Wow, what a paddle this can be if you get the right day! First, let’s start with the River Exe Cafe… it’s a restaurant in the middle of the Exe Estuary, cool eh?! Most people can only get there if they book the water taxi via the restaurant but for us lucky folks with paddle boards, we can get there anytime! Here’s a link to the cafe if you want to take a look at their delicious menu. If you want to eat at the restaurant, you will need to book a table, however, if you just want a drink and some snacks you can cruise up on your paddle board and sit on the decking!
How to get there
The time it takes to get to the cafe will depend on the tide situation. I have gone against the tide a few times and it’s taken me a couple of hours. However, if you go with the tide you can be there in 30mins!
Start on Exmouth beach when the tide is going IN. This means you will have a lovely easy paddle up to the cafe with the tide. You can also go when the tide is going OUT but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are fit and a strong paddler, it’s hard work going against the tides in Exmouth, it’s very dangerous if you get tired. The currents around Exmouth docks are some of the strongest in Europe.
If you take my recommendation and leave when the tide is going IN, try and go close to high tide (within a couple hours), if the tide is too low it can be pretty shallow in certain areas – I have always been ok on my red paddle board as the fins are small, but if you have bigger fins you may get stuck and have to go the really long way round.
If you have timed it right, and left Exmouth within a couple hours of high tide, the tide should have turned by the time you have finished at the cafe which means you can paddle back with the tide to Exmouth! Make sure you stay clear of the wake boarding lanes and watch out for the boats and ferries!