A Coast Path Walk from Budleigh Salterton

The South West Coast Path offers a huge choice of fabulous walks and views that are hard to beat anywhere in the world.  I love this circular walk in East Devon which takes a lovely route around Budleigh Salterton with views across to Ladram Bay.

Budleigh Salterton is a pretty town with a long pebble beach overlooked in the summer by a row of cheerful beach huts and little boats. The red cliffs look amazing on sunny days, contrasting a bright blue sky. This seaside town has plenty of ice cream shops and places for a cuppa. Each year it also hosts a very well regarded literary festival.

There is well photographed view that looks East across the beach where a cluster of trees provide the backdrop over the River Otter estuary.

Budleigh Salterton beach boat
Budleigh Salterton Otter Estuary

A Choice of Walks

You can make Budleigh Salterton your starting point for linear walks to Exmouth or Sidmouth.  If you are just after a short walk there is the option to explore the lovely nature reserve around the estuary with a circular walk from Lime Kiln car park (EX9 6JD). With bird viewing hides and platforms there is always lots of bird and wildlife to spot.

Circular Coast Path Walk

The route I am describing here was 9km and started from the nature reserve along the River Otter. We parked on South Farm Road where there are pull ins off the road. Parking here is free but at your own risk.  You can also make this walk a bit longer by starting and finishing in the pretty village of Otterton.  Here there is the option of a fabulous cream tea or lunch at lovely working Otterton Mill.

River Otter Estuary

On this route the path heads inland to start with, running parallel to the East of the River towards Otterton. After 1km there is a track on the left.  Initially goes through a field instead of the original track. It is marked on the map as Colliver Lane. At the end of this you reach a country lane.  Turn right and head towards the sea where you will pick up the coast path after about 1.5km.

Gateway near Otterton and Budleigh Salterton

To be honest this walk is best described in photos. I love the red rocks of this amazing stretch of the Jurassic Coast. In the winter after a lot of rain they turn the sea red as well. 

The red sandstone rock is actually the oldest of the layers of rock along this stretch of the World Heritage Coast and are from the Triassic period.  240 million years ago this rock formed part of a dessert area when the world was made up of just one large land mass known as Pangaea. It’s quite amazing to think this that is now exposed for us to see and walk across.

South West Coast Path Ladram Bay Sidmouth view
Coast Path Walk from Budleigh Salterton

Local History – Brandy Head Observation Hut

As well as the million year old history, more recent events are also marked on this walk. Along the coast path you will come across a shelter at Brandy  Head.  Named after the smuggling of brandy and other contraband that was rife all over the South West, (I’m thinking Poldark here!) the actual shelter has more recent history.

The Brandy Head Observation Hut was built in 1940. It was used by the Gunnery Research Unit as a bombing range observation post in World War 11 to test aircraft mounted cannon and gun sights.  During the war Spitfires, Typhoons and Hurricanes would fly over head from Exeter and test weapons on targets in the bay, while the post itself served as an observation point.

In 2019 the building was granted permission to be converted into holiday accommodation for walkers.

Coast Path Walk from Budleigh Salterton trees

Walk Directions

This really is a lovely walk. At just over 5 miles,  if you take a picnic or snacks would be achievable for most ages. Instead of providing too much detail here, I saved the walk on the Ordnance Survey app.  You can see can also see it detailed on the South West Coast Path website –  links here.

Ordnance Survey route planner link


South West Coast Path link

I do hope you get the chance to walk this route. If you love East Devon or are planning to visit, then I have a number of other coast path walks written up as well such as Beer to Branscombe. Thank you for joining me and I hope you take the time to explore more with Flip Flops or Wellies.

Coast Path Walk from Budleigh Salterton view through trees

If you are keen to plan or plot your own routes and track distances then the Ordnance Survey app is excellent. Annual membership gives you access to OS Maps from the whole of the UK.  You can also use this link to buy traditional paper maps and access individual maps online.

This is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase at no cost to yourself.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you are a local to the area then I do hope you get the chance in the not to near future to try this walk. (after the lockdown as I am writing this in April 2020).  Anyone who is in other parts of the UK, please do consider beautiful East Devon for a holiday if you have not been here before. I it really is a gem of an area to visit.