We love spending time on the Quay; it is a really nice place to spend time with family and friends, and great with kids. There are also lots of options for walks, food and drink and family-freindly entertainment.
Exeter Quay is a great place for a family walk, and also works brilliantly with bikes and/or scooters, so it is a winner for children too (if walking is not their thing!)
The big bonus is that it is flat which makes it really family friendly, and there is plenty of parking (some free, some not free!) in and around the Quay. You can start your walk from various places which also helps with this. We often start by parking on the edge of Marsh Barton, crossing over the canal and walking from there. But you can also park nearer to the Quay itself, with both limited free, and lots of paid, parking options near Exe Bridges.
Some walk/cycle/scoot ideas:
- Easy Family Looped Walk: Start near Clip ‘n Climb. Head along the side of the water towards Double Locks direction, turn left and cross the water then continue on in this direction. For an easy looped walk cross over the Exe River on Trews Weir Suspension Bridge next to Belle Isla Park. Turn left and follow the water back to the main quay. Here you can stop for food or drinks, and head back over Crickle Pit Bridge to your starting point.
- Riverside Valley Park: To extend the walk mentioned above, or to provide an alternative walk head in to Riverside Valley Park. This is a lovely wild open space fun of green. Great for walking with kids and dogs, with lots of possible paths, and you can continue your onward walk back to the Quay or further on to Turf Locks or as far as Tophsam.
- Longer walk with a pub reward! Start from the Quay area (in or around Clip ‘n Climb area) and follow the waterside/old shipping canal. There are easy paths to walk and cycle along, and you can choose to walk down the left or right (it makes no difference as you can cross later over a bridge). Keep walking and you will be treated to the lovely Double Locks Pub beside the water. This is roughly a 1.5 mile/30 minute walk from the Quay, depending on where you start. From here you can then loop back to your starting pint (having had a nice refreshing drink by the canal!!) The pub has a wonderful large garden so is great with kids, especially in the summer.
- Turf Lock: You can extend this walk even further by continuing along the canal to Topsham Lock Keepers Cottage and then on to Turf Locks Pub. This would be another 3.5/4 miles or so, but is really beautiful. You can park further along this route and then walk, but parking is limited. Again the route is flat and easy, and offers lovely views.
There are so many good food options in and around the Quay. Here are some we like:
- Mango’s cafe and bar – small independent and cosy, serving lovely breakfast and light lunches
- On the Waterfront – epic pizzas in a quayside warehouse
- Samuel Jones – contemporary warehouse surroundings, award winning beers, good burgers
- The Prospect Inn – classic pub with outside seating. Good food.
- Veg Box Cafe – plant based food and speciality coffee
I am a huge fan of coffee (gets me through many a wild adventure with the tribe!!!) and there are lots of brilliant spots for coffee on the Quay, many of which are local independent businesses.
- The Coffee Cellar – a lovely place to sit beside the water and enjoy coffee and cake with a view!
- Boatyard – beautiful artisan bread and baked goods, and great coffee, right beside the water.
- The Ridge – love this place. The homemade cinnamon buns and doughnuts are incredible! Some seating indoors and outdoors, also great for takeaway.
There is so much for children along the quayside. In addition to the brilliant walks and cycling there are opportunities to do lots of water sports including kayaking. There are also some great family-friendly destinations.
Top entertainment spots in the area:
- Ten pin bowling – family friendly outing, great in bad weather and parking nearby.
- Clip ‘n Climb – indoor climbing and bouldering. Great for your energetic little wild ones! They do fab birthday parties here too
- Saddles & Paddles – for bike, canoe, kayak and paddle board hire
Happy adventuring, Emma and the Wild Ones x