• With Kids in the Westcountry

Seaton Wetlands – the ideal circuit for a short family walk, buggy and bike-friendly

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

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As the proud owner of two children with questionable stopping and steering ability on their bikes and scooters, it’s a relief to have found somewhere to take the girls on their wheels without the worry of nearby traffic. It’s free to enter (though you can leave a donation in the car park if you wish), completely traffic-free, and open all year round!

It’s a short enough circuit for young walkers, and is mostly tarmacked making it a great buggy route as well, but as it’s a nature reserve only assistance dogs are allowed.

Seaton Wetlands is an area of marshland and reedbeds alongside the River Axe as it runs through the valley between Colyford and the estuary at nearby Axmouth. As well as being a firm favourite with families enjoying the safe surroundings with children, it’s also a haven for bird-watchers – there are five bird hides which make for good little rest stops along the way.

The main walking/cycling route isn’t circular, but there’s nearly 4km of pathway to explore with tracks going off on tangents across wooden board-walks which cross the boggy fields and marshes to hides at the end. There are a couple of ponds, where you can look out for ducks, swans and pondlife (beware the main duck pond isn’t fenced) - pond dipping equipment can be hired when the rangers hut is open.

A shallow stream can be accessed from a gate next to the little bridge (pictured above) - great for a welly paddle in winter or a proper splash in summer! If you want to get off the main walkways and explore further, there are some narrow grassy tracks either side of the stream but these are not buggy-friendly.

There are toilets (with changing facilities) on-site, and the Discovery Hut sells basic tea and coffee from an urn and biscuits when it’s open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays – drop in to have a look at the things the rangers have found on the reserve, such as bird nests, eggs, snakeskins and even a couple of resident dormice.

It’s a great place to take a picnic and there’s plenty of seating and benches across the site, as apart from the odd Rich Tea from the Discovery Hut, there isn’t a café for refreshments.

Follow the Seaton Wetlands Facebook page to keep up to date with the various events run throughout the year – there’s often a themed-trail of some sort to keep little ones entertained, and lots of craft and nature activity days in school holidays run by the rangers.

Finding Seaton Wetlands is easy if you know how. From Colyford village take the A3052 next to the Colyford Village Stores, signposted Axe Vale Static Caravan Park. After half a mile turn left into Seaton Cemetery, and continue through the cemetary to the Seaton Wetlands car park. The nearest postcode is EX12 2SP.