South Devon National Landscape
Follaton House, Plymouth Road,
Totnes TQ9 5NE


Tel: 01803 229330


On the Water

By the water

As a coastal National Landscape with five estuaries, there are many ways to explore from the water.


Ferries provide an enjoyable route across the water for coast path walkers.
Water sports can be exhilarating and contribute to your health and wellbeing.
Gentle canoe rides and boat trips are reliably tranquil and good for the soul.
When experiencing any of this in South Devon National Landscape, it’ll be hard to ignore the beauty of your surroundings.


Crossing the water by ferry

Ferries are an important and enjoyable way to get around. If you’re walking the South West Coast Path, they form an essential link across the estuaries.

See the ferry timetable to plan your journey. It’s best to check the times and availability of the service before travelling as some of them are seasonal and dependent on tides and weather, especially the small ferries across the Avon and Yealm.


Harbour offices

These harbour offices will be able to help with queries relating to their river or estuary:

  • Dart Harbour Authority
  • Salcombe Harbour Authority
  • Yealm Harbour Authority
  • The Erme Estuary is wholly owned by the Flete Estate who manage the moorings and fishing.


The Avon Estuary – the tidal waters of the estuary are mainly owned by the Duchy of Cornwall who oversee most aspects of the estuary, e.g. fishing and moorings. The Duchy lease the mooring rights locally (see page 11 of the Estuary management plan (PDF 2.58MB)). Much of the estuary fundus (the seabed in a tidal river below low water mark) is leased by Bantham Estate who manage a ‘harbour facility’.


Let’s keep it special!

Red mullet, Wembury BayWater is a defining feature of South Devon National Landscape. Magnificent views can be seen along its estuary dissected coast.


The wildlife of South Devon continues out of sight under the waters where a wealth of hidden marine plants and animals flourish. It’s no wonder there are a number of special designations which highlight the importance of protecting these habitats.


Just by making small changes we can all help to protect our water environment. Here are some tips:

  • Use the brown bin system whenever you can and not the kitchen sink!
  • Use less detergent.
  • Use garden chemicals sparingly.
  • Sort out oil leaks and mop up spills.
  • Use fewer plastic products.
  • Always clean up after yourself. Why not go that bit further by picking up litter that’s not yours? It really will make a difference and you’ll feel good about yourself too!
  • Travel the water responsibly. Never throw anything overboard and be sensitive to the marine life in the waters around you.


Want to do more?

Learn about issues facing the marine environment, share your knowledge and inspire others!

Related Information

Salcombe Tide Times

Salcombe Weather