Teignmouth to Dawlish walk guide: railway & sea wall walk!

Are you looking for Teignmouth to Dawlish walk instructions? We’ve detailed them all in this post!

A fairly short and somewhat easy walk along the South West Coast Path (although don’t underestimate it – there are a couple of hills!), the Teignmouth the Dawlish railway walk takes you from the Victorian seaside resort of Teignmouth, clambers over the cliffs of Holcombe and ultimately drops down into Dawlish town centre. 

It’s a wonderful way to see both towns and conquer some of the beautiful South Devon coastline!

Take a look at my Instagram for some snaps of it or read the full directions below!


View of the sea at Teignmouth from along the sea wall

Begin in the town of Teignmouth, a South Devon Victorian seaside resort that’s famous for its historic pier stretching out into the sea and picturesque vistas of the Teign estuary. 

If you haven’t seen much of Teignmouth, I’d recommend spending some time checking out the best things to do here and taking the Teignmouth – Shaldon ferry (it’s the oldest passenger ferry in the UK!) and walking down the smuggler’s tunnel to Ness Cove Beach

This is one of the best beaches around Teignmouth and, in my opinion, all of Devon.

Teignmouth Sea Wall

Walk along Teignmouth sea wall, with the railway one side and the sea on the other, and the cliffs in the background

Then, walk away from the River Teign, in an eastwards direction along the sea wall.

This part of the walk should not be attempted in stormy conditions or when the tide is coming in rapidly, as the water can come above the sea wall.

Only attempt it on a calm day!

This part of the walk is very easy, as it’s completely flat.

Keep walking until you can’t anymore. 

Pass under the railway track 

This route goes underneath the railway bridge. There are steps on the left and the beach is on the right.

You’ll eventually reach a point where it looks like the path… just stops, right before Parsons Tunnel.

I was really confused.

There were steps down to the beach, but how did I get across the railway line?

I was expecting there to be a bridge or a pedestrian crossing, but there didn’t seem to be anything. 

Don’t panic! Simply follow the steps down to the beach, and you’ll see that you actually go under the railway line on a little path by the beach. 

After you pass under the railway track, you’ll pass the Salty Dog Cafe

An image of the Salty Dog Cafe, a small coffee hut with a cliff in the background.

You could stop here for refreshments, or continue walking up the steep hill of Smuggler’s Lane, which takes you towards Holcombe.

This road is used by cars, but it’s not busy at all. I managed to outrun a tractor that was struggling up the incline! 

A road sign indicating Smuggler's Lane

Turn onto the path

Turn right at the top of the road, and walk along the main road, which heads towards Holcombe, for around 10 metres, before coming to a sign for the South West Coastal Path.

A turning onto the South West Coast Path. The acorn sign is there with a path with bushes on either side.

You’re on the top of the cliff now, amongst rural scenery, and soon you’ll be able to make out beautiful views over to Dawlish! 

View of Dawlish from the Dawlish to Teignmouth walk

Walk over the cliffs

Despite being at the top of the cliff, the uphill and downhill aren’t quite over yet. You’ll descend down into a cove, before summiting up again close to Dawlish. 

Descend down into Dawlish town

View of Dawlish Beach and the town from the South West Coast Path.

Finally, you’ll walk back down, ending up at the far side of Dawlish beach! Just follow the coast to reach Dawlish railway station. 

From Dawlish railway station, you can take the scenic train back to Teignmouth or spend some time in the town! 

Explore Dawlish!

A lovely drone image showcasing a steam train leading the way along the famous Dawlish Sea Wall.

There are plenty of things to do in Dawlish, including: 

  • seeing the resident black swans on Dawlish water
  • the fortnightly farmer’s market on Dawlish lawn
  • cream tea at Annie’s tea room
  • Dawlish Museum
  • Dawlish town beach

Walk to Dawlish Warren

Dawlish Warren Beach

Dawlish Warren sits about 1.5 miles from Dawlish town centre and is a nature reserve and blue-flag beach, which is immensely popular with tourists to Devon in the summer months!

It has its own train station, so you could always walk the half hour or so extra (here, the South West Coast Path runs alongside the Dawlish railway) and get the train back. 

Or carry on your South West Coast Path adventure by taking the boat from Starcross to Exmouth and completing the Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton walk, which is the start of the Jurassic Coast.

Things to know about the Teignmouth to Dawlish walk

View of red coloured cliffs near Dawlish on the South West Coast Path

You shouldn’t really attempt any South West Coast Path hike in stormy weather, but be especially mindful of how the weather is affecting the sea in this one! 

Also, be wary of tide times, and don’t do the hike when the sea is coming in rapidly. 

It’s definitely best attempted in dry weather! 

As with all hikes, I’d recommend sturdy footwear and emergency waterproofs.

If it’s been raining probably end up with muddy boots, so pack a change of footwear if you need to get public transport or get in a clean car! 

All you need to know about the Teignmouth to Dawlish railway walk!

Sign indicating the south west coast path goes left and right.

Walking between these two coastal locations is a really fun Devon activity.

It’s a fairly easy hike, although make sure you’re prepared for the uphills and downhills close to Dawlish – but these provide some gorgeous views, so they’re worth it.

Make sure you spend some time exploring both of the towns too – they’re beauties! 

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