What is the rusty pole in Exmouth? And how to visit it!

When you look at a list of the best things to do in Exmouth, you may nod along to some of them, particularly if you’re from the area. 

Start of the Jurassic Coast? Yep. Exe Estuary Trail? Definitely. National Trust Property A La Ronde? Sure!

But, one that may raise a few eyebrows is Exmouth’s rusty pole. 

That’s right, a large, rusty pole that stands in the middle of grassland has been joining the ranks of some of the seaside town’s most visited attractions. But why? And is it worth visiting? 

Important update: As of April 2023, the rusty pole is no longer – it was taken down by South West Water at the end of the month. This has caused local outrage, made national news and there have been numerous requests to re-instate the pole. I’ll update this post if there are any future developments! In the meantime, read about the pole’s history!

Why is Exmouth’s rusty pole a visitor attraction? 

There’s no real reason. 

It’s literally, a tall rusty pole sitting in the middle of the Maer, which is a grassy area behind the main beach of Exmouth.

One day, people started reviewing it on Google Maps. 

Then, more and more people joined in, and before long it amassed a 4.9/ 5 rating on Google

In fact, it’s done better than a lot of other businesses, with its lowest rating being ⅗ with the comment “Not as good as other oxidised columns I’ve seen, but still the envy of many a local seaside town”. 

Other comments include “I would give it 5 stars but I felt like the pole could have some more rust.”

And another praised Exmouth for keeping its rusty pole, as “others have been ruined by gentrification”, with another saying it “made our stag do worthwhile”. High praise for a pole!

There are 41 reviews in total, and most of these are very positive!

This exact same thing happened with the Bude Tunnel in Bude, which was called “the Cornish Taj Mahal” on TripAdvisor and became the best thing to do in Bude.

It was even lit up for Christmas 2018!  

(Although saying that, some people didn’t find the Bude Tunnel as funny, with some one-star reviews from reviewers who weren’t in on the joke).

Where is Exmouth’s rusty pole? 

The Maer, a grassland in Exmouth

If you’d like to see the rusty pole of Exmouth up close and personal, head to the Mear, a grassy area behind Exmouth Beach. 

All jokes aside, The Maer is well worth visiting. A grassy warren-like grassy space, it’s home to a plethora of wildlife including skylarks and sea holly. 

In the summer, there are frequent snake sightings here – so don’t walk through any bushes!

However, it’s one of the best walks in Exmouth – and you can see the rusty pole while you’re en route!

You can see the Google maps location of the rusty pole here.

Parking by Exmouth’s rusty pole 

View of the Maer, a grassland in Exmouth, with rusty pole in the background and a sky with light cloud cover

If you can’t wait to visit the rusty pole, there’s parking close by. 

The Maer Road Car Park is just behind The Maer common area which costs 50p per half hour. 

In the summer months, this car park may be quite busy as it’s so close to the beach – so get there early to secure your space (and ensure that you see the rusty pole as easly as possible!). 

You can also walk to The Maer from Exmouth Station or take the 57 bus which stops right outside along the seafront. 

Is the rusty pole worth visiting? 

The rusty pole in Exmouth with grass in the foreground

So, the million-dollar question – is the rusty pole worth visiting? 

The answer is no, not in the sense that you’ll usually decide whether attractions are worth visiting. 

But, just like other weird attractions like Parliament Street in Exeter (the UK’s narrowest street) and Bude Tunnel, it has a weird novelty that makes travellers flock to it!

Plus it’s free, right by Exmouth Beach, and in the middle of The Maer, which is a great place for a little stroll when you want somewhere that’s quieter than the sands. 

Girl standing next to rusty pole in the Maer grassland in Exmouth

While there are plenty of other attractions in Exmouth, the rusty pole has to be one of the most hilarious places to visit in Devon!

There are definitely more bucket-list-worthy things to do in the South West, but you’ve got to hand it to the Google reviews – they’re pretty funny!

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