South Devon Coast Path: Exmouth to Lyme Regis
Exmouth to Lyme Regis in 3 days Walking Code: DSE4
We offer two different holidays from Exmouth to Lyme Regis– choose from 3 or 4 days walking, depending on how far you want to go each day.
This is our shortest holiday covering Exmouth to Lyme Regis. Walking the whole route over 3 walking days is perfect if you’re wanting to challenge yourself. The average daily mileage on this holiday is 10 miles with your first day being the longest, giving you shorter distances on the following days when the terrain is more challenging.
|Day 1||Travel to Exmouth for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Exmouth to Sidmouth||12||20|
|Day 3||Sidmouth to Beer||9||14|
|Day 4||Beer to Lyme Regis||8||14|
|Day 5||Depart from Lyme Regis after breakfast|
Exmouth to Sidmouth – the start of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site
The walk starts at a leisurely pace along the Exmouth seafront, the longest in Devon, but before long the going gets tougher as you climb to Orcombe Point where the Geoneedle Momument marks the start of the Jurassic Coast. The route is strenuous at times but you are rewarded with beautiful views from the clifftops across to West Down Beacon and over to Brandy Head, not to mention the marvellous sea stacks at Ladram Bay. Budleigh Salterton is almost halfway between Exmouth and Sidmouth and is a great spot for lunch. You leave Budleigh Salterton along the promenade, passing through the saltmarsh habitat of Otter Estuary Nature Reserve before being confronted with two threatening sounding cliffs: Danger Point and Black Head, but don’t worry as neither are particularly steep! The trail continues with only one strenuous climb just before you reach Sidmouth.
Sidmouth to Beer – charming fishing villages, wildflowers and clifftops.
As you leave Sidmouth, a steep climb up Salcombe Hill Cliff (500ft) offers a taste of what is ahead, with plenty of ascent and descent as you make your way along the cliffs to Branscombe Mouth. The views back along the South Devon Coast and the red cliffs towards Dorset ahead of you offer ample reward, along with a whole variety of flora and fauna. If you’re lucky you might spot a green woodpecker at Lincombe and the wildfowers and butterflies at Weston are a delight. The terrain becomes less strenuous after Branscombe Mouth, passing under Hooken Cliffs before climbing again to Beer Head, with some lovely cliff top walking to finish the day as you approach the quaint fishing village of Beer.
Beer to Lyme Regis – a unique wilderness
This section of the walk has a very different feel to the others on the route. Leaving the pretty fishing village of Beer, the trail leads you to Seaton, a delightful village with a selection of shops to stock up on lunch supplies. After, comes the only real climb on this day’s walk onto Haver Cliff before you enter the incredible Undercliffs National Nature Reserve. Formed from landslips, this wooded wilderness is home to an array of wildlife making it a nature lover’s paradise. The terrain can be tricky under foot and the 5 mile stretch can take 3-4 hours to complete as you make the most of the unique surroundings. Leaving the reserve the trail descends into Lyme Regis, often called ‘The Pearl of Dorset’, with an attractive harbour, shops and restaurants. With rocks from the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous periods exposed, this stretch of the coast is fascinating for anyone interested in geology and there are several museums in Lyme Regis worthy of a visit.
Grades - This is not a technically difficult walk and should be easy to tackle for most reasonably fit people.
Terrain - The paths are good, and there are no major route finding challenges.
What’s it like underfoot? Generally good paths and tracks, although a few sections can get muddy after heavy rain.
How much up & down? – More than you’d think! Although you never reach more than 400m above sea level (and most of the time not more than 200m) there are many short steep sections. Most days involve ascents of 200-400m metres, although no section is very steep for very long.
Signposting: Good – the path is well waymarked.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward – good signposting, and generally well defined tracks.
Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing and waterproofs are essential, but don’t forget you sunhat, sunblock and shorts!
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs. Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||A waterproof map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large-scale maps of each accommodation to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 15% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
| Packed Lunches
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||It is not possible to leave your car for the duration of the walk, the B&B’s do not have the space have the space to allow long term parking. Please see the public transport tab for more information on travelling to and from the route.|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight in to the day-to-day operation, and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
General Travel information for the South West Coastal path area will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for information.
By Air: The nearest and most convenient International Airports to the trail are any of the London Airports. Trains run hourly from London Paddington station to Exmouth changing at Exeter St Davids (journey time approx. 3 hours).
Alternatively, you may wish to travel via Exeter Airport (direct flights from Europe and connecting flights from several UK airports including London City, Edinburgh, Belfast and Manchester – www.exeter-airport.co.uk/flights-holidays/). There is an hourly shuttlebus from Exeter Airport direct to Exmouth Mon to Sat (Stagecoach South West bus service 56 – journey time approx. 40 min). If travelling on a Sunday, you will need to take a taxi – the taxi desk can be found inside Arrivals (journey time approx. 25 min).
By Public Transport: There is a railway station at Exmouth. Exmouth Railway Station (EXM) is the western terminus of the Avocet branch line from Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central stations from where there are onward services throughout Devon and Cornwall and further afield to London (Paddington and Waterloo), Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh. There is a taxi rank at Exmouth station if needed or local taxi numbers can be found at the back of your services information list. To view train times please visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
By Road: Exmouth is located on the A376 just after Exeter. Leave the M5 motorway at Exeter Junction 30 and follow signs for A376 Exmouth.
Returning from Lyme Regis
By Public Transport: The nearest railway station to Lyme Regis is Axminster. Axminster Railway Station (AXM) is located on the West of England Mainline from where there are onward services throughout Dorset and Devon and further afield to London (Waterloo), Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh. There is a taxi rank at the station if needed or local taxi numbers can be found at the back of your services information list. To view train times please visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
First Dorset bus services X51 and X53 run hourly between Lyme Regis and Axminster daily. For up to date bus timetables, visit www.firstgroup.com/wessex-dorset-south-somerset
By Road: Lyme Regis is located just off the A35 between Honiton and Charmouth. Leave the M5 motorway at Junction 28 (Cullompton) and follow signs for A373 Honiton. On reaching Honiton High Street turn left through the Town Centre then follow signs for the A35 Axminster. Bypassing Axminster, stay on the A35 heading towards Dorchester. Pass through the signs for ‘Raymond’s Hill’ then take the first road on the right (by the Hunters Lodge Inn) signed B3165 Lyme Regis.
The famous poet John Betjeman whose work was inspired by Sidmouth once described the town as “A town caught still in a timeless charm”. The town itself is a wonderful place to explore and relax in after a day’s walk. Sidmouth lies on the Jurassic Coast and the coastline is dominated by the rich red sandstone cliffs which dates back to the Triassic period.
A rest day in Lyme Regis is a must as the scenery is breath-taking in any weather. Its historic Cobb and harbour are iconic to the area. Lyme Regis is home to a number of historical landmarks and education attractions. If you have the time to add a rest day on your holiday Lyme Regis is a great spot to explore!