South Devon Public Transport
South Devon

Rail Services

Overview

Waves break over a train at DawlishSouth Devon is well served by the railway, with the Great Western main line running through much of South Devon, including part of it along the coast. There are stations in East Devon, on the West of England Line (London Waterloo - Exeter), from where there are connections to the coast. There is a branch line from Exeter to Exmouth with frequent services giving access to the coast. Accross the Exe estuary, the Great Western Main line has stations at Starcross, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish and Teignmouth, all on the coast path with frequent services operating to most stations. A branch line from Newton Abbot has stations on the coast at Torquay and Paignton. Further south, the Paignton and Dartmouth steam railway runs from Paignton to Kingswear, giving access to the coast path at Goodrington, Kingswear and Dartmouth (via a short Ferry Crossing). Further west there are stations at Totnes (bus connections to Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe), Ivybridge and Plymouth (for the coast path and bus links to the east).

The main line is one of the most sceninc railways in the world, running along the Exe estuary from Exeter, before joining the coast for the journey between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth. From Teignmouth, the line heads up the edge of the river Teign to Newton Abbot. From here the branch line to Paignton rejoins the coast, and the main line continues around the south edge of Dartmoor to Plymouth. This is definitly the best way to travel between points on this section of the coast path as in some places you get a better view from the train than the coast path. In winter the storms do sometimes close the coastal section of the railway line - looking at the picture to the right you can see why! (photo courtesy of Globe Video Films).

Coastal Routes

The following table lists the rail stations and routes that are useful for accessing the South Devon coast. Places on (or near) the coast path are marked in bold. For the timetables, see the links below.

From To Walk Line Operator
Exeter St Davids Exeter Central, St James Park, Polsloe Bridge, Digby and Sowton, Topsham, Exton, Lympstone Commando, Lympstone Village, Exmouth Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton The Avocet Line First Great Western Trains
Exeter Central Exeter St Davids, Exeter St Thomas, Starcross, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Torre, Torquay, Paignton Exeter to Dawlish Warren, Dawlish to Dawlish Warren, Dawlish to Teignmouth, Teignmouth to Babbacombe, Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paignton, Paignton to Brixham The South Devon Coastway First Great Western, South West Trains, Cross Country Trains
Paignton Goodrington Sands, Churston, Kingswear Paignton to Brixham, Brixham to Kingswear, Dartmouth to Torcross The Paignton and Dartmouth Railway The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway
Exeter Central Exeter St Davids, Exeter St Thomas, Starcross, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Ivybridge, Plymouth Exeter to Dawlish Warren, Dawlish to Dawlish Warren, Dawlish to Teignmouth, Teignmouth to Babbacombe, Plymouth to Wembury The South Devon Coastway First Great Western Trains, South West Trains, Cross Country Trains
Barnstaple Chapleton, Umberleigh, Portsmouth Arms, Kings Nympton, Eggesford, Lapford, Morchard Road, Copplestone, Yeoford, Crediton, Newton St Cyres, Exeter St. Davids, Exeter Central Exeter to Dawlish Warren The Tarka Line First Great Western Trains
London Waterloo Woking, Basingstoke, Overton, Whitchurch, Andover, Grateley, Salisbury, Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe, Sherbourne, Yeovil Junction, Crewkerne, Axminster, Honiton, Feniton, Whimple, Pinhoe, Exeter Central, Exeter St. Davids Exeter to Dawlish Warren The West of England Line South West Trains
London Paddington Reading, Swindon, Chippenham, Bath, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Newbury, Pewsey, Castle Cary, Westbury, Taunton, Tiverton, Exeter St Davids Exeter to Dawlish Warren The Great Western Line First Great Western, Cross Country Trains
Plymouth Devonport, Dockyard, Keyham, St Budeaux (Victoria Road), Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston, Calstock, Gunnislake Plymouth to Wembury The Tamar Valley Line First Great Western

Operators

Most rail tickets (such as day returns) are valid on any of the train operators below (except for the Paignton and Dartmouth steam, which is private). Advance purchase tickets are normally limited to the booked train only.

First Great Western run longer distance services between London Paddington and Plymouth and Penzance. They also run local services between Exeter and Exmouth, Exeter and Barnstaple, Exeter and Paignton and Plymouth and Gunnislake.
South West Trains operate the West of England line, which runs from London Waterloo - Exeter. There are stations in Devon at Axminster, Honiton, Feniton, Whimple, Pinhoe, Exeter Central and Exeter St. Davids. There are through bus connections to Lyme Regis, Bridport and Weymouth (from Axminster) and to Sidmouth (from Honiton). Other bus services operate from Axminster to Seaton and Beer. Some of these services run onto Paignton or Plymouth, calling at most of the stations on the way.
Cross Country Trains operate longer distance services from the Midlands, the North and Scotland to Paignton, Plymouth and Penzance. Most of these services either run non stop from Exeter to Plymouth or call at Newton Abbot and / or Totnes on the way. Some services (especially on summer Saturdays) operate to Paignton and some services also call at Dawlish and Teignmouth.
The Paignton and Dartmouth steam railway runs steam trains between Paignton (adjacent to the main station), to Goodrington, Churston and Kingswear. All of the stations, except for Churston are on or close to the coast path, and the journey is very scenic, as it pases Goodrington and Broadsands, before heading in line to join the banks of the river Dart into Kingswear. From Kingswear a regular ferry operates to Dartmouth, through tickets to Dartmouth are available. Trains run from Easter to the end of September, with some special services operating outside of this date.

Timetables

Pre-Printed Timetables

Pre-Printed timetable booklets are available from all staffed stations around South Devon. Most larger stations are staffed (including Exeter, Plymouth, Exmouth, Dawlish, Torquay, Paignton and Teignmouth). In addition some of the rail operators have provided timetables for downloading on their web sites. See the links below

On-Line Timetables and Ticket Sales

There are several web sites which allow you to search for rail information, some also provide information on fares.

National Rail

The National Rail site has lots of information on the rail network, including a journey planner that gives the train times and fares, real time travel information and real time departure information for many stations. For the timetable, follow the link Planning Your Journey near the top left.

The TrainLine

The TrainLine.com provides timetable, train fare information and it allows you to book a ticket in advance (which can be picked up at some stations or delivered to your house). It does require you to register first though and has a habit of offering trains for which it lists no valid fare!.

Duetsche Bahn

Duetsche Bahn (the German rail operator) provides (in English) an on-line timetable for all UK rail services. It also offers a list of calling points for all the trains (rather than just where you need to change), a map of the route takes and will produce a personalised PDF (Adobe Acrobat file) of the timetable between any two stations.

Train Running

Rail Services in the UK sometimes suffer from delays and disruption, so it is useful to check for potential problems before setting out. National Rail Inquiries is a telephone line (open 24-hours a day) which can provide timetable and current train running information. The number is 08457 48 49 50. Calls are charged at the local rate.

There is also on-line train running information available updated frequently. The main site lists problems and disruption for the whole UK. In addition current live arrival and departure information is available for all stations in the UK. Please see the links below for your station.

Discount Cards

If you're travelling regularly by train, it might be worth investing in a Railcard, which offers discounts on various rail services. The following cards are available. Note that they do have different validty and different discounts to so do check which offers best value for you.

Railcard Eligibility Cost Discount Available Routes valid on
Young Persons Railcard Available to anyone aged 16 to 25 and to full-time students over 26. 26 per year 1/3 off most standard class rail fares. Excludes some advance purchase tickets. Minimum fare applies before on weekdays. All routes nationwide, except preserved railways.
Senior Railcard Anyone aged 60 or over. 26 per year. 1/3 off most rail fares - see website for details. All routes nationwide, except preserved railways.
Family Railcard A minimum of 1 adult and 1 child (under 16) and a maximum of 4 adults and 4 childern per card. All must be travelling together. 26 per year 1/3 off most adult fares and 60% off child fares. Must be at least 1 adult and 1 child travelling together and a maximum of 4 adults and 4 children. All routes nationwide, except preserved railways.
Network Railcard Anyone. A single card is valid for a minimum of 1 person and a maximum of 4 adults and 4 children travelling together. 25 per year 1/3 off most adult rail fares and 60% off most child fares, but only on certain routes. A minimum fare applies on weekdays so discount may be less than stated on weekdays for short-distance fares. Off-peak use only. Most trains in the former Network South East Area. In Devon, this covers trains from London Waterloo - Exeter (but not beyond Exeter), operated by South West Trains, and also London Waterloo - Weymouth trains (for bus connections to East Devon). Not avilable on services in Devon operated by Wessex Trains, First Great Western, Virgin Trains or Wales and Borders Trains.
Disabled Persons Railcard See here 18 per year 1/3 off most rail fares. All routes nationwide, except preserved railways.
Devon and Cornwall Railcard Anyone over 16 resident in Devon or Cornwall. 10 per year. 1/3 off most off peak rail fares within Devon and Cornwall. All routes and services wholly within Devon and Cornwall.

Bus Services

NOTE

Most of the timetables below should be up to date, but you are strongly advised to contact the operator to confirm before travelling.

Overview

Bus services operate between many points on the South West coast path and also connect with major towns and cities and the National Rail network. The South Devon section has some good bus services operating to coastal towns, with many running very frequently. The worst section is probably the South Hams, to the west of Salcombe towards Plymouth. Some bus services run only during the summer or during the week only and may run different timetables at weekends or during school holidays.

The following table shows the principal bus routes that pass points on the coast path and the walks that they are useful for. Points on (or very near) the coast path are marked in bold. The table below concentrates on services along the coast and principal services to the coast, particularly in the more rural areas. It does not covery many (mostly local) services in large towns and cities along the coast such as Torbay and Plymouth.

Please note that the timetable information below may be out of date, please check before you travel.

From To Walk Service No Operator Approximate frequency
Weymouth Radipole, Upwey, Dorchester South Station, Dorchester, Poundbury, Martinstown, Winterbourne Abbas, Bridport, Chideock, Morcombelake, Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Uplyme, Axminster, Axminster Station Beer to Lyme Regis 31 First Dorset Hourly Monday - Saturday, Once every two hours on Sundays
Exeter Newton Poppleford, Sidford, Beer, Seaton, Colyford, Rousdon, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Morcombelake, Chideock, Bridport, West Bay, Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury, Portesham, Chickerell, Westham, Weymouth, Preston, Osmington, Wool, Wareham, Wareham Station, Sandford, Poole Beer to Lyme Regis, Sidmouth to Beer, Exeter to Dawlish Warren X53 First Dorset Once every two hours, seven days per week. Some additional services at peak times
Lyme Regis Rousdon, Axmouth, Seaton, Beer, Branscombe, Sidford, Sidmouth Beer to Lyme Regis, Sidmouth to Beer, Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth 899 Axe Valley Mini Travel (Tel 01297 625959) Once every two hours Monday - Saturday (no Sunday service)
Exeter Clyst St Mary, Newton Poppleford, Sidmouth, Sidford, Sidbury, Honiton, Seaton Sidmouth to Beer, Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth 52A, 52B, 52C Stagecoach in Devon Every 30 minutes (Exeter to Sidmouth), Every 60 minutes Exeter to Honiton and every 60 minutes Exeter to Seaton Monday - Saturday. Hourly Exeter to Seaton on Sundays with some additional services between Exeter and Sidmouth. No Sunday service to Honiton
Exmouth Littleham, Budleigh Salterton, Otterton, Newton Poppleford, Sidmouth Sidmouth to Beer, Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth, Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton 157 (Exmouth to Sidmouth), 357 (Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton) Stagecoach in Devon Every 30 minutes Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton and hourly to Sidmouth, Monday - Saturday. Sundays hourly Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton, 4 daily extended to/from Sidmouth.
Exeter Topsham, Lympstone, Exmouth, Brixington Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton 57 Stagecoach in Devon Every 15 minutes Monday - Saturday, Every 30 minutes on Sundays
Exeter Littleham, Budleigh Salterton Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton, Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth 58 Stagecoach in Devon 4 daily Monday - Friday only
Exeter Exminster, Kenton, Starcross, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Bishopsteignton, Newton Abbot Exeter to Dawlish Warren, Dawlish to Dawlish Warren, Dawlish to Teignmouth, Teignmouth to Babbacombe 2 Stagecoach in Devon Every 20 minutes Monday - Saturday. On Sundays every 30 minutes between Exeter and Teignmouth, hourly Exeter to Newton Abbot
Teignmouth Shaldon, St Marychurch, Torquay Dawlish to Teignmouth, Teignmouth to Babbacombe, Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paignton 32T Stagecoach in Devon Every 30 minutes, Monday - Saturday, hourly on Sundays.
Newton Abbot Kingskerswell, Torquay, Preston, Paignton, Broadsands, Brixham Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paignton, Paignton to Brixham, Brixham to Kingswear 12 (Newton Abbot to Brixham), 12A (Torquay to Brixham) Stagecoach in Devon Route 12 : Every 10 minutes Monday - Saturday, Every 15 minutes on Sundays. Route 12A Hourly Monday - Saturday and on Sunday local service between Torquay and Paignton only
Newton Abbot Ashburton, Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Dartington, Totnes, Paignton Torquay to Paignton, Paignton to Brixham 88 Stagecoach in Devon Hourly Monday - Friday. Saturday hourly between Newton Abbot and Totnes with some services on to Paignton. No Sunday service.
Brixham Kingswear Paignton to Brixham, Brixham to Kingswear, Dartmouth to Torcross 22, 24 Stagecoach in Devon Every 30 minutes Monday - Saturday, hourly on Sundays.
Torquay Marldon, Totnes, Harbetonford, Halwell, Darmouth Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paignton, Brixham to Kingswear, Dartmouth to Torcross 111/112 Stagecoach in Devon Hourly Monday - Saturday. Sundays 6 per day Totnes to Dartmouth, 3 per day Torquay to Dartmouth
Torquay Paignton, Totnes Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paignton, Paignton to Brixham 100 Riverlink (Dart Valley Railway) Hourly summer only (daily)
Paignton Churston, Kingswear Torquay to Paignton, Paignton to Brixham, Brixham to Kingswear, Dartmouth to Torcross 120 Stagecoach in Devon Hourly Monday - Saturday. No Sunday service.
Torquay Paignton, Totnes, Dartington, South Brent, Ivybridge, Plympton, Plymouth Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paigton, Paignton to Brixham, Plymouth to Wembury X80/X81 First Devon and Cornwall Monday - Saturday : Hourly Torquay to Plymouth, Every 30 minutes Torquay to Totnes. Once every two hours on Sundays.
Dartmouth Stoke Flemming, Blackpool, Strete, Slapton, Torcross, Kingsbridge, Modbury, Yealmpton, Brixton, Elburton, Plymstock, Plymouth. Brixham to Kingswear, Dartmouth to Torcross, Torcross to Salcombe, Plymouth to Wembury 93 First Devon and Cornwall Hourly Monday - Saturday, 4 daily on Sundays
Exeter Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Harbetonford, Halwell, Kingsbridge, Salcombe Exeter to Dawlish Warren, Salcombe to Soar Mill Cove, Torcross to Salcombe X64 Stagecoach in Devon Approx every 90 minutes Monday - Saturday between Exeter and Kingsbridge only. Twice per day between Exeter and Salcombe on Sundays. No service to Salcombe Monday - Saturday, see route 606.
Kingsbridge Malborough, Salcombe Torcross to Salcombe, Salcombe to Bantham/Bigbury 606 Tally Ho Coaches Hourly Monday - Saturday, 2 per day on Sundays
Kingsbridge Thurlestone, South Milton, Malborough, Galmpton, Inner Hope, Outer Hope, Galmpton, Malborough, South Milton, Thurlestone, Kingsbridge Torcross to Salcombe, Salcombe to Bantham/Bigbury 162 Tally Ho Coaches 3 daily, Monday - Saturday only.
Plymouth Yealmpton, Modbury, Kingston, Ringmore, Challaborough, Bigbury on Sea Salcombe to Bantham/Bigbury, Bigbury to ??, Plymouth to Wembury 875 Tally Ho Coaches 1 bus each way on Fridays ONLY.
Plymouth Plymstock, Elburton, Brixton, Yelampton, Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo Plymouth to Wembury 94 First Devon and Cornwall Approx once every two hours Monday - Saturday, No Sunday service.
Plymouth Plymstock, Elburton, Wembury Plymouth to Wembury 48 First Devon and Cornwall Approx once every two hours with additional service Monday - Saturday. 4 daily on Sundays. On Sundays most buses continue to Yelverton and Burrator
Exeter Drumbridges, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Plymouth Exeter to Dawlish Warren, Plymouth to Wembury X38 Stagecoach South West No
Exeter Kingskerswell, Torquay, Paignton Exeter to Dawlish Warren, Torquay to Babbacombe, Torquay to Paignton, Paignton to Brixham X46 Stagecoach in Devon No

Operators

Tickets purchased from one bus company are not normally valid on buses run by different companies.

Stagecoach Devon are the main bus operator in Devon and provides services around East Devon, Exeter, Teignbridge, Torbay and the South Hams. They run frequent local services and longer distance express services from Exeter to Torbay, Kingsbridge and Plymouth. Single and return fares are reasonably priced, and most of their services run fairly frequently. For information on Stagecoach services call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 or Stagecoach on 01392 427711. They also have bus stations or information shops (which have timetables and staff available to ask) at Exeter (bus station), Paignton (bus station) and Torquay (shop).
First Devon and Cornwall run bus services around Plymouth and services around Torbay and the South Hams area. They have a travel shop at Plymouth bus station and can be contacted on 0845 600 1420.
First Dorset run bus services in West Dorset and parts of East Devon including the popular Jurassic Coast link service between Exeter and Poole covering much of the coast path. They can be contacted on 0870 0106 022.
Axe Valley Mini Travel (AVMT) run services around the Axe Valley, including coastal services around Seaton, Beer and Lyme Regis. Telephone 01297 625959 for more information.
Tally Ho operate local services around the South Hams, mainly centered around Kingsbridge. For details of services see their website or call 01548 853081.
River Link operate boat services on the river Dart as well as local bus service around Dartmouth and Paignton. For more information on their bus services, call 01803 834488.

Timetables

Bus timetable information is available from the Traveline South West site, operators concerned, or from Traveline telephone information on 0870 608 2 608.

Rover Tickets

Rover Tickets provide a way to travel on bus and train services for several days at a time, without having to purchase seperate tickets. If your in the area for a few days it is worth looking into.

Bus Only Rover Tickets

First Group Explorer

Known as FirstDay, FirstWeek, FirstMonth, First3Month and FirstYear these tickets are unlimited travel tickets for First in Dorset or First in Devon/Cornwall and as implied by the names are valid for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months or 1 year. Day, week and month tickets are available from bus drivers. Longer period tickets can be bought at bus information shops and some tourist information centres in the area.

Stagecoach Devon Explorer

This ticket currently costs 6.50 and is valid for 1 day on all Stagecoach Devon services and also all services operated by Western Greyhound in Cornwall, and the Riverlink 100 service. Weekly tickets are also available.

Stagecoach Devon Explorer Plus

This ticket currently costs 8 and is valid for 1 day on all Stagecoach Devon and Plymouth CityBus services and also all services operated by Western Greyhound in Cornwall, and the Riverlink 100 service. Weekly and longer tickets are also available.

Bus and Rail Rovers

Dartmoor Sunday Rover

This ticket is available on Sundays only, and allows unlimited use of the Dartmoor Line Railway (Exeter - Okehampton) and Tamar Valley Line Railway (Plymouth - Gunnislake). It is also valid on a network of bus services runnng through Dartmoor, some of which run to South Devon. The tickets costs 6.50

Rail Only Rover Tickets

Two tickets relevant to the South Devon coast are available.

Devon and Cornwall Rail Rover

The Devon and Cornwall Rail Rover provides unlimited off-peak use of all national rail lines in Devon and Cornwall for and 3 in 7 days or any 8 in 15 days. The ticket costs 40 for 3 days or 60 for 8 days.

South West Rail Rover

The South West Rail Rover provides unlimited off peak use of all National Rail lines in Devon and Cornwall and most routes in Dorset and Somerset. It costs 70 for any 3 in 7 days or 95 for any 8 in 15 days.

Devon Day Ranger

Devon Day Ranger provides unlimited off peak use of all National Rail lines in Devon for 1 day and costs 10.

Maps

There are several public transport maps available for the South Devon area. Click one of the links below.


Comments? Email webmaster@explorethesouthwestcoastpath.co.uk