Budleigh Salterton Cliffs and the Otter Estuary

Budleigh Salterton, Devon
Budlaigh Salterton Cliffs-Richard Edmonds, Dorset


The cliffs in the western part of Budleigh Salterton expose the full thickness of the Lower Triassic Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds. The Beds are made up of well-rounded pink, red and grey cobbles and pebbles that resulted from the erosion of 400 million year old quartzite outcrops lying to the south-west, possibly now under younger rocks in the English Channel or even Brittany. These were then laid down as a coarse gravel in a large braided river which crossed a Triassic desert 230 million years ago. Over the years erosion processes have released the pebbles from the bed thus creating the present pebble beach. Some of these pebbles have been carried by the action of the sea as far east as Sussex and Kent.

The Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds are overlain by red Otter Sandstone which is of mixed wind blown and river origin and can be seen west of the promenade and in low cliffs behind it. At Otterton Point, on the eastern side of the mouth of the Otter Estuary, this sandstone has yielded important fossil remains including ‘the Devon rhynchosaur’, an ancient reptile that has allowed these rocks to be dated to the Triassic period. The Otter Estuary is also important for its modern day wildlife.

There are information boards, viewing platforms, toilets, shops, cafes, a tourist information centre and a car park. When walking along the coastline please take care and refer to the safety guidance at the start of this booklet.

Book Tickets



Road Directions

From Exeter, take the A376 to Exmouth and then go west along the B3178 to Budleigh. There is car parking at Budleigh Salterton.

Public Transport Directions

Access is via the South West Coast Path or along the beach from Budleigh Salterton.

There is an Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton cycle route.

Buses run regularly from Exmouth and Sidmouth.

Train services run to Exmouth.


Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Key Features

  • In countryside
  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (charge)

Opening Times

All Year (1 Jan 2024 - 1 Jan 2025)

Follow us

What's Nearby

  1. Otter Estuary Nature Reserve

    This compact and accessible estuary supports a particularly well developed saltmarsh…

    0.13 miles away
  2. Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Circuit - Cycle Route

    This is a lovely relaxing cycle route taking in the coast and the rural hinterland…

    0.48 miles away
  3. Budleigh Salterton Beach

    Budleigh Salterton beach is a long pebble beach extending for 2.5 miles along the…

    0.57 miles away
  1. A Potter Down the Otter - Walk

    Distance: 6 miles
    Difficulty: Easy
    Start/End point: Newton Poppleford/Budleigh…

    2.41 miles away
  2. World of Country Life

    World of Country Life is Devon’s GOLD award winning family day out, whatever the weather!

    2.51 miles away
  3. Sandy Bay

    Sandy Bay in Exmouth is a half-mile long privately owned beach which is sheltered and…

    2.86 miles away
  4. The East Devon Way

    The East Devon Way links together footpaths & quiet country lanes to create routes…

    4.59 miles away
  5. Sidmouth Town Beach

    Sidmouth Beach is a beautiful expanse of sand and shingle beach, clean, accessible, and…

    4.59 miles away
  6. Exmouth Beach

    Two miles of golden sand and fascinating rock pools

    4.61 miles away
  7. Sidmouth to Beer Coast

    The coast between Sidmouth and Beer reflects the unique ‘walk through time’ that can be…

    4.72 miles away
  8. Heath and Valley Walk

    A pleasant walk starting from Newton Poppleford through quiet countryside with good views…

    4.95 miles away
  9. Stuart Line Cruises

    Stuart Line Cruises is based in Exmouth, Devon and we are easy to find. We do have some…

    4.99 miles away
  10. Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Devon

    Running 155km from Exmouth in Devon to Studland in Dorset is the Dorset and East Devon…

    5.31 miles away
  11. Exe Estuary

    The Exe Estuary is of international importance for wintering waders and wildfowl,…

    5.33 miles away
  12. RSPB Aylesbeare nature reserve

    Aylesbeare is also important for its dragonflies, including the rare southern damselfly,…

    5.34 miles away
  13. Dawlish Warren Beach

    Dawlish Warren prides itself on being one of South Devon's top family beaches.…

    5.95 miles away
Previous Next

Search for What's Nearby

Product Type
Within miles


Dawlish Warren Cliffs: Photo supplied by Craig Dixon, DCCDawlish Warren and Cliffs, Dawlish and Dawlish Warren