sowton Industrial Estate. It then crossed the A38 (now A3015) Exeter bypass at the roundabout and terminated on the A30 (now B3183) Honiton Road. The A3052, however, doesn't get any further than the A376.