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Dawlish is an English seaside resort town and civil parish in Teignbridge on the south coast of Devon, 12 miles (19 km) from  Exeter. Its population of about 16,000 in 2018 is expected to grow because of new housing estates under construction.


It grew in the 18th century from a small fishing port into a well-known seaside resort. Dawlish is located at the outlet of a small river, Dawlish Water (also called The Brook), between Permian red sandstone cliffs, and is fronted by a sandy beach with the South Devon Railway sea wall and the Riviera Line railway above. Behind this is a central public park, The Lawn, through which Dawlish Water flows.

Dawlish is known for its black swans (Cygnus atratus), introduced from Western Australia, which live with other exotic waterfowl in a small urban sanctuary on Dawlish Water. There are several attractions in and around the town, such as beaches, safari mini-golf, a waterfowl centre, a theatre, a leisure centre with a pool, a countryside park, and the Dawlish Museum.


Dawlish has a fairly mild climate due to its coastal location. Often termed the "English Riviera" along with Teignmouth and the Torbay towns, Dawlish rarely has snow or frost, boasts outdoor subtropical plants such as palms, olives, bananas and lemons. Extremes of temperature are rare: temperatures over 30 °C or under 0 °C are infrequent. It is one of the sunniest places in the United Kingdom. The wet season (autumn and winter) can bring copious amounts of rain, and easterly winds can generate large storm surges and waves that can lead to dramatic conditions along the seafront.

Get in

By car

The A379 road from Exeter to Torbay/Dartmouth/Plymouth runs through the town, parallel to the railway line.

By bus

Buses to the town are provided by Stagecoach South West. Services include Hop 2 from Exeter to Newton Abbot which runs every 30 minutes (more in rush hour), an hourly 2B service to Exeter via Marsh Barton, and Hop 22 from Dawlish Warren to Torquay which runs every hour. In summer, the 222 open-top bus from Dawlish Warren to Teignmouth also runs every hour.

By train

Dawlish railway station is in the town centre next to the beach. It offers trains to most stations in Devon and to London, Birmingham, Manchester and further afield. The line includes one of the memorable stretches of British track for its natural environment, but at high cost, as a constant battle with sea erosion makes it one of the dearest lines to maintain.

Get around

By car

The A379 runs along the coast in Dawlish, and The Strand runs through the centre of the town along a river. Elm Grove Road goes into the hills in northern Dawlish.

By bus

There is a local bus, the 186, which links the town centre, hospital and Sainsbury's to the main housing areas.


  • 1 Dawlish Museum, The Knowle, Barton Terrace, EX7 9QH (take The Strand to Barton Hill; take Barton Hill and turn onto Barton Terrace). The Dawlish Museum includes numerous historical photos of Dawlish, along with historic exhibits. (updated Dec 2017)


  • Take the train along the coast. You can either go northeast towards Exeter or southwest towards Falmouth.


  • 1 Co-op Food, 4 The Strand, Dawlish EX7 9PS (on The Strand), ☏ +44 1626 895043. Supermarket in downtown Dawlish. (updated Dec 2017)

Eat and drink

  • 1 south Devon Inn, Strand Hill, EX7 9HR (On High Street), ☏ +44 1626 862 198. Tu Th Su 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 2 The Strand Cafe, 15 The Strand, EX7 9PS (along the Strand), ☏ +44 1626 865984. (updated Dec 2017)


  • 1 Hideaway, 11 Exeter Rd, Dawlish EX7 9JA, UK (On A379), ☏ +44 1626 864009. (updated Dec 2017)
  • 2 Blenheim, 1 Marine Parade, Dawlish, Devon, EX7 9DJ (on A379). (updated Dec 2017)

Go next

  • Exeter, a major city to the north. Home of Exeter Cathedral and Roman structures.
  • Teignmouth, a seaside resort town to the south.
  • Land's End is not that far from Dawlish, and visiting it could be a day trip.

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