Estuaries and Ferries

*Coronavirus Update*

Ferry services that are not essential for people to travel to work or education will not be running. Many ferry service also only operate on a summer timetable.

The latest operating dates and times are continually changing due to the pandemic. We would, therefore, advise contacting the ferry companies directly, prior to travel, in order to confirm operating details, rather than relying on the information below. Latest government guidelines do require you to wear a mask whilst on public transport and that does include ferries.

For more information on the use of the Path during the pandemic, please check our latest Covid-19 impact update in our news section. Thank you for your understanding at this challenging time.

The nature of the Coast Path means that many ferries must be used to cross estuaries along the length of the Path.

Ferries can be subject to change due to weather conditions, tides and times of the day. Ferry pick up and drop off locations can also vary.

A couple of the estuaries can only be crossed at low tide by paddling across or via a tidal footbridge, so you will need to consult Tide Tables. These can be found in 'The Complete Guide to the South West Coast Path', which can be purchased from our shop here or you will receive FREE as a member. Find out more about membership here

Below, listed in path order, are the river crossings you’ll encounter whilst on the Coast Path. Further information can also be found on the relevant walk description pages.

Instow to Appledore (River Torridge)

Appledore Instow ferry. Ferry restarted from July 2021. Card payment only.

Ferry Service runs: 1st April to 31st October

Padstow to Rock (River Camel)

See ferry webpage for more details of first and last ferries and Ferry Operating Procedures. 

Water Taxi

The Watertaxi service runs from 6:45 pm until midnight. From April to the end of October.

Newquay to Crantock (River Gannel)

Fern Pit Ferry

Ferry Service runs: Daily from May to mid-September 09:30 to 18:00 (weather dependent)

Gillan Creek

Gillan Creek Ferry Sailaway St Anthony Ltd

Ferry service runs from 1st April to 31st October.

The stepping stones of the South West Coast Path across Gillan Creek are submerged roughly 3 hours on either side of high water. At low water it is possible to paddle straight across to the church from Halamana, getting wet up to your ankles with a shingle bottom all the way. The narrow neck of water leading towards the old caravans is the deepest and should be avoided. The stepping stones are often covered in slippery green seaweed and are not used by locals. Sailaway provides a ferry service on demand across the creek.

Taxi: For an alternative way around the river please use the following:

Telstar Taxis Tel: 01326 221007 or Meneage Taxi Tel:01326 560530 / 07773 817156

Helford River

Helford River Boats

Ferry service runs from 1st April to 31t October 09:30 to 17:00 on demand. In July and August, the ferry may run into the evening.

Taxi: For an alternative way around the river.

Telstar Taxi Tel: 01392 221007 or Meneage Taxi Tel: 01326 560530 / 07773 817156

Falmouth to St Mawes (River Fal)

Cornwall Fal River Ferries - St Mawes Ferry

The Ferry service runs all year round 7 days a week, twice daily with a journey time of 20 minutes.

St Mawes - Place Creek (Percuil River)

Cornwall Fal River Ferries - Place Ferry

The Ferry service runs  7 days a week from April to October with a journey time of 10 minutes.

St Mawes Kayaks Water Taxi is no longer in service.

Fowey to Polruan (River Fowey)

Polruan Ferry Co Ltd

Ferry service runs:

Check the Polruan ferry website for more timetable information.

Cremyll (Mount Edgcumbe) to Plymouth (River Tamar)

Plymouth Boat Trips

Ferry Service runs:

See Cremyll Ferry website for more timetable information.

Sutton Harbour to Mount Batten (River Plym)

Mount Batten Ferry

The Ferry departs the Barbican at quarter past and quarter to the hour, Mount Batten on the hour and half hour. Operating every 30 minutes. Check the website for more information.

Wembury (Warren Point) to Noss Mayo (River Yealm)

River Yealm Ferry and Water Taxi

The Ferry Service runs from 1st April to 30th September 10:00 to 16:00 daily. Service may be restricted to the core hours of 10 am-12 noon and 3 pm-4 pm each day, during bad weather or quieter times.

Mothercombe to Wonwell (River Erme)

There is no ferry or boat service on the River Erme as the river is too shallow. A crossing of the estuary can be made by wading between the slipways of Mothecombe and Wonwell for an hour on either side of low tide. Please refer to tide times for crossing information.

Bigbury (Cockleridge) to Bantham Slipway (River Avon)

Bantham Estate Passenger Ferry

Ferry service runs:  2nd April to 26th September: 10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 16:00 (Except Sundays) 

Salcombe to East Portlemouth (Salcombe Estuary)

The Salcombe Ferry Company provides a daily service, every half hour, across the Salcombe Estuary from Salcombe to East Portlemouth.

See the website for more information.

Dartmouth to Kingswear (River Dart)

Lower Dartmouth Ferry

Ferry operates all year:

From Dartmouth TQ6 9AP: Monday to Saturday: 07:10 to 22:55 and Sunday: 08:10 to 22:24

From Kingswear TQ6 0AA: Monday to Saturday: 07:00 to 22:45 and Sunday: 08:00 to 22:45

Dartmouth (River Dart)

Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Co.

Dartmouth to Kingswear passenger ferry

S.Embankment, Dartmouth TQ6 9BH

Ferry Service runs:

Monday to Saturday: 07:30 to 18:55 and Sundays: 09:00 to 18:55

Shaldon to Teignmouth (River Teign)

The Ferry operates all year round from 10 am to 6 pm daily. Check the Facebook page for current operating times.

Starcross to Exmouth (River Exe)

Starcross Pier to Exmouth.

Ferry Service runs: every day 1st May to 31st October

From Starcross: every hour from 10:10 to 16:10 (and 17:10 mid-May to mid-September)

From Exmouth: every hour from 10:40 to 16:40 (and 17:40 mid-May to mid-September)

Turf to Topsham (River Exe)

See the website for more information.

Dawlish Warren to Exmouth (River Exe)

Exeplorer Water Taxi

The Ferry service runs daily between 1st April to 4th September. Times vary between 07:20 and 20:00 throughout the year. See the website for more information.

Topsham (River Exe)

Exeter City Council, Canals and River Dpt.

Ferry Service runs:

Easter to September: 09:30 to 17:30 (daily except Tuesdays)

October to Easter – Weekends and bank holidays: 10:00 to 17:00

Visit this webpage for more information.

South Haven Point to Sandbanks, Poole

Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Co

Ferry service runs:

Sandbanks: 07:00 to 23:00

Shell Bay: 07:10 to 23:10

The crossing time is normally around 4 minutes.

Alternatively contact: A1 Taxis 07758 130281

Weymouth Harbour

Since the 16th Century rowing ferries have taken passengers across Weymouth Harbour.

Alternatively contact: A1 Taxis 07758 130281