Exeter Canal Cycle Route


Tel: 01392 665700

Exeter Canal - with Swans


Distance: 15 miles (23 km) maximum
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

An Exeter based cycle route which is wonderfully level and almost entirely traffic free. The route takes in the National Cycle Network route 2 on both sides of the head of the Exe estuary, passing RSPB reserves and several well known locks.

Begin at Exeter Quay and head south towards Salmonpool and Double Locks following the NCN 2 signs. After passing the Double Locks pub you will be riding alongside the canal where it is worth looking out for herons and kingfishers. At the junction in the route take the left fork to Countess Wear and Topsham which soon brings you to the signalled crossing of the busy Bridge Road.

Follow the NCN 2 signs for a brief period on minor roads before emerging on the traffic free shared use path on Exeter Road to Topsham. Where the path ends at the signals, cross and turn right along Ashford Road and follow this road turning left at the end into Ferry Road and Topsham quayside.

Head to the foot and cycle ferry and cross to the west side of the Exe and the swing bridge on the other side. At this point, turn right to return to Exeter Quayside, or turn left to continue your ride to the Turf Locks. This part of the route follows the newly constructed cycle/walkway, part of the developing Exe Estuary Trail.

At Turf Locks there are magnificent views of the Exe estuary. The route between the swing bridge and Turf Locks passes Exminster Marshes - an area of wet grassland which is an important breeding ground for lapwings and redshanks. There are viewing platforms along the route to watch the birdlife.

Book Tickets



Road Directions

Follow signs to Exeter Historic Quayside or to Topsham to begin the route.

Public Transport Directions

From Exeter St. Davids rail station, there is a short on-road section before joining the main traffic free route alongside the River Exe. This section of the route takes you past the cycle/pedestrian bridge known as Millers Crossing, which is well worth a look.

Opening Times

Exeter Canal Cycle Route (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

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