Lying around 10 miles south east of Exeter, the town of Exmouth has long been a coastal escape for Devonians and visitors alike. With two miles of sandy beach and predominantly calm waters, this seaside town is a firm favourite with families looking for a traditional beach experience. On sunny (and not so sunny) days, Exmouth is a popular haunt for the little ones who come readily armed with their buckets and spades, whirly windmills and pocket money for donkey rides and ice-creams. On blustery days, the top end of the beach is perfect for kite-flying and dogs and horses aren’t forgotten either - with four legged friends taking to the sands outside the summer season to enjoy a good run around.
Over recent years, Exmouth has begun to earn itself a reputation for watersports with local companies offering windsurfing, stand-up paddle-boarding and kitesurfing. The town is a mecca for sailors, swimmers and rowers too. If being on dry land is more your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that Exmouth is the starting (or ending) point of the new Exe Estuary Trail. As the name suggests, this path hugs the estuary upstream, taking in the villages of Lympstone, Exton, Topsham and the city of Exeter before heading back out to sea via Powderham, Starcross and Dawlish. A dedicated route for cyclists and walkers, it is largely off-road and flat, making it a perfect and very picturesque route for all ages and abilities.
For those who prefer to stay on foot, Exmouth is ideally situated for walks and marks the western most point of the Jurassic Coast – a 95 mile walk between Orcombe Point at the end of the Esplanade and Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. As England’s first natural World Heritage Site - the UNESCO designated Devon Heritage Coast - it takes visitors across 185 million years of the Earth’s geological history. For a gentler option, walk back towards the town from Orcombe Point, enjoying the dunes and sea front and heading down to the smart new Marina with its views over the estuary waters towards Mamhead.
At the top of Orcombe Point’s vibrant red cliff line is the Geoneedle, a sculpture created by artist Michael Fairfax to commemorate the opening of the East Devon and Dorset coast line as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It stands five metres high and features nine different types of stone, each one representative of those found along the coastline it celebrates. The Geoneedle was unveiled by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2002 and making a pilgrimage to this piece of art is well worth the effort and rewarded with breath-taking 180Ëš views of the mouth of the estuary and ocean.
Exmouth is well equipped for rainy days too. With a cinema, bowling alley and plenty of shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs, there is comfort and shelter to be found at close quarters should Mother Nature turn.
Devon Hotels in Exmouth
The Royal Beacon Hotel
The Royal Beacon Hotel is situated at the end of Exmouth’s finest regency terrace The Beacon which was once the home of Lady Nelson and Lady Byron. From its elevated position, the hotel enjoys beautiful sea views over the River Exe Estuary, towards Dawlish Warren. With comfortable bedrooms and a popular period ballroom, the hotel also offers guests relaxed dining in the 1810 Restaurant which serves mouth-watering dishes using fresh and local produce.
Sitting in four acres of subtropical gardens complete with palm trees and uninterrupted views of the sea, the Devoncourt Resort & Apartments has stunning views of Lyme Bay’s sandy beaches. With 54 bedrooms as well as one and two bedroom apartments, many with balconies and sea views, the Devoncourt has everything you need for a comfortable stay or self-catered getaway by the seaside. Guests can take advantage of the health and fitness suite onsite with an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym, an outdoor swimming pool to enjoy in the summer months, a tennis court, croquet and putting lawns.