Author Topic: South West Coast Path near Exmouth  (Read 915 times)

barbaraandrob

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South West Coast Path near Exmouth
« on: 16:43:17, 10/12/19 »
Hello All,


My name is Rob. I live in Denver, Colorado. My wife, Barbara, and I often visit the UK and we've always wanted to walk the many paths you are so fortunate to have. With the kids off to University, we will begin our UK walking journey in a few days, though it will be short and we are only able to "dip our toe in the water" on this trip. I'm hoping for some advice...


We have 3 nights just before Christmas and will be staying near Exeter for at least 1 night. I'm trying to decide where to spend the other 2. I think the decision depends on what the South West Coast Path has to offer near Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton.


Because the weather may be windy and rainy, my ideal itinerary would be to walk for a few hours and end up at a cozy pub for tea, or dinner, or lunch. The part of the path closest to our hotel is about a 20 minute drive north of Sidmouth. The other part of the path we are interested in is near Dartmouth. However, the drive from our hotel is a bit further. Given what I'm looking for in our first foray on the South West Coast Path, should I plan to spend 2 nights near Sidmouth, or spend 2 nights near Dartmouth? 


Thanks very much for any information, it's greatly appreciated.

Jac

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Re: South West Coast Path near Exmouth
« Reply #1 on: 21:12:58, 10/12/19 »
I am a little confused (not unusual) From Sidmouth the SWCP runs either East or West so do you mean your hotel is 20 mins drive north of Sidmouth?
The path East of the River Exe is perhaps a bit less strenuous as it is either side of the River Dart
Dartmouth itself would, in my opinion, be a more interesting town to be based in than Exmouth but living in Exeter I know the east better
All the towns have pubs/cafes, in villages -
Otterton, via a very pleasant footpath for mile and a half up the river Otter from the SWCP crossing point, has an excellent café, the Mill, and a good pub.
Branscombe has two! The  Fountain Head a quaint little place (check opening times) and the Masons Arms, lovely old building bit more upmarket.
Beer has several
The Donkey Sanctuary -just east of Sidmouth is worth a visit, parking/entrance is free, the restaurant is excellent and you could combine it with a circular walk on the SWCP taking in Branscombe and back on the very quiet lanes.

I'll try to think of some more.
So many paths, so little time

barbaraandrob

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Re: South West Coast Path near Exmouth
« Reply #2 on: 23:59:52, 10/12/19 »
Thanks, Jac! You aren't at all confused, you are exactly correct. Our hotel is a 20 minute drive north of the coast. We'll have to get in the car and drive to the SWC Path and walk from there. I truly appreciate all of the information.

Stube

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Re: South West Coast Path near Exmouth
« Reply #3 on: 16:49:21, 11/12/19 »
Plan on short days - it's only really light between 8am and 4pm at this time of year - less if there's heavy cloud cover.

Walk west to east so the wind is at your back. (And it will be windy!)

This is very much out of season so many facilities will be closed. You may be lucky and catch a pantomime at one of the theatres.

The roads are slow, narrow and twisty west of Exeter and getting anywhere always takes longer than you might expect.

Get a copy of A-Z Maps Adventure series: South west Coast Path South Devon booklet. It's the OS 1:25k mapping in strip form for the path with a full index and gazetteer of facilities along the route. It covers the path from Plymouth to Lyme Regis - so good for wherever  you plan to walk.

I think Sidmouth would make a better base than either Exmouth or Dartmouth. You have a days good clifftop walking to both sides with buses to get you there or back from Exmouth (via Budleigh Salterton) and Seaton. It has many fine hotels including several 4* ones - a rarity on this part of the coast - and some smart shops.

The Dart valley itself is very pretty - Agatha Christie's house overlooks it. But to the west there are limited refreshment opportunities and the path is close to the coast road (and sometimes on it!). Eastwards once round the headland you are in Torbay AKA "The English Riviera" and a large tourist conurbation.

« Last Edit: 16:54:19, 11/12/19 by Stube »

barbaraandrob

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Re: South West Coast Path near Exmouth
« Reply #4 on: 04:17:17, 12/12/19 »
Wonderful advice, Stube. Thanks for taking the time!

BuzyG

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Re: South West Coast Path near Exmouth
« Reply #5 on: 18:30:14, 17/12/19 »
So many fine places to visit along the SWCP.  If you were to base your self in Dartmouth you could walk the path around to Brixham and Paignton. Then catch the train of lights steam train back to Dartmouth.  There are also some great National trust properties on route. Notably Greenway, Agatha Christie's home and Coleton Fishacre.

https://www.dsrrbchristmas.co.uk/train-of-lights

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre/whats-on

Bear in mind it is off season so be sure to check when places are open.