Exmouth to Lyme Regis
The western edge of the Jurassic Coast
Distance: 30 miles. Difficulty: Easy
This section takes in part of the Jurassic Coast, England’s first UNESCO designated natural World Heritage Site. It begins in Exmouth with the oldest red Triassic rocks and travels the length of the East Devon coast to Lyme Regis in Dorset. Along the way it’s fairly easy walking past Budleigh Salterton and across the River Otter before becoming more strenuous as you reach the regal town of Sidmouth and beyond to its final destination.
The first leg of the route from Exmouth and Orcombe Point, which marks the official start of the Jurassic Coast, is typified by the red sandstone cliffs that are 250 million years old. Further along the Coast Path at Ladram Bay, the impressive sandstone stacks just offshore reveal the transient nature of this coastline.
An easy walk along the promenade of Budleigh Salterton leads you on to the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve and a great place for bird watching. This is followed by a steep descent to Sidmouth, which offers a great variety of shops, parks and gardens as well as places to eat.
There’s an extraordinary change in geology as the Coast Path continues past the quaint fishing village of Beer with its exposed white chalk cliffs. It then descends into the dense woodland of the Undercliff National Nature Reserve around Axmouth, the closest thing to the Amazon in England.
As you emerge from the Undercliff into light, open fields you cross the Devon Dorset boundary. This is the start of the Jurassic period, which leads on to the world famous fossil sites at Lyme Regis where you’re sure to find yourself a prehistoric souvenir.
To help you plan your trip, click on the Section guide links (to the right) or the diamonds on the map to link to a page of further information about each day's walk.
- Day 1 - Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton (5.4 miles)
- Day 2 - Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth (7.1 miles)
- Day 3 - Sidmouth to Beer (8.8 miles)
- Day 4 - Beer to Lyme Regis (8.5 miles)