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In the heart of Exeter City centre, flanked by the Exeter Canal and the River Exe, is a gorgeously lush peice of green space that is perfect for little wheels.
This is another traffic free ride with an aquatic theme. The path is tarmac the whole way and is open with marshland to one side and grassy banks to the other. It runs parallel to the Exeter Canal for part of the ride, and in the Spring time and early Summer, you can spy the white swans and their cygnets floating serenely on the water.
The main starting point is off Haven Road and Maritime Court, EX2 8DU, right by the Sea Cadets building.
There is FREE on street parking for 2 hour blocks up behind Exeter Rowing and Canoe Clubs.
Alternatively, there is Haven Banks Car Park EX2 8GW nearby.
This ride starts with two bridges to cross, over the two branches of the Exeter Canal. Wooden boards make a great rumble sound with scooter or bike wheels and there are often canoes or sculling boats to watch as you bridge the water.
Then you are onto a tarmac single multi use pathway that bends round to the right and runs parallel to the Exeter Canal. Look out for the white swans and their cygnets in Spring and early Summer here.
This section probably lasts for about 200 meters before you take a left hand branch up a slight rise into Section 2.
You are now onto the split pathway with a cycle lane and walking lane.
It’s always tricky to know which path to use when you have a very young rider with you.
I would suggest that you take the cycle lane if you have a relatively experienced rider. If you are walking alongside your whizz kid, make sure that you keep well to one side. Commuters and recreational riders buzz along here quite fast at times.
Towards the end of this section, the path bends round to the right and on the left hand side is the gate into the Riverside Valley Park, managed by The Devon Wildlife Trust.
Hop off the bikes and have play through buttercup-filled meadows alongside the winding River Exe with wonderful views across the city to its cathedral. It’s a lovely spot to have a little picnic as you are almost at the half way point of this ride.
The metal barrier just before Salmon Pool Bridge, marks the turnaround point and this section is about 1km one way.
On your way back, you have stunning views with Exeter Cathedral rising above the green trees with the Quay and moored boats in the distance.
You can do the course in the reverse and start at Salmon Pool Bridge if that is a easier option for where you live.
There are public toilets on the other side of the Quay by The Craft Cellar that are open.
The Welcome Cafe is currently closed at the time of writing but is a gorgeous spot for some drinks and the biggest slices of cake you will ever see!
The Quay has a variety of eateries although sadly many of them are still closed due to COVID-19.
Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.
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