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Waves, winds and tides

This page is background information about how waves react along the frontage of Sidmouth, from East Beach to Jacob’s Ladder.

To get a good Beach Management Plan we have to have information about how the beach reacts to various weather conditions and this is not currently available. Instead we have mathematical models based of information for the whole of Lyme Bay and it has recently become obvious that these models do not give the correct results for Sidmouth. On the page about storm events we mentioned that the storm which caused destruction at Seaton had little effect on Sidmouth and that the storm event observed at Sidmouth had little effect on Seaton.

These then are some recordings from Sidmouth webcams, backed up by tide and wind information for the same date and time.


March 13th

After a run of westerly winds the beach has been denuded. There is considerable change from the 11th March, note particularly that about half of the width of Clifton and Jacob’s Ladder beach have been lost and almost all the sand has gone from Chit rock pools.

Video of East, Town and Jacob’s Ladder beaches, including rock pools. Recorded at low tide, tide and wind information below.



March 10th to 11th

The video below combines footage taken at three different times, about 9 pm on the 10th March, just before noon on the 11th March, and again in the early evening. The high tides were not recorded until the evening of the 11th.


First week in March

We have been allowed to share two photographs taken by Nigel Arnold showing how low the beach had become opposite the Mocha. He comments that it hasn’t been this low in more than 3 years. We think it is possibly 5 years.

Video from 1st March

This is a selection from a much longer video. We have tried to leave each section long enough to show a full range of waves at the time without being too boring. Keep your eye on the time stamp at the top right. It is from high tide, with light winds.