Topsham is a lovely place with loads to explore and discover. It feels very coastal whilst being easily reachable from Exeter on public transport. There is limited on road parking around the narrow streets of Topsham, so it is better to park in one of the pay and display car parks. The biggest of these is next to the railway station, with others in the centre of town next to the fire station and at the quay next to The Lighter Inn.
From any of these car parks, head towards the river, turn left along The Strand and you will reach The Goat Walk. The path itself can get licked by the water at high tide, so be careful if you have small children, nervous dogs or things like scooters or pushchairs with you. Cyclists are required to dismount.
There are lots of benches along the Goat Walk so you can sit and gaze at the views, watch the estuary comings and goings and spot trains on the other side. There is a gate in the wall to the Goat Walk Land – fields open for public use that run adjacent to the Goat Walk. Lots of room to exercise dogs, have a picnic and play hide and seek.
You will find yourself beside the entrance to an RSPB reserve called Bowling Green Marsh. if you go through the gate and follow the surfaced path (buggy friendly) there is a brilliant viewing platform at the end. There is a large information board to help you spot river/sea birds and make the most of your visit.
Once you have finished at the platform, the path does continue around the reserve in a circular way, but the path is very rough underfoot and no longer suitable for buggies. For those in wellies there is a small bridge over a brook with lots to look at.
Once finished in the reserve you can either head back the way you came, along the Goat Walk and into Topsham or carry on for a longer walk. If you turn right out of the gate and carry on along the lane, then there is an RSPB hide from which to do more estuary gazing.
There is a disabled parking space here, and a picnic table in the garden if you’re looking for a snack spot. Read more about what’s at the hide here. At weekends and Bank Holidays ‘The Lookout’ opens from 2-4 offering hot drinks and a relaxed seating area.
The Goat Walk land is along this lane on your left, so you are able to walk through the fields instead of along the road if you have no pushchair to think of. The views across the field and along the estuary are fantastic and very peaceful.
As you follow the lane, a cycle/footpath on your right leads to Darts Farm, while the road continues up alongside the railway line. If you turn left into Monmouth Street at the top, you can return down the hill to where you started.
Topsham has lots of shops and cafes, as well as free public toilets in the centre. There is an open air pool, and a fabulous park down by the river. The museum is on the Strand and serves cream teas on some afternoons in a lovely garden by The Exe.