15 Best Walks In Exeter (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Exeter (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

As a resident of Exeter, I have the pleasure of being able to explore some of the best walks in the area.

From serene strolls along the Exe Estuary Trail to the challenging hike up Cherrybrook Wood and Watermead, there’s something for everyone when it comes to exploring the great outdoors.

I’m here to share with you 15 of the best walks in Exeter, from hikes to leisurely strolls, so you can make the most of this beautiful area.

Whether you’re a local looking for a new route to take or a visitor looking to explore some of the best spots in the city, you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Exe Estuary Trail

Exe Estuary Trail
Photo by Brian Henley

You’ll love taking in the stunning views along the Exe Estuary Trail – an easy and enjoyable way to experience the best of Exeter’s countryside!

This popular trail winds its way around the Exe Estuary, with wonderful views of the river and a diverse range of wildlife. Comprised of a mixture of flat paths and gentle inclines, the trail offers a pleasant and leisurely walk, suitable for all ages and abilities.

The trail is well-marked and maintained, with plenty of benches and picnic spots along the way. You’ll have the opportunity to spot a variety of wading birds, as well as otters, kingfishers, and other wildlife.

You’ll also pass by historic sites and charming villages, with plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the scenery. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a more energetic hike, the Exe Estuary Trail is a great way to experience the best of Exeter’s countryside.

Cherrybrook Wood and Watermead

The River Thame in Watermead
Photo by Steve Daniels

Take a stroll in Cherrybrook Wood and Watermead and you’ll be surrounded by nature’s beauty! This beautiful area is located a few miles outside of Exeter and is ideal for a quiet and peaceful walk.

It consists of a wide variety of habitats, including woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and even grassland. The woodlands are full of ancient oak trees and lush green foliage, while the wetland areas are home to a wide variety of birds and waterfowl.

The meadows are full of wildflowers and grasses, while the grasslands provide plenty of space to explore.

Cherrybrook Wood and Watermead is also rich in history, with evidence of human activity dating back to the Bronze Age. You can also find a variety of archaeological features, such as old wells and trackways.

This area is a great spot for a leisurely walk, with plenty of seating areas and benches to take in the views. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Turf Lock Nature Reserve

River Exe estuary, Turf Lock
Photo by David Smith

Explore Turf Lock Nature Reserve, a tranquil haven just a few miles from Exeter, and soak up its serene beauty.

Located in the Exe estuary, the reserve offers an abundance of wildlife, including waterfowl, otters, and a variety of birds. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll, with plenty of pathways and a variety of landscapes.

You can meander through the reed beds, meadows, and woods, or explore a hidden garden. Enjoy a picnic, or take a break and admire the views.

Keep your eyes peeled for the rare plants and flowers that can be found in the reserve, as well as the deer, badgers, and foxes.

You’ll be sure to leave feeling refreshed and inspired. Turf Lock Nature Reserve is truly a magical place and a must-see for all nature lovers.

Exeter Canal

Embrace the beauty of Exeter Canal as you wander along its scenic pathways. Stretching from the quay in the city of Exeter, this historic canal was first built in the mid-1700s.

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Enjoy the captivating sights of the city’s skyline, the surrounding countryside, and the rich wildlife that inhabit the area. Along its length, you can find plenty of spots for a rest or a picnic. As you continue your journey, keep an eye out for the old lock gates and stone bridges that were built in the 19th century.

This peaceful and tranquil route is a great way to get some fresh air and take in the sights and sounds of the local area. Whether you opt for a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike, the Exeter Canal is an ideal place for a peaceful and enjoyable walk.

With plenty of places to rest and take in the views, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Blackberry Trail

Experience the Blackberry Trail and discover the hidden gems tucked away along the path.

This two-mile walk is a great way to get out and explore the natural beauty of Exeter.

The trail starts at the end of the Exeter Canal and takes you along the river, with plenty of wildflowers and birds to keep you company.

As you make your way through the woodlands, you’ll get a chance to take in the stunning views of the Exe Valley.

Along the way, you’ll also find plenty of historic sites, including old mills, abandoned quarries, and hidden waterfalls.

If you’re fortunate, you may even spot a few deer or otters as you walk.

The trail is easy to follow, and the terrain is mostly flat, so it’s an ideal walk for all levels of fitness.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the Blackberry Trail is a great way to get out and explore the natural beauty of Exeter.

Killerton Estate

After exploring the Blackberry Trail, I decided to venture to Killerton Estate to get a different kind of experience. This estate is located on the border between Devon and Somerset and is known for its beautiful views and lush green grounds.

Killerton is a great place for a leisurely stroll, and the estate is home to many different kinds of wildlife and plants that make a great backdrop for a peaceful walk.

The trails are relatively easy to follow and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. On the Killerton Estate, visitors can enjoy a variety of different paths, including a circular walk around the estate that takes you past some of Killerton’s most scenic spots. There are also plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the views, from the top of a hill to a tranquil lake.

The estate also has plenty of benches and picnic areas, so you can take a break and enjoy a bite to eat. This is the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon spent exploring the outdoors.

Exeter Quayside

Take a stroll along Exeter Quayside and soak in the sights of the city. This picture-perfect promenade is a wonderful way to explore the city and get a taste of the real Exeter.

The cobbled streets, historic buildings, and waterfront views of the Exe Estuary make this one of the most beautiful places in Devon. The area has been a hub of activity since the Iron Age, and there are plenty of archaeological sites to discover as you wander.

The quayside is also home to a wide variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, so you can always find something to do or somewhere to grab a bite to eat.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike, Exeter Quayside is the perfect destination.

Haldon Forest Park

Put on your hiking boots and explore the natural beauty of Haldon Forest Park. From lush green hills to peaceful rivers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.

The park, located in Exeter, is filled with over 3,000 acres of woodland. Wander through the ancient woodland and spot some of the native wildlife, such as deer, foxes, and badgers. There’s also plenty of wildflowers and birds to observe, including woodpeckers and redstarts.

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Haldon Forest Park is also a great spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. There are miles of trails and pathways, so you can find a route that suits your needs. Take a leisurely stroll on the gentler paths or challenge yourself and explore the dirt trails. No matter which route you choose, you’ll be surrounded by stunning views. So don’t forget your camera!

Crealy Meadows

Head to Crealy Meadows for a fun day out with the family. Set in 100 acres of Devon countryside, this family attraction is great for all ages.

Crealy Meadows offers a wide variety of activities to keep the whole family entertained, from thrilling rides to family-friendly activities. Take a ride on the new Giant Drop, a thrilling ride that takes you up to dizzying heights before dropping you down again.

Or, for something a bit more relaxing, take a ride on the horse-drawn carriage and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, then you won’t be disappointed. Crealy Meadows is home to a range of outdoor activities, including a cycle track, climbing wall, and a digger experience area.

For those looking for something a bit more laid back, there are plenty of tranquil walkways and nature trails to explore.

With plenty of picnic spots, a café, and a gift shop, Crealy Meadows is the perfect place for a family day out!

Topsham Canal

Meander along the tranquil Topsham Canal and take in the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. This scenic walk is a great way to explore the area without having to hike too far.

The canal cuts through Exeter and offers gorgeous views of the rolling hills and countryside. Along the route, you’ll find the occasional bench or picnic table, making it the perfect place to stop and enjoy a snack or take in the scenery.

As you walk, you’ll be able to spot a variety of wildlife, from birds to waterfowl. You can also spot some of the canal’s most impressive features, such as the weirs, locks, and even the remains of a nearby castle.

The route is also full of interesting points of interest, such as the old Exeter Canal Company offices and the Topsham Quay. The walk is relatively flat, making it suitable for all ages and abilities. There are also plenty of places to pick up a snack or a drink along the way.

So if you’re looking for a peaceful, scenic walk, then Topsham Canal is well worth a visit.

Exeter Cathedral Green

After winding along the peaceful Topsham Canal, my next stop on my tour of the best walks in Exeter is the Exeter Cathedral Green.

This expansive and idyllic green space is an oasis of calm in the bustling city centre. The Cathedral Green is the perfect place to pause and take in the sights of the historic city, with winding cobbled streets, Tudor buildings, and the picturesque river Exe all visible from here.

The Cathedral Green is a great spot for a leisurely stroll or a romantic picnic. The grounds are meticulously maintained, so it’s always a pleasure to walk through. There are plenty of benches for visitors to rest on and take in the beautiful views of the Cathedral and its grounds.

The Cathedral Green is a great spot to relax and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Exeter Golf and Country Club

For a truly special experience, take a peaceful stroll around the Exeter Golf and Country Club, a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The expansive grounds boast a stunning 18-hole golf course, a lake, and plenty of neatly manicured gardens and lawns.

With an abundance of flora and fauna, the club is a veritable paradise for nature-lovers.

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The picturesque landscapes, paired with the tranquil atmosphere, make the Exeter Golf and Country Club an ideal spot for a leisurely walk.

Spend some time exploring the vast grounds, taking in the beauty of the area.

Enjoy the vibrant colors of the flowers, the rustling of the trees, and the chirping of birds as you take in the breathtaking views.

Whether you’re a golfer or not, a stroll through this idyllic retreat is sure to be a memorable experience.

Tramway Trail

Take a thrilling journey through the Tramway Trail and experience the captivating beauty of Exeter’s countryside.

This popular walking route takes you through a variety of terrains, from wooded sections to grassland and heathland. You’ll be treated to stunning views of the River Exe estuary and the beautiful Exe Valley.

The trail is easy to follow, with waymarkers and signs throughout the route. It takes around two hours to complete, so you’ll have plenty of time to take in the stunning scenery.

The trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll, a family outing, or a more challenging hike. You can also take a break at the local pub and enjoy a bite to eat.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle walk or an exhilarating adventure, the Tramway Trail is the perfect choice for a day out in Exeter.

Northernhay Gardens

After exploring the Tramway Trail, my next stop for a leisurely stroll is the Northernhay Gardens. This beautiful park in the heart of Exeter is a great spot to take a break and enjoy a relaxing walk.

Located next to the historic Rougemont Castle, the gardens offer a variety of paths and trails to explore. With plenty of trees and grassy areas, it’s the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The park is home to many different varieties of plants and trees, so it’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and admire the scenery. There are plenty of benches scattered throughout the gardens so you can enjoy a picnic or just sit and relax.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the nearby trails that lead to the River Exe. No matter how you decide to spend your time here, Northernhay Gardens is a great spot for a peaceful walk and a great way to enjoy the outdoors in Exeter.

Powderham Castle Grounds

Just a short distance from Exeter lies the grand Powderham Castle Grounds, a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll and a great way to experience the beauty of the South Devon countryside.

The castle grounds date back to 1390 and are full of history and charm, boasting acres of lush green lawns, ancient woodland, and an expansive lake. The grounds also house a number of deer, making it a great spot for nature lovers.

The grounds are perfect for a leisurely walk or a more vigorous hike, with plenty of trails to choose from. The lake is particularly scenic, and there are plenty of benches dotted around for those wanting to take a break and soak up the views.

For a truly unique experience, visitors can also take a guided tour of the castle and its grounds, allowing them to learn more about the castle’s rich history and the animals that inhabit the grounds.

Overall, the Powderham Castle Grounds offer something for everyone, from a picturesque stroll to a more adventurous hike. With its acres of lush green lawns, ancient woodland, and expansive lake, it’s a great destination for anyone looking to explore the South Devon countryside.

Conclusion

I absolutely loved my exploration of Exeter’s best walks. From the tranquil beauty of Cherrybrook Wood and Watermead to the majestic grounds of Powderham Castle, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

I’d highly recommend taking the time to explore these 15 walks—you won’t regret it! Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, you’re sure to find the perfect walk for you.

So grab your walking shoes and hit the trails—you won’t be disappointed with the amazing sights and sounds Exeter has to offer.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.