Dawlish delight on the Devon coast with the terrific 2 from Stagecoach

It’s one of the most paradisical locations in the UK. Nestled on the picturesque south coast of Devon, Dawlish is a charming seaside town that captivates visitors with its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant local culture. Known for its golden sands and the famous black swans of Dawlish Water, this town offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you are drawn by the scenic landscapes, the fascinating history, or the promise of delicious local cuisine, Dawlish has something for everyone. What’s more it’s a blissful scenic sojourn on the Stagecoach number 2 bus that runs between Exeter and Newton Abbot. Can there be a better day out than waking up in Exeter and having a peruse of the magnificent city before setting out on this scenic adventure by bus? It’s the stuff of wistful dreams!

The scenery around Dawlish is nothing short of breathtaking. The town is situated along the dramatic coastline of the English Channel, where rugged cliffs meet tranquil beaches. The South West Coast Path, which runs through Dawlish, offers walkers stunning views of the sea and countryside.

The path meanders past hidden coves and through lush green meadows, making it a haven for nature lovers and photographers. To the north, the Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve is a must-visit. This sandy spit at the mouth of the River Exe is home to diverse wildlife and offers miles of walking trails amidst dunes and salt marshes.

In Dawlish itself, there is no shortage of things to see and do. The town’s flagship centre-piece is the Lawn, a wide expanse of green parkland bisected by Dawlish Water. Here, the iconic black swans glide gracefully through the water, creating a picturesque scene that feels straight out of a fairy tale. Along the Lawn, you’ll find charming cafes and shops, perfect for a leisurely afternoon. The Dawlish Museum provides a deeper dive into the town’s history and is housed in a quaint 19th-century building.

For those who love the beach, Dawlish Town Beach is a great spot for a day of relaxation. The beach is a mix of sand and shingle, and the views out to sea are magnificent. Just a short walk away is Coryton Cove, a more secluded beach with red cliffs that are characteristic of this part of Devon. Both beaches are excellent for swimming, picnicking, or simply soaking up the sun.

When it comes to dining, Dawlish offers a variety of excellent options. The Old Mill Tea Rooms is a delightful spot for traditional English tea and homemade cakes. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, The Marine Tavern serves up hearty pub fare with a fantastic view of the sea. For fine dining, try No.1 Café Lounge, which offers an exquisite menu featuring local seafood and seasonal produce. If you fancy a drink, The Lansdowne is a popular choice, known for its friendly atmosphere and a great selection of local ales.


Dawlish’s history is rich and varied. Originally a small fishing port, the town began to grow in the 18th century as a resort destination for wealthy tourists. The arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century further boosted its popularity, making it accessible to visitors from all over the country. The Great Western Railway line, which runs along the coast and through Dawlish, is one of the most scenic in the UK and a marvel of Victorian engineering. The section that runs through Dawlish is one of the most photographed in the UK and it’s wonderful to catch the train and gaze out onto the rugged cliffs, expansive beach with families playing in the sea and folk walking their dogs, ice-cream in hands. It’s a classic landscape, a timeless setting from a bygone age of British seaside holidays! Further along at Dawlish Warren, the quintessentially coastal town feel is heightened by a small funfair with traditional rides and a challenging links golf course, straddling the railway line and coast.

A lesser-known fact about Dawlish is that it has been a hub for creative minds. Charles Dickens is said to have visited Dawlish, and it is believed that he drew inspiration from the town for some of his works. Another interesting titbit is that Dawlish was once home to a thriving silk industry, which has long since disappeared but remains a fascinating chapter of the town’s past.

The town has also been the birthplace or residence of several notable individuals. Perhaps the most famous is John Nash, the acclaimed mathematician known for his work in game theory, who lived in Dawlish for a time. Another notable resident was Charles Kingsley, the author of “The Water-Babies,” who spent part of his life in the town.

Sport plays a significant role in the community life of Dawlish. The town boasts a variety of clubs and facilities catering to sports enthusiasts. Dawlish Leisure Centre offers a range of activities, from swimming and fitness classes to squash and badminton. The local football club, Dawlish United, has a loyal following and provides opportunities for young and old to engage in the sport. Water sports are also popular, with sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding available along the coast.

As your visit to Dawlish comes to an end, you’ll find that the town leaves a lasting impression. Its blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and warm hospitality makes it a destination worth exploring. Whether you’re wandering along the coastal paths, enjoying a meal at a local eatery, or simply sitting by the water watching the black swans, Dawlish offers a sense of tranquillity and charm that is hard to find elsewhere. This seaside gem invites you to slow down, take in the sights, and relish the simple pleasures of life by the sea. To plan your unforgettable trip and make memories, check out 2, Exeter to Newton Abbot – Great Scenic Journeys