Ottery St. Mary is a town steeped in history, tradition and folklore. It celebrates its history every year during Pixie Day (the Saturday nearest to the longest day) and the Flaming Tar Barrel event (5th November), each drawing huge crowds. Ottery St Mary is famously the birth place of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of England's finest poets. Two of his most celebrated poems, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan have brought devotees to the town from around the world to see his home and the countryside that formed his early influences. From the unique Tumbling Weir to the medieval church that was built as a replica of Exeter cathedral, Ottery appeals to all tastes and interests. Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Otter valley and within 20 minutes drive from Exeter, it is both a perfect tourist destination, East Devon's most central town and an excellent place to live.
Ottery has been twinned with Pont L'Eveque in Normandy, France, which is famed for its cheese and cider. In recent years, the town has fostered a close friendship with its namesake town in Japan, Otari (Japanese only). Otari and Ottery have close technology links, being in constant e-mail contact. Ottery has been donated a friendship bell from Otari, which is proudly displayed in a garden enclosure near the council offices.
The town walk allows you to savour Ottery's heritage and traditions, features including the 18th century Tumbling Weir, which used to supply the energy for the Georgian textile factory. There are also a number of easily accessible circular walks in close proximity of the town centre.