GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Exeter Canal

5 miles (8 km)

Follow the Exeter Ship Canal from the centre of Exeter to the River Exe Estuary. It's a nice easy cycle or walk following the canal towpath for about 5 miles.
The route starts near the cathedral in the city centre and heads south towards Topsham, passing River Exe Country Park and the Exe Reedbeds nature reserve. There's nice views of the River Exe and lots of water loving wildlife to look out for.
The route of the canal follows the Exe Valley Ride and the Exe Valley Way so there is scope for extending your exercise along these long distance paths. The Exe Estuary Trail also runs through the area.
Our Exeter Circular Walk visits the Riverside Valley Park, the River Exe and the canal too.

Exeter Canal OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Exeter Canal Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


At the end of the canal there's the Turf Hotel for some post exercise relaxation and refreshment. The timber framed slate hung listed building includes a characterful interior with pine strip floors. It's in a fabulous spot overlooking the Exe Estuary with a large garden area to relax in on warmer days. The pub is dog friendly if you have your canine friend with you. Postcode is EX68EE.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Follow the Exe Valley way north from the city and you can visit the pretty village of Brampford Speke and the picturesque Bickleigh Mill. It's a fine place for a stroll with a historic mill and shopping area right next to the river. There's also an excellent riverside pub here too.
Just a few miles north east of the city there's the wonderful Killerton Park Estate to explore. The National Trust owned park covers thousands of acres with miles of great cycling and walking trails surrounding the 18th century mansion. The historic village of Broadclyst and the peaceful woodland trails around Ashclyst Forest can also be found in this area.
For an alternative circular walk around the city see the Exeter Green Circle. This 12 mile trail visits the Alphin Brook Valley, the village of Alphington, the Hoopern Valley, Mincinglake Valley Park and The Ludwell Valley.
For more walking ideas in the county see the Devon Walks page.


Exeter canal basin - - 236116

Exeter canal basin. The basin, at the Exeter end of the canal, was built in 1830. The warehouses followed soon after. The quay area retains a mix of Georgian and Victorian buildings, repurposed for modern use, including the custom house which dates from 1681. The basin has gone through substantial redevelopment, including residential buildings in a mock warehouse style, with the older buildings finding new uses as antique shops, cafes, restaurants and studios.

Exeter Canal Double locks - - 23527

Exeter Canal Double locks.
The double locks on the canal near to Countess weir.

Exeter canal basin - - 238682

Canal basin. Seen from halfway along the southwestern side. On the right, behind the "Ilka", are the original warehouses, and at the far end, across Piazza Terracina, are modern flats above a row of popular cafes.

Flood plain between river Exe and Exeter Canal - - 1018858

Flood plain between River Exe and the canal. With the exception of the Roman 'Fossdyke' the canal is thought to be the oldest manmade waterway in Britain. The first stage of the canal was built in the Tudor period when Elizabeth I was on the throne.

Boathouse by Exeter Canal - - 3173112

Boathouse by the canal

The entrance to Exeter Canal Basin - - 1929987

Canoe by the entrance to Exeter Canal Basin. The canal basin is popular for a range of water sports, including canoeing, rowing and kayaking.

Reed beds between the Exeter Canal and the Exe estuary - - 1285820

Reed beds between the canal the Exe estuary

Exeter Canal meets Exe river at Turf Lock - - 1727882

Canal meets Exe river at Turf Lock. The promontory between the course of the canal and the river is part of the garden of the popular Turf Lock hotel.


GPS Files

GPX File

Exeter Canal.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Exeter Canal.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)