Exe Estuary Trail

Route Details

  • From - to: Dawlish to Exmouth 
  • Distance: 17.5 miles
  • Terrain: Traffic-free riverside path, flat. Surface is mostly tarmac, but on the eastern side of the estuary there are some wooden boardwalks through the marshland
  • Access: Dawlish, Dawlish Warren and Exmouth railway stations
  • National Cycle Network: National Route 2

Route Description

The Route follows both sides of the River Exe Estuary linking the seaside resort of Dawlish Warren to Exmouth on the adjacent side of the River.

Starting at Dawlish, the route heads North and takes you past the Cockwood harbour and then follows the course of the River hugging the estuary and offering expansive water views across the wide mouth of the river. 

At the halfway point you cross the river by way of the new purpose-built Miller's Crossing Bridge to the east side of the river. This half of the route takes in some of Devon’s most handsome waterside villages, starting with Topsham. Riding south you will pass Exton, and will once again be alongside the river bank, following the flow of the river all the way past Lympstone to Exmouth.

At Exmouth you can cross the town centre to end on the seafront, where you could catch the Starcross ferry back to the west side of the estuary to turn the ride into a loop.

The route is fairly flat and takes in some fantastic views along the River Exe and Exe Estuary, a beautiful wildlife reserve. Surrounding the estuary are marshes, which provide a year-round haven for thousands of birds and are looked after by the RSPB.

Things to see and do

Related maps

Bike hire

Extending the route

If you wish to extend this route, at the midway point there’s an option to follow a three and a half-mile path (NCN 34) through Riverside Valley Park into Exeter centre detour and leads through the city’s vibrant quayside to its impressive cathedral.

Route Info Window: 

The Exe Cycle Route is part of the developing network of cycle routes in Exeter, one of England's oldest cities.

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.


The Exe Estuary Trail is part of the developing network of cycle routes in Exeter, one of England's oldest cities. This exceptionally beautiful ride along both sides of Devon’s radiant Exe Estuary is easily one of the best routes in the country for birding by bike.

5 miles