Our guide to Dawlish self-catering holidays

Dawlish lies on Devon’s infamous south coast, and its long history as a popular holiday resort is reflected in its elegant buildings and pretty Victorian style. Mentions in novels by both Dickens and Jane Austen made Dawlish popular with a high-class crowd during the nineteenth century, and the effortless beauty of its scenery make it a favourite location with film crews. A stay in Dawlish place you close to impressive beaches, Brunel’s South Coast Railway and the charming, flowery town itself.

Things to do in Dawlish

Dawlish has nostalgic quality, with its traditional lawn and waterfalls at the centre of colourful buildings, seaside amusements and winding streets lined with busy little shops and welcoming tea rooms. Brunel’s South Coast Railway edges the Dawlish coast, and the views from the journey make it one of England’s most scenic railway routes.

Those guests who visit during carnival week in August are treated to one of the South West’s largest annual events. Celebrations include displays by the Red Arrows, ‘It’s a Knockout’, fancy dress and of course the carnival procession and judging.

If you visit Dawlish at another time of year, don’t worry; there are plenty of things to see and do! In April, you’ll find the Dawlish Walking Festival – with walks for all the family, you’ll be able to explore the most beautiful parts of South Devon. The programme features railway history walks, a family wildlife safari and poetry walks so there’s something to suit everyone.

Dawlish Attractions

Dawlish has a multitude of attractions to offer visitors. Alongside sports activities, you’ll also find plenty of things to do at the beach as well as cultural hotspots. If you’re the active type, then why not take a trip to Go Ape. Suitable for a range of ages, travel high above the treetops and explore Dawlish in spectacular style on zip wires. Located in Haldon Forest Park, there are varying courses for different ages as well as a high point of 14m. It’s sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.

For an insight into the local culture, a visit to Powderham Castle is a must. This historic family home is situated just outside of Exeter city and is packed with many things to do. You can learn more about the Castle’s 600 year history with a guided tour, have a picnic in the stunning grounds, or visit the Victorian kitchen. There’s also a walled garden and pets corner – perfect for the children in your family or group.

Nature lovers will adore the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve. Here, you can explore 600 types of flowers and plants, as well as wading birds and wildfowl. Located behind Dawlish Warrens Blue Flag Beach, this incredible reserve is ideal for those who love the outdoors. Alternatively, take a trip to Dawlish Museum and find out more about the local history. Featuring striking artefacts, mementos and archaeological findings, learn how Dawlish became the beautiful seaside town that it is today.

Restaurants in Dawlish

Foodies will enjoy the eateries that Dawlish has to offer. For traditional pub grub, head to The Ship Inn. You’ll relish the warm welcome as well as the delicious homemade food that makes this country pub stand out from the crowd. Alternatively, if you prefer to sample some of the tasty, fresh seafood in the area, then The Anchor Inn is the place to be.

Try traditional fish and chips at the Baileys Fish and Chip Shop or get a takeout of pizza, pasta or burgers at Jack Sprats. If you prefer to try international cuisine, a visit to Gurkha Restaurant is a must for your itinerary. Serving authentic Nepalese and Indian cuisine, try a mouth-watering curry or vegetable dish for those who don’t eat meat.

If you’re planning a quick break from your daily adventures, head to A Piece of Cake. This quaint, friendly tea room offers a variety of snacks and light lunches, including sandwiches and homemade scones. Why not try a cream tea or soothing ice cream instead? If you have specific food requirements, such as gluten free, go to the Home Kitchen Café. Serving a wide range of gluten free foods to satisfy your taste buds, try a freshly made coffee, cake or pasty.

The Dawlish Walking Festival

We’ve always thought Dawlish is one of the best parts of South Devon for a long, scenic walk, and we’re happy to say that the first ever Dawlish Walking Festival’s going to be taking place from 1 – 10 April. Hurrah. With its classic seafront, winding lanes and picturesque pathways, there’s a walk for every kind of visitor, and you’ll...

Dawlish Carnival

Those guests who time their Dawlish holidays during carnival week in August are treated to one of the South West’s largest annual events. Carnival Week is one of Devon’s most popular events, and highlights include the air show with an annual Red Arrows display. The event always takes place during August and it attracts visitors from all over the region...


Devon could have been made for adventurers, and GoApe, just 15 minutes from Exeter makes it easy for all ages to make...
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