An Exeter Kayaking Guide
Kayaking in Exeter, in our opinion, is one of the best paces to paddle in Devon.
If you’re a kayak enthusiast seeking thrilling water escapades, then seriously, you look no further than Kayaking here in and around Exeter!
Nestled in the heart of the county of Devon, this charming city offers an abundance of picturesque waterways and captivating natural beauty that will leave you in awe.
Obviously the River Exe is the main drawcard here for paddlers but there is much we can tell you about what to see and places to visit and that’s what this article is all about.
In our experience, this is a hidden gem for kayaking enthusiasts, offering a delightful blend of history, attractions, and, of course, some excellent paddling opportunities.
So let’s crack on and get into the full guide.
Discovering Exeter: A Brief Glimpse into the Past
Before diving into the kayaking adventures that await, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich history and unique character of Exeter to understand why we enjoy coming here.
With origins dating back to the Roman era, this ancient city boasts a fascinating heritage that seamlessly blends with its modern charm.
From the iconic Exeter Cathedral, with its breathtaking architecture, to the vibrant Quayside area, Exeter effortlessly marries the old and the new.
And, there’s lots of water about, so it’s perfect for us paddlers!
Kayaking Opportunities in Exeter | It all Starts with the River Exe!
The River Exe flows right through the city of Exeter, providing a beautiful natural feature that enhances the city’s charm.
The river runs through Exeter and offer many opportunities for scenic kayaking and paddle boarding adventures within the city limits.
The Exe River holds great appeal among kayakers due to its remarkable feature: it remains runnable throughout the winter season. This unique characteristic contributes to the river’s popularity, as it provides kayaking enthusiasts with the opportunity to enjoy their favoriute water sport even during the colder months.
Exeter Quay: A Kayaker's Haven
Can I Kayak Around Exeter Quay I hear you ask? Answer, Yes, absolutely.
In fact, one of the highlights of kayaking in Exeter is the opportunity to explore the renowned Exeter Quay.
This bustling area is a vibrant hub of activity, lined with quaint shops, cozy cafes, and enticing restaurants.
Paddle your way through the heart of the quay, feeling the vibrant energy as you soak in the lively atmosphere.
It’s an experience that seamlessly blends adventure and leisure, offering a perfect balance for kayakers of all levels.
Kayaking on The Exeter Ship Canal
The Exeter Ship Canal, constructed in 1566, is one of the earliest artificially built canals in the UK.
It spans five miles, connecting the River Exe at Turf Lock to the Exeter Quay.
Initially designed to bypass weirs on the river, it enabled the transportation of goods to the port of Exeter.
Despite facing challenges from the arrival of railways, the canal remains an active waterway and a recreational attraction for both locals and visitors.
With its two locks and picturesque setting, the canal is a popular route for walkers, cyclists, and paddlers.
Its proximity to the sea and estuary allows for the observation of diverse wildlife, including wading and sea-faring birds.
For kayaking inspiration, check out the Paddle Trails that feature the Exeter Ship Canal.
Do you need a Permit to kayak on Exeter Canal?
No is the answer. Kayaking on the Exeter Canal is open to the public but you will not need a permit.
However, there are places in Devon including very near to Exeter that for sure you do need permits for Canal Kayaking and you can get your permits from this website.
Remember, it’s up to you to know the local rules and regulations for kayaking anywhere here in the UK.
For full details of licencing for kayaks and paddle boards in the UK read OUR COMPLETE WATERWAYS LICENCE GUIDE
Captivating Sights: What to See While Kayaking in Exeter
As you navigate the waterways around Exeter, prepare to be captivated by the scenic beauty that unfolds around you.
Glide along the canal, passing under charming stone bridges adorned with vibrant greenery.
Keep an eye out for graceful swans gracefully gliding alongside your kayak, and marvel at the reflections of historic buildings mirrored in the calm waters.
Paddling further afield, you can also venture into the picturesque Exe Estuary, where expansive views and diverse wildlife await your discovery.
Don’t worry we’ll put together another full article about Kayaking in Exmouth that will include loads more info on the below topic as well.
The Exe Estuary: A Kayaker’s Paradise
For those craving a more extensive kayaking expedition, the Exe Estuary presents an unrivaled paradise waiting to be explored.
Stretching along the coast, this expansive estuary offers an abundance of natural beauty and captivating scenery.
From sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs to secluded coves and serene marshlands, the Exe Estuary promises endless opportunities for adventure and discovery.
Launching Your Kayak: Convenient Paddle Access Points in Exeter
When it comes to launching your kayak, Exeter offers several convenient access points that cater to both beginners and experienced paddlers.
One popular location is the Exeter Canal Basin, situated in the heart of the city.
From here, you can embark on a scenic journey along the historic Exeter Ship Canal, admiring the tranquil surroundings as you paddle your way through the center of the city.
Honestly though there are lots of spots to launch from in Exeter including the River Exe Country Park and the Flowerpot Playing Fields.
Kayak Hire in Exeter | Where to hire Kayaks and Paddleboards
If you don’t have your own kayak, fear not!
Exeter boasts several reputable kayak hire services that provide top-quality equipment for your paddling adventures.
Two notable options are Kayak Hub Exeter and Sad Pad Paddlesports Hire.
These reliable providers offer a range of kayaks suitable for various preferences and skill levels, ensuring you have everything you need to embark on an unforgettable kayaking experience.
Planning Your Kayaking Journey from Exeter: Practical Information
Rental Costs: Exploring Exeter on a Budget
When it comes to renting a kayak in Exeter, prices can vary depending on the duration and type of kayak you choose.
On average, kayak rentals start from around £15 per hour, with full-day options also available.
Be sure to check with the respective hire services for the most up-to-date pricing information.
Optimal Kayaking Routes: Navigating Exeter’s Waterways
- Exeter Ship Canal Loop: Embark on a circular route that takes you through the heart of Exeter, passing iconic landmarks such as Exeter Cathedral and the Quayside.
- Exe Estuary Excursion: Venture into the scenic Exe Estuary, where you can soak in breathtaking views of the coastline and encounter a diverse array of birdlife.
- Double Locks to Turf Locks: Paddle from the historic Double Locks pub along the Exeter Ship Canal, ending your journey at the charming Turf Locks pub. Enjoy a refreshing drink and take in the tranquil ambiance before paddling back.
Loads of Exeter Kayaking Routes info is available here.
Guided Kayak Trips from Exeter: Expert-Led Adventures
For those seeking a more structured kayaking experience, guided kayak trips are available in Exeter.
These trips are led by experienced guides who possess in-depth knowledge of the area, ensuring you have a safe and informative journey.
These excursions often include interesting anecdotes about the city’s history, wildlife, and hidden gems, making them an excellent choice for those seeking both adventure and education.
Available from the above mentioned operators who also handle Kayak Hire here in Exeter.
Nature's Tapestry: Wildlife Encounters on the water on and around Exeter
One of the true delights of kayaking in Exeter is the opportunity to observe the region’s diverse wildlife up close.
As you paddle along the waterways, keep your eyes peeled for graceful swans gliding effortlessly, playful otters darting through the shallows, and a variety of bird species gracefully soaring overhead.
The tranquil environment provides the perfect backdrop for encountering nature’s wonders, offering a memorable experience for any nature enthusiast.
Experience Kayaking in Exeter: Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit
I’ll be honest here, it has been a few years since I have kayaked in Exeter so make sure you check everything before you head to this awesome city.
But I did fact check a number of my topics presented in this article and I think I have everything correct.
Kayaking in Exeter is an experience that I remember being truly captivating and was the essence of adventure and exploration.
With its fascinating history, breathtaking waterways, and vibrant atmosphere, Exeter has something for everyone.
So, grab a paddle, embrace the thrill of the water, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders that Exeter has to offer.
Unleash your adventurous spirit and create some lasting paddle memories for yourself as you navigate the captivating waterways of this remarkable city.
For more information about Exeter, visit the official Exeter City website.
*Note: This article is intended as a guide. Always ensure proper safety measures are followed