Starts/Finishes: Holman Way Car Park, Topsham, EX3 0EN
Time: 1 hour
Distance: 1.5 miles
Terrain: Hardstanding footpaths
Parking: Paid car park
Topsham Goat Walk
Discover the charming town of Topsham – full of charming cottages, the riverside strand and museum, and, on the fringe, a variety of fascinating birds that live in the nearby Bowling Green Marshes. This short one-hour walk is predominantly along hardstanding roads and paths, with little elevation change. There’s also great transport links via train and bus, making it widely accessible.
Start at Holman Way car park. (1) Exit left and follow Parsons Path on the left side of the road, taking you to the top of the bridge over the road. (2) Instead, turn left and continue through Monmouth Avenue before turning left onto Monmouth Street. (3) Follow this quiet road being wary of vehicles as there is no footpath.
(4) You will soon see a sign for the Bowling Green Marshes. (5) Follow these and discover the bird hide, managed by the RSPB, where if you’re lucky you can discover a wader or a wildfowl. Be sure to enter and explore the estuary viewing platform area further along, too. Here you’ll enjoy stunning estuary views and a chance of spotting the beautiful avocets feeding in the shallow waters, using their upturned bill to catch small fish.
(6) Heading back out onto the road, turn left and you’ll reach a slip road, with a raised path next to it. This is the Goat Walk. (7) This narrow, raised path along the River Exe has plenty of benches for you to stop, relax and soak up the scenery.
(8) Once you’ve reached the end of the Goat Walk, continue into the town, past the many quaint cottages and jettys along the way. Why not pop into Topsham Museum to learn more about the town as you pass?
(9) Continue further to Topsham Quay – a hub of activity. Drop into The Lighter Inn for a well-earned drink or meal, browse the local independent shops, or have a wander around the Quay Antique Centre to see what maritime treasures you can find.
(10) At the quay roundabout, go straight (opposite The Lighter Inn) to continue back along Holman Way and back to the car park.
Want to spend more time in Topsham? Head further along Ferry Road to Topsham’s riverside strand, showcasing the picturesque 17th century merchant houses and come back through Fore Street for more unique independent offerings.
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum