Exe Estuary Trail
This splendid, largely traffic free ride takes you around the beautiful Exe Estuary on the south Devon coast. It runs along National Cycle Network route 2 from Exmouth to Dawlish. The ride takes place on mostly well surfaced, flat cycle paths so it is quite an easy ride. Most sections are suitable for families or beginners looking for a nice introduction to cycling.
The route starts off in Exmouth and heads north along the river with splendid views of the Exe Estuary Nature Reserve. The RSPB reserve is great for birdwatching so look out for lapwings, redshanks and Cetti's warblers as you go. You soon come to the village of Lympstone with its pretty harbour and the 19th century Italianate riverfront brick clock tower known as Peter's Tower. You continue to Exton, passing Nutwell Park and the Georgian neo-classical Grade II listed mansion house of Nutwell Court. The next stage takes you through Topsham, passing the Exe Reedbeds Nature Reserve before coming to Lower Wear. Here you cross a bridge over the river to the western side where you pass the Riverside Valley Park and the Exeter Canal.
On the western side of the estuary you head south passing RSPB Exminster Marshes and Powderham Castle. The Grade I listed building is a major highlight on the route with its lovely gardens and fine fortified manor house. From the castle you continue through Starcross to Dawlish Warren. This lovely area includes the Dawlish Warren National Nature reserve which consists of grassland, ponds and a huge variety of birdlife to look out for. The final section takes you along the coast to the finish point at the town of Dawlish.
If you'd like to extend your cycling in this area then you could head to Exeter along route 34 or follow the excellent Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Railway Path.
You can virtually explore some of the route around Powderham by clicking on the google street view link below.