Q.Why have I visited Budleigh Salterton? A . Due to Tripadvisor.
Not as you might expect because of some rave reviews, but because of a message I received from Tripadvisor a few months ago, saying "Janet, one more review and you'll be the highest rated reviewer in Budleigh Salterton!" As I was sitting in front of my computer in deepest Herefordshire at the time, and as I have posted only 3 reviews on Tripadvisor ever (by special request of places reviewed), this struck me as odd. A couple of weeks later, same location, same computer and when I opened up Google maps, where did the page open? Yes, Budleigh Salterton. Conspiracy theory!! Actually almost certainly a dodgy algorithm; but when we were staying near Exeter recently and Nick demanded a diversion to see the sea, Budleigh Salterton was the obvious place to choose.
With a reputation as a retirement location, I was expecting to find a sleepy little seaside settlement full of bungalows and nursing homes, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a delightful seafront with easy access to the coastal path, a nature reserve at the estuary of the River Otter, and a high street with a greater than average proportion of real shops. The main indications of the average age of the population were a large number of memorial seats along the sea front and a new disabled entrance to the church being much more significant than the original doorway. We were too full of breakfast to visit one of the several cosy looking tea and coffee shops we passed and the museum is open only in the summer months, so it was a short visit, but I'm glad I can say that I have actually been there!
Incidentally, Google and Tripadvisor seem to have sorted their algorithms out again now.....or maybe not.