This is a mostly flat and pleasant off-road cycling route using the excellent Exe Estuary Trail. From start to finish is about 18 miles, however this can be extended to 36 miles if you want to do the out and back loop.
I’ve added this route to the Mountain Biking section but it could easily be ridden on a hybrid/gravel bike or even a road bike with 28mm+ tyres. The Exe Estuary Trail forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 2 which will eventually link Dover in Kent with St. Austell in Cornwall via the south coast of England. I started the route from a Holiday Park in Dawlish Warren, however the ride can be easily started from any where in Dawlish.
After a short stretch on road we take a left onto a Bridleway which is clearly signposted for the Exe Estuary Trail. The very clean, well maintained bridleway runs along side the Dawlish Warren Road for about ½ mile and then crosses back over it. It then continues for about another ¼ mile before rejoining the road and going through the village of Cockwood. We follow the road around a pretty little harbour with a preview of the views to come across the estuary in the distance.
Following the clearly marked cycle way signs for the Exe Estuary Trail we take a right and join Exeter Road. After a few hundred yards we rejoin the NCN Route 2 cycle lane. As the cycle lane passes through Starcross look out for the blue cycle lane signs as the route takes a little detour through some houses. I understand why the route designers did this as the road that goes through Starcross is rather narrow and not really wide enough for both cars and bikes.