Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.
Situated on the South Devon coast, just 12 miles outside of the City of Exeter is Dawlish; a Victorian seaside town, with long golden sandy beaches, traditional ‘bucket and spade’ boutique gift shops lining the streets and plenty of fish and chip shops to get your taste buds going.
Back during Roman times, Dawlish was a land of salt makers, with the many rock pools along the coastline the area was perfect for this trade; the landowners lived on the higher grounds and went down on a daily basis to produce salt, much like their neighbours over in Teignmouth. However, due to inconsistent tidal patterns and the risk of flooding, Dawlish soon stopped its trading of salt and moved to more sustainable means of income, in fishing and land farming.
Towards the end of the 18th century Dawlish had more interaction with outside visitors when King George III, decreed that sea air and water were good for a healthy life. Due to this, many visitors flocked to Dawlish to spend time at the coast. At this time, it wasn’t correct for women to bath, so the changing areas provided in Dawlish were purely for male use and bathing was for more personal hygiene reasons than leisurely swimming.
The increase in tourism to the area also brought the Georgian housing that exists in Dawlish today, along Park Road and the High Street. The visitors were not happy with the 16th and 17th century cob housing that existed in the town and so built their own holiday homes.
In 1844 the atmospheric railway was born in Dawlish, changing not only the landscape, but the tourism industry in the area. The atmospheric railway design lasted two years due to technical problems with the design, after this the railway was converted into a conventional propulsion train. The railway station at Dawlish was built in 1905 bringing in yet more holidaymakers to the area.
A New Zealander called John Nash introduced the black swans to Dawlish in 1906, which are now famous in the town.
In the early 20th century, Dawlish’s tourism industry boomed, with the start of paid holiday and the shorter travel times, more people visited the area for their annual holidays. Many of these people loved the area so much that they relocated to the area, which increased the population from 3,000 people to over 12,000. This boom didn’t last and towards the end of the 20th century with the introduction of cheaper holidays abroad the tourism industry in Dawlish faded, meaning a lot of the holiday accommodation in Dawlish was converted into flats.
Things to do in Dawlish
Dawlish has a wealth of things to do in the town itself from spending the day exploring the beach and diving in and out of the rock pools to gambling your pennies away in the local arcades.
Dawlish Town Beach is a peaceful retreat from the town centre. With a long stretch of sand, part of which is also dog-friendly, this is a great location to escape the hustle and bustle of the town centre. Just down the road you also have Dawlish Warren beach; a Blue Flag awarded mile and a half long beach backed by sand dunes. This area is popular with holidaymakers and locals alike during the summer months, and even though it will get busy you won’t feel overcrowded with plenty of space on the beach, car parking on site and plenty of open-air events and entertainment going on at all hours of the day.
A must see event is the Dawlish Carnival, 7 days of entertainment, parades as well as many food and drink suppliers out and around celebrating the summer. The carnival is held one week in August each year.
For those wanting to explore further afield during their stay in South Devon, why not jump on the train at Dawlish station and head down to Plymouth, or even further down to Cornwall, with regular trains running from London Paddington to Penzance you will have the entire south coast at your fingertips.
To see what your holiday could be, see what else Dawlish has to offer here.