This RSPB reserve forms part of the Exe Estuary Trail, and while not far from the M5 and central Exeter, it can feel incredibly remote and peaceful.
Accessed from a lane running beside The Swan’s Nest pub, on the A379 Dawlish road, you could walk from the number 2 bus stop or drive to free parking close to the canal at the end of the lane.
The canalside footpath can be followed in either direction, but a convenient circular route can be made by heading away from Exeter towards Powderham. The path here is flat and suitable for pushchairs (if a little bumpy) but you can also use an access route that runs alongside below the towpath.
As you follow the path you will approach the Turf Lock Hotel, a fantastically unique pub that is open in warmer months but sadly closed over winter.
From here you can see the Exe and canal meeting and look out to the mouth of the Estuary at Exmouth. If you continue along the Exe Trail her you can reach Powderham Castle or go even further to Dawlish.
To complete our circular route though you can take the clearly signposted footpath to your right, across the marshes diagonally, to meet the access lane we came in on. This is not buggy suitable though, so to stick to paths you can loop back along the road or canalside.
The nearest refreshments (aside from when the Turf is open) are at the Swan’s Nest and the fab community cafe in Exminster ‘Coffee on the Corner’