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DayCycle – Dawlish to Exeter St Davids - WillCycle
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DayCycle – Dawlish to Exeter St Davids

Dawlish to Exeter cycle route overall rating: B3⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you’re looking for a stunning day out, this is the route for you. At 14 miles in length, it offers spectacular sea views, quaint waterside villages, and even canalside cycling. Overall, the route is very flat, but it does have a section that tops out at 5% steepness.
Most of the route is completely traffic-free, though some of that includes shared pavements alongside what can be a busy road. Also, there are short segments that are on-road, though those bits of road mainly are quiet, and have traffic-calming measures in place.

You can easily combine this route with the Exe Estuary Trail, for a longer adventure. Both routes has numerous points where you can access trains running parallel.

Surface of the route

This 14 mile route has a sealed surface throughout, and most of it is of good quality. However, right at the start, there are stairs, with a wheel channel, and the only alternative is a busy, narrow A-road that includes a steep incline.

Refreshments

There are various refreshment stops in Dawlish, in Dawlish Warren, in Cockwood, in Starcross, by Turf Locks, by Double Locks, at Exeter Quay and at Exeter St David’s train station.

Bikes

You can use any kind of bike along this route. However, trikes and most cargo bikes will get stuck at the stairs, and for such bikes, setting off from Dawlish Warren instead is a far better option.

Toilets

Find toilets in Dawlish, in Dawlish Warren, in Cockwood, in Starcross, by Turf Locks, by Double Locks, at Exeter Quay and at Exeter St David’s train station.

Ratings

Safety from traffic: ⭐⭐
Social safety: ⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐⭐
Toilets: ⭐⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Surface material: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Surface quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Traffic-free: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Alongside busy roads: ⭐⭐⭐
Easy to follow: ⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: B3

Overall: B3⭐⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here

Points of Interest

For starters, there are exquisite sea and estuary views along most of the route. There’s also Luscombe Castle just outside Dawlish, and Powderham Castle, right on the route, near Exeter.

Traffic-free cycle routes in Devon

Barriers

There are no barriers along the route, but there are some tight turns that tandems might need to be careful with.

Cycle Hire

You can hire bicycles from Exe Trail Cycle Hire, in Dawlish Warren, and ebikes are available to hire from Cofton Holidays, in Dawlish.
If you wanted to do the route in reverse, you can hire bikes from Saddles & Paddles, at Exeter Quay

Weather forecast for the Dawlish to Exeter cycle route

What the route looks like

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Getting there

You can get to Dawlish by train (it’s right on the main Great Western Railway trainline between Paddington and Penzance) or you can drive there. If taking your bike on the train, do read my Bikes On Trains guide first, as that contains useful information, including tips on saving money on train fares.

Parking near the route

Parking in Dawlish is limited, and especially on hot summer days you will struggle to find somewhere to park.

Interactive route map

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