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Top 5 Hikes Near Exeter

Classes, work, study, go out, class, work, study…

It’s all too easy to get into a routine and never get a change of pace or scenery, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need. Whether you’re a beach bum or an avid hiker, these are a few places you can get a taste of fresh air and the great outdoors near Exeter.

1. Dartmoor National Park

Whether you are drawn by the beautiful expanse of the moors, or the cute miniature ponies which wander the hills, you will not want to leave Dartmoor once you arrive. It is the perfect place to go if you want to breathe some fresh air and get away from the bustle of town, plus it is so big that you could spend hours just exploring different parts of this park alone.  If you have a car, you’re set. If you don’t, buses go to a number of towns within the park, the closest being Moretonhampstead.

2. Jurassic Coast

One of the most stunning stretches of coastline in England, the Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage sight that definitely beats Exeter’s quayside. Along with the usual joys of walking barefoot in the sand and listening to the waves, on the Jurassic Coast you have the added possibility of finding a fossil or two! The best part? The Jurassic Coast starts just by Exmouth, a short train ride away.

3. Exmoor National Park

Not quite as close as Dartmoor or the Jurassic Coast, but well worth the trek, which can be made by train, car, or bus. Exmoor has its own set of ponies (sorry, not miniature), plus one side of the park borders the ocean, which means you’re in for miles of picturesque, untouched coastline, just waiting to be explored.

Bonus: in and near to the park are quaint seaside towns such as Countisbury and Illfracombe where you can enjoy a bite to eat and get a cheesy postcard for your flatmates.

4. Blackdown Hills

You won’t find countryside more picturesque than the Blackdown Hills, which has been designated an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. It’s a short drive by car or bus, and the closest stop via train is Honiton. Just think, a stroll among fields and forests, ending in a pub lunch, ideal for those not-so-lazy Sundays when you need to wind down before beginning the week. 

5. Dawlish Warren National Reserve

For those times when you want a really quick, easy getaway, Dawlish Warren’s National Reserve is as good as it gets. A short 20-minute train ride from Exeter Central, and you are at a stretch of beach so beautiful you will think you’re miles away from any civilisation. Perfect for a weekend picnic with your mates, or a romantic sunset stroll.

Currently studying English Literature. I was born in New York, but I call England home. Before starting at the University of Exeter I took a gap year. I spent 5 months road tripping and blogging my way across the USA, seeing 37 states in just over 16,000 miles. Needless to say, I love to travel. I am also an avid bookworm, a writer, a yogi, and a (lazy) hiker, among other things. I have a soft spot for bees, sci-fi, and red velvet cupcakes.
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