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Exmouth >  Google™ Map Sep 2023  Devon Coat of Arms

exe Unknown (river name) + mūða Old English (large) river mouth, estuary. Population - 35,488.

England-Devon Flag UK > England > Devon

Sep 2023

Devon Coat of Arms

Here is down on the coast in South Devon and the mouth of the River Exe, naturally, so it's easy enough to find even for this pair of navigational ninnies. This is estuary territory making for a sandy situation, all one-and-a-half mile of it and some if you're prepared to head around a headland.

Exmouth Beach

No time today, however, to get some golden grit where you don't want it, this is a simple overnighter and, besides, there's a promenade that looks like it needs a right good walking down.

It's reassuringly old-skool along most of the one-and-a-half mile of the promenade and nowhere no more so than at the Pavilion Theatre.

Exmouth Pavilion

Impressionable turns of Shaky Stevens and Zed Leppelin aren't strictly a summer thing although Jackson Michael might well have been packing 'em in during June and July back when it was still OK to do so.

Those are the months that the town really starts to jump, they say, and when the Harbour View will need a few more books of raffle tickets to confirm the purchase of your fry-up.

Not that it's quite so quiet in what's nearly into October and these Premier-like lodgings are, for once, unable to accommodate.

Exmouth - Premier-like Lodgings
Exmouth - Clock Tower

It's not thought the crowds are down to deliberate, and not accidental, tickers of Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock Towers. This one appeared on or around 1897 for some diamond work on that front and there was talk of one 10 years earlier for some inferior golden work but it can at least be confirmed it's not running late, these days.

  Manor Hotel (The Beacon)

There might well be no room at the Premier Inn so it's up onto the Beacon where a few overnight accommodators still operate from a fine stretch of townhouses with views of the sea.

There is, indeed, a view of the sea, it's there between the land and the sky, but no Sydney Opera House, Hanging Gardens of Babylon or herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain as one might expect down here in South Devon.

Lovely stuff, so far, but things go all hipster at whoever Mickey is's Beach Bar and Restaurant and what's believed to be called a 'parade' of outlets.

Exmouth - Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant

Cupcakes and coffee are very much of the artisan variety and £25 at the time of writing for an 'Indonesian' veggie curry. Isn't that just taking the Mickey, whoever he is?

There doesn't look to be too much life beyond, not unless you need rescuing at sea.

Exmouth - To Orcombe Point

Intrepid types, however, can continue over the headland to a couple of viewpoints of interest and collapsing cliffs, not shown, before more sand but this time with a blue flag.

Not everything is quite so well-tended shrubbery-wise and there's something much wilder just beyond Mickeys. The Maer is a local nature reserve with an even more local name and is best described as sandy heathland.

Exmouth - Sensory Garden
Exmouth - The Maer

That makes it a suitable site for skylarks who can be heard and seen ascending then descending then ascending then descending etc, when in season.

It's bordered by a cricket pitch and that yet-to-be-fathomed association of pirates and the type of golf that's never quite as crazy as advertised.

Exmouth - Leisure Amusements

Having already mentioned larks on a downward spiral, so this is what Russell Brand is up to these days, eh?

That looks to be all one-and-a-half mile of the promenade done so it's a colourful detour dodging raindrops towards town to see what's being offered there.

Exmouth - St Andrew's Road
Exmouth - Strand

Why, there's only a square that's nearly as big as Trafalgar and, get this, it sits on a similarly named Strand.

  The Merchant (Strand)

It might have the whiff of a Wetherspoon™s in size and interior design but they're a far craftier bunch if you look closely at the pumps. The young chap behind the bar is keen to chat, a little too keen to be honest, but here is ideal for a nightcap after some fine dining if Prezzo™s is your benchmark, that is.

Parts of the centre could, sorry Exmouth, just about be anywhere but there's enough of an identity to make this pair of moochers nod in approval.

Exmouth - Chapel Street
Exmouth - Parade

One thing that couldn't just about be anywhere, though, is Exmouth Market even if that's not true because there's a better-known one in fancy London.

Exmouth Indoor Markets

Not quite so many hipsters here, however, with many of the outlets focused on things that people actually need and the dinosaur outside is a nod to the famous Jurassic Coast.

Dorset is the majority shareholder but South Devon has a not-insignificant claim and it all starts just past that headland if you've been paying attention?

  Namaste Himalaya (High Street)

A handful of heavy-on-the-ginger Nepalese specialities that head down into Northern India before arriving at your standard, British high street fayre. No Bhuteko Masu on the menu but good enough if not quite as good as gushing advising trippers suggest.

It's hoped that a party of golfers, one of whom appears to be in photographic memorial form, aren't staying at the Manor Hotel. They're three pints in and the poppadoms haven't even arrived yet!

This area is particularly tidal so it comes as no surprise to find a marina for those not willing to walk across wet sand to embark on a voyage. There's an inevitable, modern housing development with a handful of fleshpots but it's colourfully done and wouldn't look out of place in Scandinavia, say?

Exmouth Marina
Exmouth - Morton Crescent

That's in complete contrast to the original housing stock and makes it some of Exmouth's prime real estate. SlyBob are slightly seduced but Pickford™s won't be getting a call no time soon because, being on a budget, a Juliet balcony isn't a real balcony, really.

Besides, they were all bought off-plan and function as second or holiday homes or Airbnb™s, probably, whatever the difference between those last two is.

Remember the octagonal house craze of the 1850s, popularised in North America but adopted to an extent over here? No? Well, stuff them anyways because here's a, get this, 16-sided one and A La Ronde is a much better name than the hexadecagon house although reading it back we actually prefer that.

Exmouth - A La Ronde

A promenade's length north of town, it was built for and paid for by a pair of wealthy cousins who were not long back from a European Grand Tour in the 1790s. The shape is influenced by the similarly shaped basilica they saw in Ravenna, they say, and it's packed full of their souvenirs, whoo-hoo!

That includes a shell grotto and staircase that you're no longer allowed up and into and of the kind last seen in Margate despite these ones being largely of the Mediterranean variety.

There's something being made of the fact that these ladies, yes they were ladies, were intrepid in the exploration department even if their trip was the equivalent of an exclusive all-inclusive, really, all funded by a father who got rich on the wine of the time.

It's National Trust™-run, boo, so you'll have to part with some pounds but it's quite a piece of work and they'll let you wander ronde the garden. Hey, it's handy when that rain refuses to fully rein itself in and when it's also a little too early in the day to head to where SlyBob need to be next but that's another story.

Meanwhile, back in Exmouth, there's a cruise to get a better look at the Jurassic Coast although that appears to involve looking for fossils in cliff faces through binoculars for nearly three hours.

A far better bet is a shorter sailing out into the dramatic estuary of the River Exe for a closer look at Dawlish Warren Spit, just about shown.

Exmouth - River Exe and Estuary

Despite being not much more than spitting distance, this sandy National Nature Reserve, no less, is a 20-mile diversion by motor vehicle. If you're lucky, you might spot a choo-choo although this ain't no chuff-chuff, not shown.

This stretch of mainline track famously hugs the coast and when it's not been washed away carries passengers all the way from Aberdeen to Penzance.

That trip, by the way, takes on average around 13 hours, which is nearly as long as some second-homers have been heard complaining about the time it takes to drive from West London in August, eh?