Discover the Charming Coastal Town of Dawlish: A Gem on England’s South Coast

At A Glance

🏖️ – Sandy Beaches
🌊 – Coastal Scenery
🚂 – Heritage Railway
🦢 – Iconic Black Swans
🌺 – Beautiful Gardens
🏞️ – Picturesque Landscape
🍦 – Delicious Ice Cream
🚶‍♂️ – Coastal Walks
🎣 – Fishing Opportunities
⛵ – Boating and Watersports
🏛️ – Historic Architecture
🌅 – Stunning Sunsets


Nestled in the beautiful county of Devon along England’s south coast, the enchanting town of Dawlish offers visitors a delightful and unique experience steeped in history, natural beauty, and a rich cultural heritage. With its golden sandy beaches, stunning coastline, and a vibrant town centre, Dawlish is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Join us as we explore the captivating charm of Dawlish, a town that has something for everyone.

A Glimpse into Dawlish’s Rich History

Dawlish’s history dates back to prehistoric times, but it wasn’t until the Romans arrived that it began to develop as a settlement. The town’s name is derived from the old Celtic word “Doflisc,” which means “dark stream,” a reference to the eponymous brook that meanders through the town centre. During the Victorian era, the arrival of the railway transformed Dawlish into a popular seaside resort, with the magnificent Brunel-designed sea wall and railway line still standing as a testament to that time.

Key Features and Highlights

The Dawlish Waterfront and Beaches

The stunning Dawlish seafront, with its Victorian architecture and picturesque gardens, is a delight to explore. Stroll along the sea wall to take in the breathtaking views of the English Channel, or unwind on the golden sands of Dawlish Beach. The family-friendly Coryton Cove, situated just a short walk from the town centre, is another hidden treasure with its crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

The Brook and the Famous Black Swans

One of Dawlish’s most endearing features is the brook that flows through the heart of the town. The Dawlish Water, lined with lush green lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and charming footbridges, is home to the town’s beloved emblem: the elegant black swans. These exotic birds, first introduced to the town in the 1930s, symbolise Dawlish’s identity and are a must-see for any visitor.

The Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve

Nature lovers will be captivated by the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a haven for wildlife. This spectacular 500-acre reserve features sand dunes, salt marshes, and woodland, providing a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna. The reserve is also an important site for migratory birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.

Practical Information for Visitors

Top Attractions

  • The Dawlish Museum: Dive into the town’s rich history and heritage at the Dawlish Museum, which houses fascinating exhibits, including artefacts from the railway’s early days and displays showcasing the town’s development as a seaside resort.
  • The Lawn: A beautifully landscaped park in the town centre, The Lawn is the perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely afternoon. Don’t miss the charming bandstand, where concerts and events are held throughout the year.
  • Powderham Castle: The impressive Powderham Castle is a must-see just a short drive from Dawlish. The 600-year-old family home of the Earl of Devon offers guided tours, stunning gardens, and captivating views of the Exe Estuary.

Transportation Options

Dawlish is easily accessible by train, with direct services from London, Exeter, and Plymouth. The train journey is a scenic experience, as the railway line hugs the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the sea. For those who prefer to drive, the town is conveniently located just off the A379, making it a straightforward journey from the nearby cities of Exeter and Plymouth. Bus services also connect Dawlish to neighbouring towns and villages, allowing you to explore the surrounding areas easily.

Local Accommodation we recommend

When it comes to accommodations, Dawlish offers a diverse range of options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Dining Recommendations

Dawlish is a food lover’s paradise, with a mouthwatering selection of eateries to choose from. The Anchor Inn at nearby Cockwood (you drop the sound of the W when saying the name) serves mountainous plates of mussels and other seafood. If you’re craving something a little more international, indulge in the tantalizing flavours of India at Gurkha Restaurant.

Tips to Maximize Your Enjoyment

  • Embrace the outdoors: With its picturesque coastline and beautiful green spaces, Dawlish is a town that begs to be explored on foot. Take a leisurely walk along the South West Coast Path, which passes through Dawlish and offers stunning sea views, or venture inland to discover the lush countryside and quaint villages that dot the surrounding area.
  • Attend a local event: Dawlish is a vibrant and lively town with a packed events calendar, offering everything from arts and crafts fairs to open-air concerts and carnivals. Time your visit to coincide with one of these events to get a true sense of the town’s community spirit and infectious enthusiasm.
  • Discover hidden gems: While Dawlish’s popular attractions are certainly worth visiting, don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and uncover the town’s lesser-known treasures. Take a stroll down the charming backstreets and laneways, and you’ll be rewarded with delightful discoveries.
  • Meet the locals: The people of Dawlish are renowned for their friendliness and warmth, so take the time to strike up a conversation with a local resident, shopkeeper, or fellow visitor. You’ll be surprised at the wealth of insider knowledge, fascinating anecdotes, and helpful tips you’ll uncover.


With its rich history, picturesque surroundings, and welcoming atmosphere, the coastal town of Dawlish is a true gem on England’s south coast. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach holiday, a nature-filled escape, or a cultural experience, Dawlish offers something for everyone. So pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to discover the captivating charm of this enchanting town. Happy exploring!

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Location Map

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