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Katherine Moore

Exe Estuary sand, mud and marshes — Birdwatching by bike in Devon

Exe Estuary sand, mud and marshes — Birdwatching by bike in Devon

Intermediate
02:21
24.9 mi
10.6 mph
325 ft
300 ft
Ferry
Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

Tour Overview

Starting Point
7.12 mi
© OSM

Turf Hotel

Road Cycling Highlight

11.2 mi
© OSM

Starcross to Exmouth Ferry

Bike Touring Highlight

17.3 mi
© OSM

Exe Estuary cycle path

Bike Touring Highlight

17.5 mi
© OSM

Goosemoor Nature Reserve

Bike Touring Highlight

18.4 mi
© OSM
19.0 mi
© OSM

Route 2 Bike Shop and Café

Bike Touring Highlight

24.9 mi
Destination

Waytypes

Singletrack: < 109 yd
Path: 188 yd
Access Road: < 109 yd
Cycleway: 17.1 mi
Street: 2.90 mi
Road: 2.84 mi
State Road: 237 yd
Ferry: 1.75 mi

Surfaces

Unpaved: 1.41 mi
Paved: 11.4 mi
Asphalt: 10.1 mi
Unknown: 2.06 mi
  • Includes a ferry crossing

    Check ferry timetable.

  • Includes movable bridges

    Check opening times.

  • Includes a segment that goes up or down a series of steps

    You may need to carry your bike.

  • Includes a segment in which cycling is forbidden

    You will have to dismount and push your bike.

Weather Forecast

Katherine Moore planned a bike ride.

October 12, 2020

Comments

  • Katherine Moore

    The Exe Estuary is a haven for wildlife, especially when it comes to birds. Rolling green fields yield down to the edge of the water, where the receding tide reveals miles of mud flats, sandy coves and beaches that are home to many species of wading birds and seabirds.With the brilliant RSPB Bowling Green and Goosmoor, Exminster and Powderham Marshes and the Matford Marshes, there are many maintained nature reserves between Exeter and the sea, as well as wilder spots where you might be treated to wonderful displays of bird life.Over the last decade or so, this estuary has been transformed into a fantastic place to ride a bike, too, with the Exe Estuary Cycle Path allowing you to ride a loop of the whole estuary, including a short ferry from Starcross to Exmouth, or vice versa. Enjoying wildlife from the bike, along a trail that’s paved but mostly traffic-free has never been easier! This circular Tour starts at Exeter St Davids train station, heading out of the centre of Devon’s capital along the River Exe via the historic quayside. Your first opportunity to spy some birds comes as you cross the Riverside Valley Park. I’ve seen cormorants drying off here in the sun before by the Trews Weir, so keep your eyes peeled!You’ll then switch over to follow the canal on National Cycle Route 2 past Topsham Lock to Turf Lock, and the hotel here where you can enjoy a drink or bite to eat. This is where the canal ends and the cycle path follows right along the western shore of the Exe Estuary.For your best chances of seeing a great range of wading birds here, time your cycle to coincide with low tide, when the birds will be feeding on the mud flats. You can also enjoy different migratory species in this area throughout the year, as birds like brent geese tend to overwinter here.When you reach Starcorss, take the ferry with your bike across the mouth of the estuary to Exmouth, where you leave the busy town and marina behind to start heading north, now on the eastern bank of the estuary. The cycle path is mostly flat and traffic-free, bar a short stint through the delightful village of Lympstone. Don’t forget to stop where you fancy to explore and get the binos out!Possibly the highlight of the Tour comes next; RSPB Bowling Green marsh, where you can ride down the lane to the bird hide there, overlooking the marshes. Take a lock with you to secure your bike, and you can spend hours here if you like! Keep an eye out for black-tailed godwits, avocets, wigeons, brent geese and teal.After a coffee stop at Route 2 Cafe in Topsham, the loop concludes back along the canal path and along the other side of the River Exe back to the train station.

    • October 16, 2020

Katherine Moore

Exe Estuary sand, mud and marshes — Birdwatching by bike in Devon