M5, Junction 30; 8 mins
Mon-Sun 10am-10pm (last food orders 8pm)
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Electric car charging
The Puffing Billy is a relaxed country pub just beyond the end of the M5 at Topsham. It’s more of an eatery than a pub (though that shouldn’t stop you popping in to sup a pint at the bar, or grabbing a coffee by the wood burner), so make time stop and sample the seasonal, local dishes in the stylish dining room. The chicken and chorizo terrine with piccalilli is a favourite, along with River Teign mussels, spiced cauliflower and spinach and lentil pie. The Sunday roasts are particularly popular.
Staff are polite and smiley and do their best to keep plates flowing to the often-busy tables.
If you need to take a walk after your meal, the Exe Estuary trail passes right by the door. There’s some wonderful wildlife to spot on the riverbanks and marshland.
As for the pub’s name, it’s shared with the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive, a fantastically elaborate, riveted machine that’s well worth looking up for some in-car trivia.
Buy The Extra Mile Guide
The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (edition 4 published March 2023 and available now).