Budleigh Salterton Cliffs and the Otter Estuary

Budleigh Salterton, Devon

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Budlaigh Salterton Cliffs-Richard Edmonds, Dorset

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The cliffs in the western part of Budleigh Salterton expose the full thickness of the Lower Triassic Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds. The Beds are made up of well-rounded pink, red and grey cobbles and pebbles that resulted from the erosion of 400 million year old quartzite outcrops lying to the south-west, possibly now under younger rocks in the English Channel or even Brittany. These were then laid down as a coarse gravel in a large braided river which crossed a Triassic desert 230 million years ago. Over the years erosion processes have released the pebbles from the bed thus creating the present pebble beach. Some of these pebbles have been carried by the action of the sea as far east as Sussex and Kent.

The Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds are overlain by red Otter Sandstone which is of mixed wind blown and river origin and can be seen west of the promenade and in low cliffs behind it. At Otterton Point, on the eastern side of the mouth of the Otter Estuary, this sandstone has yielded important fossil remains including ‘the Devon rhynchosaur’, an ancient reptile that has allowed these rocks to be dated to the Triassic period. The Otter Estuary is also important for its modern day wildlife.

There are information boards, viewing platforms, toilets, shops, cafes, a tourist information centre and a car park. When walking along the coastline please take care and refer to the safety guidance at the start of this booklet.

Opening Times

All Year (1 Jan 2024 - 1 Jan 2025)


Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Key Features

  • In countryside
  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (charge)



Map & Directions

Road Directions

From Exeter, take the A376 to Exmouth and then go west along the B3178 to Budleigh. There is car parking at Budleigh Salterton.



Public Transport Directions

Access is via the South West Coast Path or along the beach from Budleigh Salterton.

There is an Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton cycle route.

Buses run regularly from Exmouth and Sidmouth.

Train services run to Exmouth.




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Dawlish Warren Cliffs: Photo supplied by Craig Dixon, DCCDawlish Warren and Cliffs, Dawlish and Dawlish Warren

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