South Devon’s most pleasant seaside resort is well worth a visit
In South Devon the pleasant seaside resort of Dawlish is very popular with visitors, many of whom return year after year for their holidays in Dawlish or for day trips to enjoy the nice atmosphere that the town has to offer.
Dawlish is an interesting little regency resort town nestled attractively between steep surrounding hills. It’s a nice place to drive to because the scenic countryside suddenly explodes into a panorama of cliffs and roads that run along the coast.
Dawlish’s Celebrity Links
Like many of the resort towns in South Devon, Dawlish town itself, especially around the seafront, reflects a classic Regency and early Victorian style. The Strand (1803-1809) which is now mostly converted to shops, remains impressive. Jane Austen stayed here, as did Charles Dickens. Those who’ve read Nicholas Nickleby may know that Dickens made Dawlish the birthplace of Nicholas Nickleby.
Also worth noting are Manor House and Brook House (both about 1800) and some of the cottages in Old Town Street surviving from the old Dawlish village. Visit the Museum and learn about Dawlish’s transformation from an insignificant fishing settlement to a watering hole for Victorian celebrities.
Here are just a few of the many attractive features of Dawlish
- In the heart of the town is the colourful Dawlish park, a flat landscaped area called ‘The Lawn’, home to various wildfowl and the famous Dawlish black swans. The black swans were brought here from Australia by a local resident, they have been here since at least the early 1900s. The park is peppered with many varieties of plantlife including bright flowers, palms and even giant cacti.
- Good quality sand beaches and (Coryton) cove.
- The ‘night lights’ which turn Dawlish into a beautiful evening coastal town perfect for summer strolls and al-fresco dining.
- Carnival week (August) offers various free entertainment programs & processions. This hugely colourful event for locals and visitors alike, is usually accompanied by the breathtaking Red Arrows aerobatic display.
- The Shaftesbury Theatre in Brunswick Place runs programs all year.
- There are boat trips along the coast or up the Estuary, and Powderham Castle is on the doorstep.
Dawlish has a good selection of shops of all types and its own Leisure Centre. At any time of day there’s plenty of places to eat and drink.
Close to Dawlish is ‘Dawlish Warren’ - a seaside town that is believed to have one of the best five beaches within the United Kingdom (it has received the European Blue Flag Award). Aside from a great beach, Dawlish Warren has plenty to offer wildlife enthusiasts – being located in a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) – the area attracts many wildfowl and wading birds. The area is also home to over 600 types of flora. Dawlish Warren has its own railway station, regular bus services and cycle hire so you don’t really need to drive on your Dawlish holidays.