Located on the south-east coast of Devon, Exmouth is where the River Exe hits the sea and is the gateway to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. This small town is quite picturesque, particularly on its coastline.
Due to its location on the Exmouth River, the key activities in the area tend to be water-based. Taking an Exmouth boat trip is the best way to see the River Exe and the lovely Jurassic Coastline. Here are the four things you don’t want to miss when it comes to things to do in Exmouth, Devon.
4 Best Things to do in Exmouth
Table of Contents
1. Take a Boat Trip
The classic option boat trip option is the 1-2 hour River Exe Cruise with Stuart River Cruises. This is a 6-mile circular tour that covers the history and wildlife of the River Exe.
Waters will be calm and there are some great views on this one of the Stuart boat trips.
The other short option is the Mini Coastal Cruise which serves as an introduction to the Devon Coast and one of the great south coast boat trips.
If you have a bit more time the Jurassic Coast Cruise with Stuart River Cruises sails along England’s only Natural World Heritage Site and is a 2-3 hour Devon river cruise.
The Exeter Canal Cruise departs from either Exmouth or Exeter and sail’s the UK’s oldest ship canal over about 2.5 hours.
Full day trips are offered on Thursdays that go to either Torquay, Sidmouth or Brixham, often with dolphins on the way.
Joint Packages are also on offer where boat trips are combined with different types of train trips.
There are then a number of different Stuart Boat Trips special event cruises. These include everything from the Fish & Fizz Friday cruise to Summer Air Shows to Sailing with Santa come Christmas time.
The main operator for an Exmouth Boat Trip is family business Stuart Line Cruises – as you might have noticed. Their boats have both covered and heated areas as well as plenty of seating outside – including an open-top deck.
There is a licensed bar, soft drinks and hot drinks – and toilets. Stuart Cruises operate come rain or come shine and you can even bring your dog.
Exmouth Boat Trip Logistics
If you are driving pop EX8 1DU into your sat nav. There is limited parking on the side streets in Exmouth. There are short pay and display parking along the Exmouth seafront or try long stay parking at the Exmouth Quay Car Park which is only a one minute walk.
If you have arrived by train it is a decent 10-minute walk from the station.
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The booking office is the place to pick up your boarding passes for your Exmouth boat trip. This office is located on the corner of the newest Marina development “The Point”, directly opposite The Beach Pub.
2. Go Fishing
Exe Fishing is the key company offering fishing trips and Exmouth fishing charters. Their ship is called the Southern Angler and has been operating for ten years.
Exe Fishing Exmouth prices include fishing equipment, tackle, and fish preparation. There are trips on offer for beginners through to experienced fishermen. Non-fishermen are also able to join these fishing trips UK.
There is no shelter on board Exe Fishing trips so it is essential to dress appropriately. There are some light refreshments and there is a toilet. Dogs are also welcome on these tours.
Best of all you can keep everything you catch and Exe Fishing Exmouth will gut and prepare your catch for you.
There are some fantastic UK City and Sightseeing passes which offer free entry to all must-see attractions & great deals.
Mackerel Fishing Trips last for 2 hours. These are the best option for beginners. Reef Fishing is 3 hours. This is probably the next step up from the Mackarel trip but can still be taken by beginners.
For serious fishermen head out on the Deep Sea Fishing full day trip. As it is a full day trip it is a good idea to take a picnic.
Exmouth Fish Trips Logistics
Exe Fishing run trips between May and October. The fishing trips set off from Queens Drive on Exmouth Seafront, opposite Exmouth Amusement Park. There is a pay and display car park opposite.
Alternatively, you could park at Maer Road Car Park (EX8 2DB) and catch the Exmouth Land Train to us, as they are stop number 3 that leaves at the top of the hour.
⇒ Another fantastic area on the coast not too far away is Weymouth. Check out this post on 50 Unique Things to do in Weymouth to find out more.
If you are travelling by train from Exeter, the meeting point a 20-minute walk from Exmouth Train Station or you can catch the number 95 bus from the station and jump off opposite the Exe Fishing booking office.
3. Visit Michael Caine at Lympstone Manor
There are some hotels in Exmouth but I am not sure any would be classified as boutique. However, the news is not all bad.
Michael not only held 2 Michelin stars (Lympstone Manor already has one) consecutively for 18 years he also has an MBE.
Michael was born and raised in Exeter and Lympstone Manor represents the creation of a dream for him. It is his vision of a country house for the 21st century.
Lympstone Manor Devon has 21 guestrooms and suites, 28 acres of garden and 108 acres of vineyards down to the River Exe. The views of the river from the Manor are glorious.
Each room at Lympstone Manor is uniquely designed and named after a bird of the estuary. The design is modern decadence and beautifully done. Rooms also feature complimentary gin trays, GHD hair straighteners, and a Nespresso machine – love the little details.
My favourite rooms at Lympsonte Manor were the ones that have an actual outside bathtub on their private terrace – so wonderfully decadent.
4. Have lunch in the middle of the River Exe
The other fantastic eating option in Exmouth is the River Exe Cafe. This unique cafe is located on a boat in the middle of the River Exe.
Therefore, the only way to get to the River Exe Cafe is via a Puffin water taxi from Exmouth Marina – or your own boat of course. The River Exe Cafe Exmouth itself is wonderfully decked out in a boutique-style fishing boat theme.
I just loved this restaurant. Such a unique – and delicious which I will get to in a moment – experience.
The River Exe Cafe is on a custom-built barge that floats in the Exe Estuary. They call themselves Devon’s only floating Gastro Shed.
The River Exe Cafe, of course, sourced locally and the menu is a seafood extravaganza. There is a wonderful list of all the local suppliers with whom they work on their website – all the way to the ice cream.
There are 6 options on the Mussel Bar menu, whole crab, seafood sharing platters, all the classics, a kids menu, beef and burgers, delicious sides, vegetarian options – I can’t imagine anyone not finding something they would like to order on the River Exe Cafe menu.
The food at the River Exe Cafe Devon was fantastic. I must highlight the mussels. I am not normally the biggest fan of mussels but these ones tasted so fresh and the sauces/soups they came with were just so full of flavour.
Everything we ate at the River Exe Cafe was delicious and I highlight recommend also ordering one of the seafood platters to get a taste of many of their offerings.
The River Exe Cafe is open from April 1 to September 30 each year.
How to get to Exmouth
The closest major city to Exmouth is Exeter, the second biggest city after Plymouth in Devon. Exeter is an international airport so it is possible to fly their directly from many cities in Europe.
The easiest way to get from Exeter to Exmouth is by train. The journey takes about 35 minutes.
Who Paid for What in this Post?
Visit GreatBritain and Visit Exeter covered the cost of getting me to Exeter and getting me home, accommodation, activities and virtually all of my meals – thanks, guys! But as always my opinions are my own.
If you click through on some of the links in this post and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. Just wanted to make sure that you knew.
READ NEXT: If you’re headed to Exeter and love your coffee don’t miss my post on the 6 Best Exeter Cafes.
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