Route Details

Please observe any Covid restrictions in place at the time of undertaking these routes.

You can enjoy Exeter Cosy Routes whatever your ability.

The easy way to start is from the comfort of your armchair browsing through the route information, detailed in links below.

Here you’ll find dementia accessible options on each of the eight individual routes. A stroll along the canal, sitting in a quiet garden or a spot with a scenic view, and combining a pub or restaurant outing with a short walk along iconic parts of the route are some of the suggestions.

You might decide to undertake one of the circular routes, in part, or in full. They vary from four to seven miles, from easy to strenuous, from city bustle to rural peace and quiet.

You might go for the full COSY – an acronym meaning Circle of Somewhere Yours – and take on the 26.2 miles, full marathon distance, around the city over a number of months, weeks days, or in one strenuous go.

Cosy Map, illustration by Tony Husband

Whatever you choose you’ll discover hidden gems, enjoy stunning views, follow quiet footpaths between the hustle and bustle – see the city as never before!

This inclusive wellbeing project for Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, encourages people of all ages and abilities to keep fit and active, by self-guided walking and running on these mapped routes. The gentle options for people with limited mobility, those living with dementia and their carers are a key part of this project.

The full route takes in every compass and hill viewpoint around Exeter, along a mix of footpaths, quiet lanes, field tracks, over stiles, through woodland, paved roads, along the city’s suburban fringe, and into neighbouring village communities.

It bridges the river and canal, goes under and over the M5 motorway, crosses both London rail lines, and passes churches, pubs, and businesses.

Before planning your walk or run you are encouraged to read through this Risk Assessment and consider how best to prepared.

You can choose to start wherever you wish – but the nominal starting point is Countess Wear Swing Bridge (car park available at Lower Wear, but walking/public transport encouraged). This start is on the River Exe which flows through the heart of the city, and the historic Exeter Canal.

Exeter Canal, illustration by Tony Husband

The route proceeds in a clockwise direction taking in Exminster, just in neighbouring Teignbridge, Marsh Barton trading estate, Alphington, the edge of St Thomas and the older parts of Exwick, to the west of the city. It drops back to the River Exe and the main Exeter to Paddington rail line, then on to the most strenuous section, a climb via Duryard Valley Park up to Stoke Hill, the highest point on the route at 550 feet. This leads to the northern reaches of the city and Beacon Hill, with wonderful views, downhill to Pinhoe, over the M5, via Redhayes Bridge, to the eastern border fringes with East Devon, and flatter sections through Blackhorse, Sowton, Clyst St Mary, and Clyst St George, into Topsham. Returning to the start on the east bank of the River Exe – a full 26.2 COSY miles of Exeter.

Private Eye cartoonist and award-winning illustrator Tony Husband has kindly created a series of stunning images, which capture the different character of each of the eight routes.

Detailed route information – downloadable links below

logo iceland foods small sizeWith thanks to our lead sponsor

Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation

supporting the full 26.2-miles COSY Marathon route.

Map link to the full 26.2 miles https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57072480

The eight individual routes when completed in full total 47 miles.

In summary they are:

Route one – Countess Wear Bridge via Exminster to Marsh Barton. With return along canal bank 6.4 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Haines Watts, Chartered Accountants.

cosy-1 logo haines watts

Route two – Marsh Barton via Twisted Oak, Barley Lane and Exwick to Red Cow level crossing. With return via riverside path 7 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Stonehaven Care Group.

cosy-2 logo StonehavenMaster

Route three – Level crossing via Argyll Road to Pennsylvania Road. With return via Duryard Valley Park 3.8 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Southern Healthcare.

cosy-3 logo southern-health-care-

Route four – Pennsylvania Road via Stoke Hill and Beacon Hill to Pinhoe. With return via Beacon Heath and Mincinglake Valley Park 6.5 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Green Tree Court care home.

cosy-4 GREEN TREE COURT (2) 

Route five – Pinhoe via Pinn Lane, Gipsy Hill and Redhayes Bridge to Blackhorse. With return via Mosshayne Farm 4.5 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Cumberland Grange care home.

cosy-5 logo cumberland grange 2

Route six – Blackhorse via Sowton to Clyst St Mary. With return via Bishop’s Court 4.5 miles. Thanks to our route sponsors, the Baker Family.

cosy-6  logo 6 exeter cosy routes

Route seven – Clyst St Mary via Clyst St George to Darts Farm. With return via Ebford 7.3 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Wilkinson Grant & Co.

cosy-7 logo wilkinson grant

Route eight – Darts Farm via Topsham to Countess Wear Bridge. With return via University sports field and Newcourt Road 7 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Rodney Spiller Wealth Management.

cosy-8 logo rodney spiller

Individual route files to download and GPX map links

Map link to route one https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57365328

Map link to route two https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57365027

Map link to route three https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57364867

Map link to route four https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57364490

Map link to route five https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57364337

Map link to route six https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57364003

Map link to route seven https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57363902

Map link to route eight https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/57362767

With thanks again to Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and all our individual route sponsors.

COSY Route logo, illustrations, website & printed content Copyright© 2021 Exeter Dementia Action Alliance

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