The Best Coast Path Walks in East Devon

I may well be biased but I believe that some of the best coast path walks are in East Devon.  Part of the beautiful Jurassic Coast, the area has such variety to offer and there’s no better place to walk with a view of the sea.

The whole South West Coast Path covers a challenging 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset.  Having walked quite a few of the routes near me in East Devon and written about them as this blog has evolved, it seemed a good time to summarise the best of these walks.

Axmouth Harbour

The estuary of the River Axe is a lovely place to walk and is perfect for a short stroll. Although not strictly part of the South West coast path you can head out along the estuary from Axmouth Village near Seaton.  Keep to the left bank of the river as you walk towards the sea. Pass moored up yachts, colourful fishing boats and piles of lobster pots.

Axmouth Harbour South West Coast Path

There are a few houses along here with enviable views and a small cafe. As the river flows out to the sea climb up to the little look out and then head as far as you feel like along the pebbles.   1 – 3 miles depending on where you start walking and how far along the beach you go.

You can also start here and cross into Dorset on the coast path, the route starts with a steady uphill past one of the most scenic golf courses in the country. This popular walk is known as The Undercliff and take you to Lyme Regis.

Seaton to Beer

Seaton has a lovely mile long Esplanade which is accessible and perfect for an easy walk. At the end is a great little cafe aptly named The Hideaway. It’s not too far to reach the picture postcard village of Beer if you time it right and shortcut along the beach (be warned there are steps uphill out of Seaton Hole to rejoin the main path.

The original footpath from Seaton sadly collapsed into the sea so the official route goes inland.  Alternatively there is some parking at Seaton Hole.  Take a look at one of my first ever blog posts here for this short walk which rewards you with a pretty views of Beer and the chance for a pint or an ice cream.

Seaton to Beer Coast Path Walk

Beer to Branscombe

This is a real favourite with locals and visitors to East Devon. To make life a bit easier there is a large car park at the top of the hill called Beer Head. The choice is to walk to Branscombe and back or walk about half way and then loop back round to Beer heading inland. Views from the coast path are just gorgeous. All the details are in this Beer to Branscombe post.

Branscombe to Sidmouth

This section of the coast path is on my to do list. I’ve heard it’s quite a challenge as the path goes up to the cliff top and back down to the beach 3 times over 6 1/2 miles. If you are not sure you want the full challenge,  half way along is Weston Mouth.  This small pebbly beach can be reached via a choice of footpaths around the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary and the villages of Salcombe Regis or Weston.

Another great way to experience this route without walking the whole way is from Salcombe Hill. There are few places to park near the Norman Lockyear Observatory and Salcombe Hill is a National Trust site.  You can either make a short circular walk out to the coast path and back or a longer 5 mile route via the Donkey Sanctuary. More details on the National Trust website.

South West Coast Path Salcombe Hill view

Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton is a pretty seaside town with a long pebble beach, plenty of cafes and ice cream shops.  It’s a good place for walks and from here you can head for Exmouth which is about 6 miles on the coast path. There is a regular bus service to bring you back for your car if needed.

My choice was a pretty walk that goes inland first along the River Otter and loops back round to the coast path.  You can read more about this circular route which was about 5 miles here or extend it to take in Otterton and Otterton Mill or the local pub for lunch.

There is an option of walking to Sidmouth via Ladram Bay, another to add to my list.

Budleigh Salterton South West Coast Path

Beautiful South West Coast Path

I think you will agree that I am very lucky to live where I do and be fit enough to make these walks. As I write this we are in the historic Covid-19 lockdown.  The current situation has made me really appreciate what a privilege it is being able to walk these routes when at the moment I can’t.

If you already live near the coast I am sure you are appreciating it. For those that do not, then I hope that you will be able to visit this very beautiful part of the West Country in the near future.

Thank you for reading my posts – Clare