The days are feeling longer, the evenings are lighter and the sun is shining (most of the time!) – which means even more opportunity to explore new parts of Exeter by foot. As part of National Walking Month, the Visit Exeter team have shared their favourite walks in and around the city, to inspire you to revisit these spots or discover a brand new trail for yourself!

 Jess

I’ve always enjoyed walking where I can since I was younger, so the past year has really inspired me to find new walking routes to tick off my list! I recently discovered the Alphinbrook and Hambeer Lane trail – it’s such a peaceful country route and it really shows off the beautiful, rustic areas right under our noses!

Most residents of Exeter would probably agree that they’re missing the coast during lockdown and like me, cannot wait to jump on a short train ride to Exmouth, walk along the seafront and finally take a breath of sea air once again! I like to stroll to the end of Marine Drive, up the cliff pathway to Orcombe Point and back towards Exmouth again – the view is spectacular at the top!

 Debbie

Like Jess, I’ve always been a keen walker. As children we spent hours clambering over the tors of Dartmoor National Park looking for letterboxes or exploring the routes along our beautiful coastline.

I recently read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, which has inspired me all over again to walk more of the South West Coast Path. Living in Exmouth, I am lucky to be able to walk to the beach from my house, and enjoy walking from Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton and back. Its 22km door to door, so not for the faint hearted, but the views along the way are well worth the effort!

When restrictions lift, I’m looking forward to heading to Branscombe, a little further along the coast. The walk from the village hall, through the valley and down to the beach is lovely, and there’s even a cosy pub along the way to enjoy a much deserved drink or bite to eat too!

 June

My favourite place to walk is from the Exeter Canal basin, along by the canal going past Turf Locks and up to the swing bridge. My husband and I love walking along there and when the evenings are bright we'll walk back, stop at Turf Locks and enjoy a drink and tuck into one of their delicious homemade scotch eggs!

Exeter Canal is very peaceful, with the odd canoe or paddle board passing by. It also has a wealth of wildlife ranging from swans with their cygnets, ducks with their chicks and we have also seen a pike waiting in the shallows for his supper!

 Claire

I’m lucky enough to live close to the river in Exeter, so regularly walk to the Quayside. It’s perfect for a relaxing weekend walk as you can walk alongside the River Exe or Canal, where a choice of several different paths means it never gets really crowded. Once you reach the Quayside it is a hub of activity, and we usually grab a takeaway coffee or lunch from one of the waterside cafes or restaurants. From the 12th April the pubs and restaurants are able to reopen for outdoor service, and there are plenty of places to sit and eat alfresco here!

Another of my favourite places to walk is Haldon Forest Park. With 3,500 acres of woodland it’s easy to escape the crowds and find peace here on the wooded walks. There is a great choice of trails to follow, catering for different abilities, with interesting features along the way, such as woodland musical instruments! We normally end our walk at the Ridge Café, where the kids love playing in the sand play area!

Related

Exmouth
Town
Exmouth Beach

The oldest seaside town in Devon, Exmouth boasts two miles of sandy beach, and is the gateway to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast.

Dartmoor National Park
National Park
Family looking into the distance

Dartmoor National Park is one of the last great wildernesses in the UK with an inspirational landscape of heatherclad moors and rugged tors.

Budleigh Salterton
Town
Budleigh Salterton Beach

This old salters’ community nestling on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast has a 400-year-old cobble beach. A delightful riverside walk to the old village of Otterton runs from Budleigh Salterton.

Exeter Quayside
Historic Site
Monolith at Exeter Quayside. Copyright: DOminic Lowther

Exeter's Historic Quayside is the most attractive area in the city, popular with locals & visitors for its fascinating history, pubs & restaurants.

Haldon Forest Park - Forestry England
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Haldon Forest Park - Forestry Commission - walking with view

COVID-19: Most facilities are open but running a little differently. Please check before you travel. Haldon Forest Park is made up of 3,500 acres of woodland, just 15 minutes from Exeter. Open 364 days a year, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. With miles of trails for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders, there’s something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park. Enjoy expansive views, exhilarating mountain biking, tree top adventures and orienteering courses. What will you discover? Walking Whether you’re looking for an easy-going trail for all abilities, play and adventure for the children or peace and quiet to observe the wildlife, we have a trail for you. Cycling Head out onto trails to suit all ab

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