Date: 11th October, 2020
Location: Jurassic Coast, Devon (SWCP Section 58)
Distance: 11.5 km (7 miles)
Elevation gain: 239 m (784 ft)
Duration: 4 hours
Highlights: Great views out towards Torquay and Brixham, hiking along the tops of stunning red cliffs, lunch on the beach at Budleigh Salterton
Summary: Easy public transport links to the start and end of this hike make it a perfect day trip from Exeter for those looking for a short coastal hike.
This is a fairly easy stretch of the coast path and one that we'd saved for a sunny day. It's super easy to get to Exmouth from Exeter, so we hopped on the first train of the morning and made our way down to the coast.
The day started off with a success – the tides were out so we attempted to cross the mud flats by the harbour...but as our shoes got sucked into the mud, we decided it might be best to head back to solid ground – maybe not such a success after all. Past the Exmouth Festival site, we wandered through parts of Exmouth we'd never been to. We walked along the edge of a gorgeous sheltered harbour before merging onto the Exmouth beach. After hiking for a few kilometres along the beach, it was time to climb up into the cliffs.
Once up on the cliffs, the path hugs the coast, passing the extensive Devon Cliffs Holiday Park above Sandy Bay. Here we took the opportunity to grab some snacks at a small shop and use the toilet before continuing on. Unfortunately, a military base prevents the path from continuing along the coast, but after another gradual climb, we were back up on the red cliffs with our destination in sight.
Despite huge grey clouds rolling in over Budleigh Salterton when we arrived, the rain didn't last long and the sun was soon shining again. We grabbed a takeaway lunch from Tea & Tittle Tattle which we ate overlooking the rocky beach. Having completed this section of the South West Coast Path, we've now walked from Torquay all the way to Lyme Regis!
Getting to Exmouth: Train from Exeter St Davids (takes about an hour)
Getting to Budleigh Salterton: Bus 157 or 357 from Exmouth or Bus 58 from Exeter