Dawlish & Dawlish Warren

On the south side of the Exe Estuary, and directly opposite Exmouth sits the seaside resorts of Dawlish Warren & Dawlish. I have fond memories of Dawlish Warren as the place of family holidays in the 1970's - although I have hazy memories of the place I suspect it hasn't changed greatly; a lovely sandy beach, amusements, and ice cream stands. Most of the Warrren consists of a rare double sandspit formed by two dune ridges which formed after the last ice age. The sheltered area between the sandspits is an important natural habitat for many native plant species and migratory birds, although in recent years the battle against erosion caused by sea level rise has become an increasing threat to the dune system.

Next along the coast, and adjacent to Isambard Kingdom Brunel's iconic railway is the seaside resort of Dawlish. The railway brought tourism to the region when it arrived in the middle of the 19th century, and from the journey along the Exe from Exeter between fine red sandstone cliffs and directly next to the sea, it's obvious to see why it's regarded as one of the finest railway journeys in the UK. 


Dawlish gets its name from Dawlish Water, a small river which still runs through the centre of the town, and is home to the famous black swans of Dawlish since they were first introduced from New Zealand in the early 20th century. As a photo location both Dawlish Warren and Dawlish are great for many wooden groynes and stone piers, perfect as the foreground for winter sunrises when the rises over the sea.