I always approach Dawlish Warren with a wave of nostalgia. Memories of the greatest summer of my school days come flooding back, and of days spent at the beach and evenings watching Euro 96 in what I seem to recall as glorious sunshine, day after day.
The approach to the car park always feels familiar past the amusements and under the railway bridge but time has marched on and some things have definitely changed. The warren has undergone a bit of a facelift in recent years with the amusements revamped, some news shops have been added, and the rides and play areas have been revamped.
We have a stroll along the paved area above the mostly sandy beach and walk into the nature reserve area as far as our daughter Florence’s pushchair will allow us. If you aren’t burdened by a pushchair you can enjoy a lovely walk through this area where you’ll be rewarded with views across to Exmouth and down the Exe estuary.
We however, turn back and head towards the red rock that looms large on the warren’s landscape. This part of the walk is next to the train lines of Brunel’s famous seaside route and is always a favorite for our boys Finnegan and Oscar who love to be this close to the train hurtling by. If trains aren’t your thing, the stunning views out to sea in the opposite direction will more than compensate.
On this occasion we go as far as Red Rock and turn back, although there have been plenty of sunny afternoons when we’ve continued our walk to Dawlish itself and caught the train back to Dawlish Warren, under 5’s travel for free and it certainly adds to the excitement for the train-crazed boys.
We usually finish off in the amusements which are very clean and modern...the children love it and to be honest my wife and I usually participate in the quest for tickets with a high level of excitement. It’s worth checking the opening times in the off season as there are seasonal closures of both the amusements and rides.
It’s one of our regular family walk destinations all year round, and when the weather is great you can easily spend the day enjoying the beach and area. Many things have changed since my school days but I still love spending time at Dawlish Warren and would highly recommend it.