Dawlish to Teignmouth

Finally some sun in November. It feels like it has been years since I last had a good November walking day. This one was perfect, no wind, cold to start but warming as the day went on and a haze that only appears at the start or end of winter. The sky felt liquid, photos were hit and miss and long distance views were not going to exist today. But such a good walk. It was short, but then again so are the days now, some of the walk was through towns which always means road and tarmac walking, but between Teignmouth and Dawlish, on this route, there are some fine views over valleys and green pasture. However the highlight is the coastal path, this is a section which a lot of people will have seen via the train. Its the best section of train line in this country, comfortably, and I will fight anyone who wishes to argue against it. However to walk it, is to take it up a level, I didn’t walk it, I ambled, I sauntered, I took my time. Because this is just brilliant walking. Lots of people head out to this spot and the tide needs to be taken into consideration. Don’t go on a high tide, ever. The sea can consume the path and you with it, however on low tide there is a beach one side and a train line on the other side. Yes parts of the coastal path head inland and then back to the sea, twice in fact after Dawlish, but it makes the sections along the sea wall all the more special. Come and have a look you will agree with me.

Start – Teignmouth Car park, the one by the ferry

Route – Teignmouth – Holcombe Down – Dawlish- South West Coastal Path – Horse Cove – Holcombe – Spray Point – Teignmouth

Distance – 8 miles    Start time – 9.30am    Time taken – 4hrs 30mins Highest Point – Near to Holcombe Down 180 metres

Weather – Sunshine, haze, dry, cold to start

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF
I’d parked in the car park right by the estuary, a quid for the day (Sunday) and £2.80 the rest of the week. Looking back inland into the estuary and the River Teign and the road bridge across to Shaldon on the left here. There’s is also a ferry for the coastal path walkers which leaves from just the other side of these sheds in front of me.
The headland on the other side of the Teign, not sure of the name of it, if it has one!
A small beach at the estuary. The tide is still going out as low tide is around 11am today
Teignmouth pier I will be walking under that later
After a fair amount of walking I finally left the town of Teignmouth behind and headed into the short section of countryside between Dawlish and Teignmouth
Some nice views in the valleys
The sun was very bright and mixed with the haze made for some very bright photos and very little in long distance views
It was also pretty chilly, so much so I started with a hat, but it was gone along with the fleece by now!
More lovely countryside, the houses on the right are the back of Dawlish
Vapour trails overhead along with blue skies, this is the best weather I’ve had in November since 2018 (one walk) and then a walk in 2017. Another 7 or 8 walks in the 3 years previous have been dull or punctured by heavy showers, or both.
St Gregory’s Church in Dawlish and the Rememberance display
I’ve walked down the river path into Dawlish, as you come in this way the river drops over weirs on it way to the sea and you get plenty of birds in each of the sections. The black swans of Dawlish are famous. They were brought here in 1900 from Australia by a resident and have been here since. Recently 6 have died of bird flu, fingers crossed the rest will survive.
This is a lovely and popular spot, other birds include geese, about 6 different types of duck, gulls and the swans. Dawlish is regency in style with Charles Dickens staying here and basing Nicolas Nickelby in the town
One of the ducks, working hard against the flow
Now this was a bit of a surprise. Its called a Wavewalker, the only one of its type and is being used to repair and increase the size of the seawall. The idea being to stop the waves from pummelling the trains along this section. It was here that the line gave way in 2014 after a storm took out the seawall and the road behind it
Out to see at Dawlish
The beach at Dawlish and the seawall on the right
The coastal path heads up and over the top of an outcrop at this point however you can walk around into Coryton Cove, before returning back to climb up and over
The cove has the beach huts and cafes you would expect alongside a nice little cove and beach
I turned back to look down on Dawlish and the Wavewalker
The outcrop I had to climb over is on the left and the train tunnel can also be seen. You head inland to then be brought back to this spot, behind me is another climb before heading inland again
And from higher up
And further up as I head away from the sea again
It seems as if the outcrops which protrude into the sea have large houses or hotels on them which means the path needs to be diverted. However I’m back now and this is the best bit, the train again comes out of one of those brilliant Brunel tunnels and us walkers join the seawall just this side of that tunnel at Holcombe beach. Shag Rock is out to sea
Trainline right and beach left, no need to rush along here
Looking back with the waves hitting the seawall. the tide is about a third of the way in and you can only imagine what its like in a storm
At least 5 or 6 trains went past whilst I was walking this section to Teignmouth which is a nice bonus
I’ve passed Spray Point now and this is Teignmouth beach
On the edge of Teignmouth now I kept dropping down to walk the beach for a bit and then back up to the seawall path it was fantastic along here
Teignmouth pier
Under the pier
The cruise liners are still in situ off Torbay by the looks of things, beyond the unnamed point
I’m stood with the car park behind me, lots of people were here watching the waves hitting the sea wall and then running along towards us
I drove out of the car park and pulled in to take a photo of the estuary before heading home, all was tranquil here
The railway line below me and Shaldon across the estuary at the end of a brilliant days walking, the coastal path section from Holcombe Beach to Teignmouth has to be one of the best parts of the whole path.

7 thoughts on “Dawlish to Teignmouth

  1. A fine route for the trainspotter. Be an interesting discussion on the best stretch of train line whether that be in England or the wider UK. The little line out to St Ives is nice as well if we are sticking to England

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done the stretch out of St Ives, yes it is very nice but the in and out of tunnels around Dawlish has it for me. If you include Scotland then the section to Mallaig maybe. But I’m fighting my corner!!


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