Exminster Marshes (The Exe Estuary)

About this route

Part of the Exe Estuary, Exminster Marshes is an area of international importance for wintering waders and wildfowl.

The area consists of wet grassland drained by dykes and ditches. The marshes are an important breeding ground for lapwings and redshanks. Ducks, including shovelers and teals, also breed here. In winter, the marshes provide roosting and feeding areas for waders such as curlews and black-tailed godwits, and brent geese graze the drier areas. The ditches have a good dragonfly fauna, including the rare hairy dragonfly.

Getting Around

By bus: a service from Exeter to Teignmouth/Newton Abbot (ask for Swans Nest stop), see the Travel Devon website for the latest times.

On foot: The South West Coast Path runs along the edge of the reserve, and joins the Exe Valley Way leading to Exeter Quay.

On bike: Route 2 of the National Cycle Network.

By car: Accessible from the A379 Dawlish road.

The best views can be seen from the Exeter Ship Canal towpath.

Interesting information

Exminster Marshes in the Exe Valley are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and within a Special Protected Area (SPA).

Photo of a curlew in grassland
Curlew Copyright Natural England

You can explore more in this area

Photo of a quiet lane between trees on the Exe Valley Way

Exe Valley Way

The Exe Valley Way is a long-distance route for walkers exploring the length of this beautiful river valley. The trail