Every year me, Mum and my niece go down to Devon for a few days and this year was no exception. With a few days extra on our hands, we had a little more time to explore our local surroundings a little more and we left the car at home (well, at where we stayed) and hopped on the train and got our adventure on!
First stop Dawlish, all the way from Dawlish Warren. A three minute train ride along the pretty English Riviera coast. A quaint seaside town, with black swans as the main attraction, the beach is a little rocky – but the views along the coast towards Dawlish Warren and further afield to Exmouth are incredible. We chose to walk the 3 miles back to Dawlish Warren along the coastal path, next to the train track and it was so serene and easily the best and prettiest way to burn off the ice creams!
Dawlish Warren is the little sister to Dawlish. Where Dawlish is a typical seaside town, Dawlish Warren is the typical seaside resort. Here is where you find the arcades, the holiday camps, hotels and B&B’s, the seafront shops and a pub called ‘The Silly Goose’ (which is not to be confused with the Slutty Duck, which is an obscure name my Mum plucked from the air and just stuck with it..) oh, and beach huts. Because when you beach, you beach hut. I also promise that the weather was warmer than it looked!
There are also God-like lifeguard’s on duty at Dawlish Warren, it’s a popular area for swimmers and young children looking for crabs.
Further down the coast, and a little brighter in the weather is Teignmouth. The so called ‘gem of South Devon’ and I wouldn’t disagree, the beach is lovely, there is a pier and the day we went was carnival day so the entire town was bright, cheery and happy. Filled with charity shops and quaint cafes, it’s a perfect bumble around town before hitting the beach.
The beach is sandy, so you can sit on it for hours and watch the world go by… which, compared to the small and slightly hectic beach at Dawlish is good – as you can spread out. However, spreading out can have some drawbacks as we took advantage of the breeze and taught Adie-May to fly a kite. Being 7 and a little haphazard, it did fall and bother some people – but very clearly, people do not take into account that a small child may not be strong enough to hold the kite up well and made their opinion very vocal. Which is a shame – seeing as their children were running riot .. sigh. The GREAT British public for you!
Seeing as the day started so gloomy – it ended up being rather bright! we ate a traditional seaside dinner, complete with guests and watched the carnival before heading back to the entertainment at the holiday park! what a day!
Friday brought Totnes, one of my favourite places in Devon, two train rides away, we braved the rain which had returned and we set about on a day of independent coffee shops, delis, charity shops and a glorious market!
The train ride took us along the coast and through the countryside and the charming thing about Totnes is that there is not an ounce of commercialism. They rejected Costa, the supermarkets are out of town and the delis and coffee shops only deal in local produce. It’s so nice to see a community so supportive of their local produce and what they have around them. The market on a Friday is what showcases this, with a huge fruit and veg stall, baked goods and local street food all the mix. I highly recommend the visit.
All in all, the journey – with the change at Newton Abbott too about 30 minutes. So it’s very easy to get to on the train and the scenery en route is just stunning!
With the train fares being so cheap, it’s so easy to hop on and off along the route and enjoy what our countryside has to offer. Sometimes, it’s just easier to let the travel take you and leave the car at home! It’s no interrailing but, it’ll do for now and for a staycation it’s a great way to pack in a lot in a few days!