Boat Trips in Devon
Taking a boat trip is also the best way to spot wildlife, particularly marine life like dolphins, seals and porpoises as well as the migrating sea birds. With the miles of beautiful coastline, there is nothing better than heading out onto the water and seeing the landscape from the sea. From the dramatic cliffs of the Jurassic Coast and the award winning beaches in the Torbay and the North Devon coastline, there are plenty of awe-inspiring sights to see. It isn’t just the coastline that is ready for exploring, Devon is full of amazing water ways offering the best locations for gentle cruises around the region.
Take a cruise to see the puffins
If spotting wildlife if your thing, one boat trip you have to add to your itinerary is the short ferry journey across to Lundy Island. The island, which sits in the Bristol Channel, just off the North Devon coast, is a conservation centre and is home to the South West’s puffin population as well as a host of other rare creatures. There is even accommodation available, though there is no WiFi or electricity, so it is a real chance to step back in time and escape everyday life! You can catch the Lundy ferry from Bideford and Ilfracombe in the North of Devon.
There are a number of pleasure cruises leaving from all over the county offering themed trips that focus on different species of wildlife. For instance, you can book onto a bird watching trip with different routes during each season so you can catch sight of a whole manner of interesting bird life.
Enjoy a heritage attraction
There are plenty of ways that you can combine a boat trip with finding out more about Devon’s heritage. In Tiverton, the Grand Western Canal offers several opportunities to get out on the water including with the UK’s only surviving horse drawn barge. These trips allow you to take a leisurely voyage along the canal in a historical setting and is perfect for the whole family.
Exeter Canal is the oldest working ship canal in Europe. Reminisce as you travel through time with Stuart Line Cruises, with a choice of departure from Exmouth Marina or Exeter Quayside. Sailing through two working locks and the Countess Wear swing bridge, a cruise presents the perfect opportunity to explore the historic quayside of Exeter and the traditional seaside town of Exmouth and enjoy a spot of lunch at one of the many independent eateries. Find more marinas here.
You can also catch a regular ferry from Dartmouth’s quay over to Greenway where Agatha Christie’s former holiday home sits and is now managed by the National Trust. This isn’t the only trip you can do from Dartmouth, there are a number of pleasure cruises taking you to around the Torbay to places like Torquay and Brixham which makes a great alternative to driving. There are also a number of scenic river cruises from the town towards Totnes along the River Dart which take in some incredible sights along the way and gives you the chance to catch herons, buzzards, seals and more in their natural habitat. You can even make the whole thing more exciting by choosing between a more usual looking boat or a paddle steamer!
The Jurassic Coast is England's only Natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretching 95 miles from the Geoneedle at Orcombe Point in Exmouth, to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. Internationally recognised by geologists as one of the most significant heritage sites in the world, the magnificent coastline displays some 185 millions years of the Earth's History and Geology. Exmouth is the gateway to the oldest section of this coastline and features Triassic rocks, believed to be 250 millions years old. You can discover the natural wonder of the Jurassic Coast from the entirely unique perspective of the water with Stuart Line Cruises, who offer regular, award-winning and educational cruises during the summer months, from Exmouth.
The River Exe is a RAMSAR Site of Special Scientific Interest, internationally recognised for its prolific migratory bird life during winter and famously home to huge numbers of rare Avocets at Topsham. Thousands of birds from the likes of Greenland, Iceland and Arctic Siberia shelter on the Exe Estuary to have their babies and feed on the rich biodiversity which is found on the vast mudflats. Partnered with local Ornithologists, Stuart Line Cruises offer award-winning Guided Bird Watching Cruises during winter, making the most of calm-assured waters which provide the perfect opportunity for passengers to discover hundreds of species from within their natural habitat.
Cruise, whatever the weather
You don’t have to wait until summer to embark on a cruise, there are a number of winter cruises that take place including Christmas party trips and Firework Night trips, you can even go for a cruise over Christmas!
Fancy bringing your own boat on your trip to Devon? Take a look at what marinas are available in Devon or for a more thrill seeking water adventure, find out more about the kayaking and canoeing options in the count