The Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Walk is one of the best hikes around Exmouth. It passes through the Jurassic Coast and its many impressive rocks before ending up at the beautiful seaside town of Budleigh.
This is a one-way hike, but you can turn it into a circular coast path walk if you return via the Budleigh Salterton railway path. The path has an equally attractive landscape, with lots of bird life!
It’s relatively easy if you know where to go – here are all my tips!
Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton walk – instructions
Walk to Exmouth beach
The first part of this walk is to make your way to Exmouth Beach. You’ll probably already know where this is – visiting it is one of the best things to do in Exmouth.
If you’re staying in town, this should be an easy walk – just ask a local if you get lost! The sandy beach is a short five-minute walk from the Town Centre through the Manor Gardens. The Google maps location is here.
If you aren’t already in Exmouth, check out my how to get to Exmouth post for information about reaching the town.
Once you’re at Exmouth Beach, turn left, and follow the stretch of beach all the way down. You’ll walk past the entire expanse of sand, Mickey’s Beach Bar, cheerful beach huts, the RNLI station, and eventually end up at the cliffs.
Climb to Orcombe Point
From here, climb the cliffs and keep following them in an easterly direction. Eventually, as you follow the route, you’ll end up at Orcombe Point. This marks the start of the Jurassic Coast, and was unveiled by Prince Charles in 2002.
From Orcombe Point, you’ll see the South West Coast Path veering off in an easterly direction. You’ll keep following this path until you reach Budleigh Salterton.
Pass through Devon Cliffs
Your next point of interest is Devon Cliffs Holiday Park. This is a Haven caravan Park with plenty of attractions! As a passer-through, you aren’t permitted to use the pool or other facilities, but you can visit the shops and restaurants – including South Beach Cafe, which has a beautiful lookout over Sandy Bay.
You essentially want to keep following the path through Devon Cliffs caravan park and walking in a Westerly direction. Once you reach the other side, there’s a row of caravans, and the South West Coast Path runs alongside.
Keep an eye out for the acorn markers – these are the symbol for the Coastal Path and will let you know that you’re going the right way! Also, make sure that you take in the epic Jurassic Coast panoramic views. This stretch of coast is the oldest part of the Jurassic Coast!
Hike over the cliffs
It’s about an hour’s hike from Devon Cliffs to Budleigh Salterton. This route follows the South West Coast Path, so it’s straightforward to navigate. Stick to the trail – make sure that you don’t go any closer to the cliff, as the cliff edges can be perilous places.
You’ll see some fantastic views of the epic landscape comprising of red sandstone cliffs, the sea, and eventually the pebble beach of Budleigh Salterton.
Arrive in Budleigh Salterton
Well done, you’ve completed the Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton walk!
Budleigh Salterton sits about 10km/ 6 miles from Exmouth and takes most people about two hours to walk. Once you’ve arrived here, you might want to put your feet up for a bit! There’s only a pebbly beach at Budleigh Salterton – not as comfortable as Exmouth’s sandy beach – but it’s still a pleasant place to perch and enjoy lunch.
How to get back from Budleigh Salterton
There are a few ways that you can return from Budleigh Salterton. You could, of course, go back the way you came – although this might be a bit repetitive!
Budleigh Salterton Coastal Circular Walk
Whenever I do this hike, I do the Budleigh Salterton Coastal Circular Walk. This involves the Budleigh to Exmouth hike and then the inland route back to Exmouth. This route travels along the Budleigh Salterton Railway Path that connects the two towns.
This path is the old railway track; unfortunately, there is no train anymore, but it is a scenic cycle path!
Here’s the Google Maps location of the Budleigh Salterton entrance – you essentially need to walk through the town centre and residential areas towards Bear Lane, which is where the path starts.
Once you reach the Budleigh Old Railway Line, follow the path to the end. It traverses through green fields and charming woodland. There are plenty of opportunities for spotting birds – keep your eyes on the trees! Eventually, you’ll reach the parish of Littleham. This is a suburb with buses that you can catch if you don’t want to walk back into town. Alternatively, you can walk down Salterton Road to reach central Exmouth.
Public Transport between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton
If you don’t have time or don’t want to carry on hiking, there are other ways to return to Exmouth!
As I mentioned, the South Western Railway no longer connects the two towns – but there is the 157 bus that connects both towns.
If you need to ring a taxi, I recommend AJs Taxis – 01395 222655.
Where to go from Budleigh Salterton
If you want to continue hiking the South West Coast Path, you can keep following it along the beachfront until you reach the River Otter. You’ll need to walk upstream to reach a bridge and cross the river before walking back downstream on the other side.
You could walk to Ladram Bay, where you can turn inland and hike to Otterton, East Budleigh and eventually back to Exmouth. See my walking route for this hike here.
Alternatively, you could hike all the way to Sidmouth and take the 157 bus back.
How much time will the Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth coastal walk Take?
This hike will take about two hours one way. If you are hiking on the way back as well, it will take at least four hours (probably five with stops). It is 10km one way or 20km return.
Can I walk the opposite way?
Yes, of course! I’ve walked both ways. If you are starting in Budleigh, you could also hike to Ladram Bay Holiday Park and, from there, hike inland towards Otterton. If you do this hike, you’ll be able to see some of the moors as well.
When should I do the Exmouth to Budleigh hike?
I recommend doing this hike in the summer months, as you’ll have more of a guarantee of good weather and the days will be longer! The Coastal Path is beautiful any time of year, but you shouldn’t hike on it if the weather is particularly windy, if vision is poor, or if it is really rainy. Generally, East Devon has decent weather from April – October and this is when the vast majority of tourists visit the area.
However, if you want to avoid all the summer holidaymakers, visit Exmouth in May or June – before school holidays in the UK!
What gear do I need for the hike?
I’d recommend proper hiking boots – the land can be uneven, and you don’t want to twist your ankle. However, some people do hike it in running shoes. Make sure that you pack suncream if it’s warm, and wear comfortable hiking clothes.
Is there a shorter option?
If you want to shorten the Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Walk, walk to Devon Cliffs and from there, start walking inland. You’ll end up back at Littleham, and from here you can walk back to Exmouth town centre. You will miss a lot of the clifftop scenery if you do this – but you’ll still see Orcombe Point and some of the Jurassic Coast.
Everything you need to know about the Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton hike!
This is one of the best hikes to do around Exmouth if you want to enjoy nature and be inspired at the epic Jurassic Coast. It’s a lovely route that you can either do as a one-way walk or turn into a circular walk with the railway path. If you’re a hiker, I highly recommend doing the Exmouth to Budleigh coastal walk while you’re in East Devon!