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Exe Estuary Cycle Trail - Topsham

Birds and trains is the theme for this ride. Part of the wonderful Exe Estuary Trail that snakes its way around the Exe Estuary, this section is completely traffic free.

Running beside the RSPB’s Goosemoor and Bowling Green Nature Reserves , a large section of this ride is a fun rumble along a wooden boardwalk. With openings at various heights to spy on the bird life, it’s the perfect place to stop a while and take a goosey gander at what you can see.

The imposing metal bridge that spans the Clyst River is the perfect view point to check out some more aquatic life and boats resting in the mud.

There are a few little ups and downs but nothing too scary to put off our budding riders.

Further along the trail, you ride alongside the railway line to Exmouth. Try racing a train or wave at the passengers as one passes by.

Green Whizz

Map

Exe Estuary Cycle Trail - Topsham
Red Whizz

Starting Points

Exe Estuary Trail - Topsham

The main starting point is from Bowling Green Road, EX3 0AX which is off Elm Grove Road in Topsham.

Free parking is on the side of the road just over the railway bridge. Walk or ride down the hill and the gated entrance to the off road section is on your left.

Green Whizz

Section 1 & 2

The very start of this section is tarmac as you pass under the railway bridge. It only lasts for about 150 meters before you are onto the boardwalk.

Once you are on the boardwalk, the kids will love the rumbling sound their bikes make on the boards which sends vibrations up through their bodies. It’s one long rumble strip!

Exe Estuary Trail - Topsham

All the way along, there are viewing points to stop, have a rest, and see if you can spy any bird life out on Goosemoor Reserve.

Towards the end of this section, you ride up and over the metal bridge that spans the Clyst River and gives you gorgeous views out across the top end of the estuary.

Exe Estuary Trail Junction

You then roll down the other side and the boardwalk ends just before a 3 way junction. This part is about 550m in distance one way.

The path from the left comes in from Darts Farm via a narrow path that wends it way past houses and industrial areas.

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Section 3

The remainder of this ride is back on tarmac and runs right alongside the railway line out to Exmouth.

Exe Estuary Trail

There is small metal bridge half way along this section that makes a cool echo as your ride over it.

High hedgerows in this section provide great shelter and at the end, there is a tight left bend with a seat and views out over the estuary. A good spot to have some food and drink to refuel.

Exe Estuary Trail

Just around the bend, you meet the gate which marks the end of the traffic free part of the trail.

This gate is the turnaround point for the ride and this section is about 600m one way.

Head back the way you came to complete the ride.

OPTIONAL

For those bikers that might like to go a little further, you can turn left out of the finish gate and head down Bowling Green Lane (open to traffic) towards Bowling Green Nature Reserve (250m) and further down the water and the start of Goat Walk Path (500m). RSPB’s Bowling Green Nature Reserve viewing building is currently closed but do check this before you head out because it may have opened up.

Devon Daze has written up a lovely article about Goat Walk Path if you want to continue further which can be viewed here. Cyclists must dismount though for this walk though.

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

RSPB Sign
  • Total Distance: 2.3km round trip
  • Section 1 & 2 Distance: 550 meters one way
  • Section 3 Distance: 600 meters one way
  • Turn Around Point: Gate to Green Lane
  • Surface: Half boardwalk and half tarmac.

Red Whizz

Facilities

There aren’t any public toilets or cafes in the immediate area but Topsham does have cafes that are currently doing take away at the time of writing.

Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.

Drop us a line in the comments box below or via any of our social media contacts.

Kes

Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Main Section

This is a lovely family friendly cycle ride along the old disused railway line that connected Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton. It runs along National Cycle Route 2 and heads through rolling countryside and woodland.

It’s a sheltered ride with high hedgerows and woodland later on so this ride is a great one for a windy or cooler day.

It’s the perfect step up for your youngsters who have mastered riding and are wanting to explore a little further on their balance or pedal bikes. The big bonus is that the first section has just been newly tarmacked too so it’s a nice smooth ride for most of it.

There is often livestock such as horses and cattle in the surrounding fields and plenty of bird and insect life in the hedgerows to stop and investigate along the way.

This distance that I’ve marked out on the map below is around 3km as a return trip and is probably a good starting point for your first ride.

At the turn around point, there is a handy picnic bench, nestled under the tall trees. This is a perfect stopping point for some refreshments for hungry and thirsty riders before heading back for home.

As your kids get stronger and build their stamina, they can carry on along the track a little further each time. It continues all the way to Bear Lane in Budleigh Salterton.

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Map

Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Ride
Red Whizz

Starting Points

The main starting point is from Bidmead Close EX8 2TF, off Littleham Road. There is a small car park in the cul-de-sac to leave your car if you drove there.

The path rises up a gentle hill off the Close for a small way, then flattens off as you head under the bridge of Capel Lane and out into the countryside.

Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Entry

Or you can enter the track a little way along from Capel Lane EX8 2PN, off Salterton Road, if you prefer too. This shortens the overall ride distance though.

The entry path from the road slopes down and joins the route avoiding the small starting hill.

You can do this ride in reverse and start from Castle Lane EX9 7AW, just off Salterton Rd. Park on the road and take the pathway down to join the old railway line and turn left. This will take you towards Exmouth.

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Section 1

The majority of the ride in on tarmac so it’s a lovely smooth surface for cruisy cycling.

The track does have a very slight incline as you head out of Exmouth/Littleham. It’s hardly noticeable if you’re walking but if you’re biking, your children might need to stop a few times along the way. It might sap their energy a little more than expected.

The good news is that when you head for home, you’ve got a slight slope downhill to help the tired rider!

At the end of this section is a small bridge to rumble over. Kids love the noise that it makes. This section is about 1.1km in distance one way.

Red Whizz

Section 2

This short section of only about 400 meters is lightly graveled. Riding over this sort of surface takes a little more energy but it’s only a small distance before you reach the second rumble bridge to ride over and then hit the half way point to turn around.

Once over the bridge, you enter a corridor of gorgeous trees that enclose the path. The picnic table is just on the right hand side beyond this bridge.

Hop off the bikes, have some snacks and enjoy the woodland experience before heading back for home.

Slightly downhill too – a big added bonus to help keep those wheels rolling to the end of the ride!

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Ride
  • Total Distance: 3km round trip
  • Section 1 Distance: 1.1km one way
  • Section 2 Distance: 400 meters one way
  • Turn Around Point: Picnic bench under the trees
  • Surface: Mainly smooth tarmac with short gravel section.

Red Whizz

Facilities

There aren’t any public toilets or cafes nearby so make sure you plan ahead.

Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.

Drop us a line in the comments box below or via any of our social media contacts.

Kes