The solstice has passed us by and it feels as though the sunshine of summer has already faded to a distant memory. But far from being the time to bundle up indoors, autumn is one of the best times to get outside.
Our stores are hubs for our community of sea-going adventure seekers, so who better to ask to find out the best outdoor experiences and micro-adventures around Exeter? We sat down with Store Manager Duncan, for his local autumn adventure advice.
What does the coming of autumn mean to you and your community?
Autumn signals the return of bigger swells to break us out of the haze of summer. Spots on the south coast of Devon begin to light up after a long dormant summer, and well-established North facing beaches welcome the incoming groundswells.
Where is a good place to find peace and reconnect to nature?
It’s a little outside Exeter, down at East Prawle you can find Moor Sands beach, also known as Venerick’s Cove. It’s not really much of a beach, more of a steep sided pebbly cove, but it’s a beautifully secluded spot. It does take a bit of effort to get to, but that’s what makes it so peaceful and definitely worth the journey.
What is the best place for surfing nearest your store?
On the south coast of Devon, we’d have to say Bantham. It’s between Plymouth and Paignton and on its day it can produce a beautiful right-hander. On the North Coast it’s pretty much any established spot; Saunton Sands, Croyde, Woolacombe, all the usual suspects. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Exeter, but worth the effort.
Autumn Kit Favourites
Where is the best place to discover wildlife around Exeter?
It would have to be Dartmoor National Park. It covers 360 square miles of moorland, with granite hilltops, tors and rivers winding their way through the scenery – it’s a really breath-taking place. There’s so much wildlife to discover, from rare birds like the Cuckoo to freshwater fish like Atlantic Salmon. It’s also one of the only places in Britain where you can legally go wild camping anywhere in the national park area throughout the year.
Where is the best place for storm-watching in or around Exeter?
There are a couple. Start Point Lighthouse, near Salcombe in South Devon is amazing. It’s on this rugged headland and you get a great view of the crashing waves as the storms come in. The National Coast Watch at Prawle point is also close by and offers a similar view to Start Point. Lyme Regis is another favourite and it’s amazing to watch the waves crashing into the harbour while safe in your car or a café.
What is an undiscovered or little-known adventure activity that can be done in the Exeter area?
About an hour and a half drive’s North of Exeter you’ll find the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, connected by the Lynmouth Cliff railway, billed as the oldest and steepest completely water powered railway in the world. It’s also really close to Lynton Valley of the Rocks, which is an incredible geological feature in North Devon that runs parallel to the coast – a great place to go exploring.