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Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Lane

You can’t beat a ride alongside the ocean blue. The sound of the waves against the shore line, the squawking of seagulls, the fresh sea air. Plus a play on the gorgeously golden sands of Exmouth Beach before or after the ride. This route is a must for all budding riders!

The Exmouth Esplanade is a shared pathway for some of the way so its important to be wary of other users, especially when you have a young inexperienced rider.

If this is your first time riding this route, I’d try and pick a time when it might be a little quieter as it can get quite busy during peak weekend hours.

Make sure that you don’t pick a windy day either. It’s an exposed course and a strong head wind or side wind that whips up the sand can turn a lovely family outing into a painful experience!

Green Whizz

Map

Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Ride Map
Red Whizz

Starting Points

The starting point for this ride is the Ice Cream Kiosk on the Esplanade, just opposite Queens Drive Space, EX8 2AY.

Ice Cream Kiosk Exmouth Esplanade

There are two public car parks nearby, one just along from Queens Drive Space and one further along the Esplanade by the RNLI building. There are also plenty of on-street parking bays all the way along the Esplanade.

Green Whizz

Section 1

The whole ride is on tarmac so it’s a good surface for cruisy riding. Stormy weather does tend to whip up a bit of sand onto the pathway so it’s best to avoid this ride straight after some nasty weather.

Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Lane

This section of the ride has two sides to the pathway separated by a small concrete hump for most of the way. One side is for cyclists and the other for walkers. It’s always a little tricky when you are taking a toddler or pre-schooler along here to know which side to let them ride on. If you are walking along with them, I’d have them on the walkers side. If you are all riding together, stick to the the bike side.

This two lane section runs for about 700 meters one way and finishes just by the RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Red Whizz

Section 2

Exmouth Esplanade near Orcombe Point

Follow the pathway that skirts to the left of the RNLI building as this gives you plenty of room. The walkway that goes to the right has a narrowish tight corner which can be a little dangerous on the bike.

This second section of approximately 800 meters one way is a shared pathway. It’s nice and wide but keep a close eye on your rider as you head down here. You often get people heading out of their cars and cutting across the pathway without really looking.

Exmouth Esplanade Orcombe Point

The turnaround point is the very obvious cluster of flag poles by Orcombe Point.

You may want to stop and grab some refreshments here at Bumble and Sea. Or head on back the way you came for a well earned ice cream!

If you wanted to start down at Orcombe Point, you can do the course in reverse.

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Lane
  • Total Distance: 3km
  • Section 1 Distance: 700 meters one way
  • Section 2 Distance: 800 meters one way
  • Turn Around Point: Flag Poles at Orcombe Point
  • Surface: Tarmac the whole way.

Red Whizz

Facilities

There are public toilets just between Budgens and Exmouth Rowing Club although they may still be closed due to COVID-19.

You can grab a cuppa from either the Ice Cream Kiosk or the other end at Bumble and Sea.

If you have brought a picnic, the tables and seating at Queens Drive Space is a perfect spot for it.

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

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

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.

Green Whizz

Map

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Map
Red Whizz

Starting Points

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

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.

Green Whizz

Section 1

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.

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park

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.

Red Whizz

Section 2

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

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.

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

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.

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park.

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.

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride
  • Total Distance: 2.4km round trip
  • Section 1 Distance: 200 meters one way
  • Section 2 Distance: 1km one way
  • Turn Around Point: Metal barrier
  • Surface: Mainly smooth tarmac with two bridges to cross.

Red Whizz

Facilities

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.

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

Kes

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.

Red Whizz

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.

Green Whizz

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.

Green Whizz

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