Where to cycle

Exe Estuary Trail

1The route

The Exe Estuary Trail is a scenic walking and cycling route which runs along the Exe Estuary and connects Exeter Quay to the coastal towns of Exmouth and Dawlish.

View the Exe Estuary Trail Map

Created by Devon County Council, the route is the culmination of a 10 year project involving organisations such as the RSPB, Natural England and Network Rail. The result is a spectacular route that offers users unique access to the countryside while protecting the local landscape.

Ideal for families, the trail is made up of long traffic-free sections and quiet on-road sections and, for much of the route, is adjacent to the river and rail line offering breath taking views of the estuary.

The route includes specially designed boardwalks to carry users over the marshes and through reed beds with bird viewing platforms scattererd along the way. The trail connects with several railway stations and cross estuary ferries, providing a variety of recreational opportunities.



Activities available along the Exe Estuary Trail include:

  • Bird watching
  • Sites of historical interest
  • Pubs, cafes and restuarants
  • Sandy beaches
  • Watersports and recreation
  • Cycle hire


Getting there and around

It is easy to access the Exe Estuary Trail by bus and rail:

Railway stations along the route include:

  • East – Exmouth, Lympstone, Exton and Topsham
  • West – Starcross and Dawlish Warren

Buses stop at most villages along the route with main stations at Exmouth, Dawlish and Exeter. Rail and bus information can be found at Traveline South West.

There are also a number of ferry companies that operate along the Exe which enable you to complete a circular journey:

Bicycles are accepted but might be subject to a charge or limited at peak times. Bicycles are permitted on trains as long as they are stored safely. Bicycles can be carried on some foot ferries, please check with individual operator.


New bridges built for the Trail

  • The £2.6m Clyst Bridge, between Topsham and Ebford, was opened in November 2013 and wins National Green Apple Award in November 2014
  • The £500,000 Fisher’s Bridge, Topsham for  pedestrians and cyclists was built over the River Clyst in 2011.


Long distance walking and cycling routes

As well as being a trail in its own right, the Exe Estuary Trail also forms part of a number of regional, national and international routes attracting visitors from across the continent:

  • It forms part of National Cycle Network Route 2 which runs from Penzance to Dover
  • It links up three of the County’s walking trails; the East Devon Way, the Exe Valley Way and the South West Coast path
  • It is part of the Tour de Manche, a European long distance cycle route running through Brittany, Normandy, Dorset, Devon and Plymouth


More information

The Exe Estuary Partnership publish a number of leaflets on various aspects of the Exe Estuary:

For more information, visit the Exe Estuary website.