The Jurassic Coast stretches from Orcombe Point, near Exmouth, to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in East Dorset. It is the only natural World Heritage Site in England, and the only place on Earth where 185 million years of geological history are clearly visible in dramatic cliffs, coastal stacks, secret coves and sweeping beaches. As you might imagine, the view from the water can be breath-taking (weather permitting!). There are also plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along the Jurassic Coast, as it remains an important habitat for many seabirds, as well as seals and sometimes dolphins.
The coast can be explored in both directions from Exmouth Marina, either east into Dorset (there is a marina at Swanage, and numerous havens along the way) or further west into Devon, where golden beaches and traditional harbours await (Torquay, Brixham and Dartmouth all offer marinas and a range of municipal harbour berthing opportunities). With the right tide you can also sail up the River Exe from Exmouth Marina and into the Exe Estuary, or hire a smaller boat or kayak to get a closer view of the abundant wildlife in this beautiful stretch of water (though please avoid the Wildlife Refuges at Exmouth and Dawlish Warren at all times. Click here for more information). There is an award-winning and very popular floating restaurant on the Exe Estuary, close to Exmouth Marina; open from April 1st until September 30th each year, The River Exe Café operates from a custom-built barge that floats well off-shore, offering a locally-sourced menu and surrounded by wonderful views. The Café is served by the Puffin Water Taxi, which departs from Exmouth Marina’s Visitors Pontoon, or you can arrive on your own boat (please call ahead). Continuing up the Exe Estuary, the Turf Hotel at Topsham is one of the few pubs in the country which cannot be reached by car. Overlooking the Exe Estuary, and situated at the end of the historic Exeter Canal, this welcoming pub has its own landing stage and is served by two ferries, or you can arrive in your own boat (please call ahead). This is a seasonal pub, so check opening times before planning a visit. Topsham itself – once the second busiest port in England - is a historical town, with much to offer in the way of one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and pubs. Marina visitors often tell us they have enjoyed sailing up to Topsham on the tide, following the buoyed channel to Topsham Quay (Berths are available at a charge of £8.20) and exploring this pretty town on foot.