Axminster, Devon

This little market town on the River Axe is undoubtedly most famous for its fine carpets, first made in 1755 and still produced in a factory on the outskirts, though now it also has the claim to fame of the River Cottage canteen which occupies an old pub and ballroom in the centre of town; you’ll often see people standing outside having their photograph taken.

It’s not a busy town by any means, but it’s quite relaxing to stroll around and browse the mostly independent shops; there’s a butcher, a baker, a very good bookshop, a few small cafes, and two supermarkets. There's a bit more choice these days for food than there used to be; there's River Cottage of course, or right in the middle of town is The George Hotel and just across the road from the church is Le Pisani. If you just fancy something quick, like tea and cake whilst you're browsing, go to Sublyme.

The church that stands on Minster Green dates back to Saxon times. At the old Brush Works down over Castle Hill, there’s a feather factory where the most exquisite plumes are made for the military and top fashion designers.

All information correct at the time of writing