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Crossing the rivers of the South West Coast Path – Part 2

3 mins read     22 December 2020

There are at least 17 rivers that require some sort of planning when walking the South West Coast Path.  Here’s our handy guide to each river and how to cross it.  This article covers the 9 rivers and bodies of water of South Devon and Dorset.

Click here for Part 1 Somerset, North Devon & Cornwall.

The River at Salcombe, South Devon

THE RIVER CROSSINGS OF THE SOUTH WEST COAST PATH –
PART 2 SOUTH DEVON & DORSET

River Plym, South Devon

Location: Plymouth harbour to Mount Batten Park
Ferry required?: This crossing is optional.  The official coast path uses Laira Bridge, but you can reduce your daily walk by 5 miles using this ferry.
Operated by: Mount Batten Ferry
Dates: Operates all year
Times: Vary depending upon time of year.  Check out the timetable here.
Alternative option: Take the official coast path route via Laira Bridge.

River Yealm, South Devon

Location: Wembury Point Newton Ferrers & Noss Mayo
Ferry required?: Yes, you will need to use the ferry to cross the River Yealm.
Operated by: Bill Gregor 07817 132757.  Click here for more information.
Dates: 1st April to 30th September
Times: See timetable above.
Alternative option: A private water taxi may be available.

River Erme, South Devon

Location: Between Mothecombe & Wonwell
Ferry required?: No ferry operates on the River Erme.
How to cross:  The River Erme has to be crossed on foot.  Each side of the river there are information boards detailing the best route.
When to cross: Crossing is only possible 1 hour either side of low tide, when the river is knee deep.
Alternative option:  An 8 mile walk around the estuary, on small country lanes.

River Avon, South Devon

Location: Between Bigbury & Bantham
Ferry required?: Yes.  It is not possible to cross the river without using the ferry.
Operated by: Bantham Estate.  Please click here for more information.
Dates: May to September
Times: Please see above link for up to date times.  Prior to the 2020 season, there were discussions about extending the service.  Please phone the Bantham Estate office on 01548 560897.
Alternative option: The Avon Estuary Walk is a signposted walk up the river to Aveton Gifford.  This will add 9 miles to your walk.

Teignmouth and Shaldon Ferry in Devon

Kingsbridge Estuary, South Devon

Location: Between Salcombe to East Portlemouth
Ferry required?: Yes.
Operated by: Salcombe Ferry
Dates: Operates all year.
Times: Times vary, please click here for more information.
Alternative option: not required.

River Dart, South Devon

Location: Between Dartmouth & Kingswear
Ferry required?: Yes.
Operated by: Dartmouth Lower Ferry
Dates: Operates all year
Times: Throughout the day.  Please click here for more information.
Alternative option: not required.

River Teign, South Devon

Location: Between Shaldon to Teignmouth
Ferry required?: Yes
Operated by: Greg Allen – 07896 711822
Dates: Operates all year
Times: Vary depending on time of year.  Click here for timetable.
Alternative option: not required.

River Exe, South Devon

Location: Between Starcross to Exmouth
Ferry required?: Yes
Operated by: Starcross Ferry
Dates: 1st May to 31st October
Times: vary depending on time of year.  Click here for more information.
Alternative option: A water taxi operates on this route.

South Haven Point to Sandbanks, Poole

Location: Between South Haven Point to Sandbanks, Poole
Ferry required?: Yes
Operated by: Sandbanks Ferry
Dates: Operates all year
Times: Click here for more information about times.
Alternative option: If for any reason the ferry is not operating, a taxi will be required.

We try to keep this information up to date, so if you do spot a mistake please let us know so we can update it for your fellow walkers.

To view Crossing the rivers of the South West Coast Path – Part 1, please click here.

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