Scorching Sidmouth enjoys Indian summer

Sidmouth Hopper ends its run with a flourish as sun brings in the visitors

SIDMOUTH Hopper’s summer run ended with a flourish last Friday as unseasonal weather meant for its busiest day.

More than 200 passengers boarded the free bus service on its final day of operation.

Hopper co-ordinator and town councillor John Dyson said the figure was “quite remarkable”.

Around 11,300 passengers used the Hopper this summer – its best ever performance.

Mr Dyson thanked drivers and those who helped with the service.

Meanwhile, Sidmouth businesses reported a record October weekend as hot weather brought residents and visitors out in force.

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With temperatures topping 25 degrees centigrade over the weekend, it was the Indian summer everyone had been waiting for.

Crowds queued round the corner for a cold ice-cream from Taste of Sidmouth.

Hazel Jones, who owns the business with sister Laura Bennett, told Herald reporter Charlie Lister it had been a brilliant weekend, her busiest for a long time, with ice-cream sales exceeding all expectations.

Jess Bartlett, who works at Nosh sandwich kitchen, said the entire week had been busy as the weather improved, and the weekend had been “manic”.

Staff at the Beach Hut told the Herald that it had been a fantastic weekend across the board, with sister businesses Prospect Plaice and the Mocha Restaurant also booming.

Dot Crook, who works at Selley’s, said that regulars and visitors alike had made full use of the sun terrace at Libra Court. She added that Saturday had been one of Selley’s busiest days so far.

Many visitors headed for or called Sidmouth Information Centre.

Its manager, Ian Cole, said: “I can’t say Sidmouth was full, but we couldn’t always find the accommodation people were looking for. The hotels were pretty busy. It is a good boost for Sidmouth, which always has a long season.

“If the weather is good in September and October, Sidmouth is always busy and stays good until the weather breaks.”

He said many people enjoyed three or four day breaks “and not just over the weekend”.