Show all parts of this guide

5. Dawlish Warren Beach

Update - 27 November 2018

Sadly, winter weather has resulted in significant erosion of an area of Dawlish Warren, and this is constantly changing. The sand level is now considerably lower and we are advising extreme caution when visiting this area. There is no access along dunes from groyne 10 and groyne 12 and there is cliffing of the dunes from groyne 10 to groyne 18 so there is no access between the beach and the dunes.  

This means all access to Warren Point and the bird hide, remains via the beach with the risk of being cut off for around an hour either side of high water.  

Walkers can no longer complete an entire circular walk at Dawlish Warren as the only return route to the car park from the far end is via the beach from groyne 18.



Dawlish Warren prides itself on being one of the UK's finest beach resorts. Here you'll find a long beach, flanked by distinctive sand dunes and an internationally recognised nature reserve.

The Warren is designated as a Special Area of Conservation and boasts a wide variety of coastal habits, supporting over 600 different species of flowering plants and dune grasslands.

 The Warren is a key part the Exe Estuary Special Protection Area and Ramsar site - an area of international importance for wildlife. It provides the main roosting site for huge numbers of wading birds and wildfowl that spend the autumn and winter on the Estuary. The Warren is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for its dune grassland, humid dune slacks and the tiny, rare 'petalwort' that grows there. As well as fixed and mobile dunes, there are meadows, copses, reedbeds, ponds and saltmarsh here - and the whole sandspit is of considerable geomorphological interest.

If you're planning to visit Dawlish Warren, please read the Dawlish Warren code.

What's on offer?

  • award-winning family beach
  • safe open spaces for family recreation
  • shops, cafes and bars
  • National Nature Reserve
  • beach hut hire
  • deck chair hire

Local services

  • RNLI beach lifeguards service (weekends between Whitsun and the end of June then daily in July and August)
  • parking
  • public/disabled toilets, baby changing and shower 
  • mainline train station 5 minute walk from the beach


  • dogs are permitted between groyne 3 and 9 all year round

Sorry, to protect the very special environment

  • dogs are not permitted beyond groyne 9 all year round
  • no powered watercraft
  • no fires or BBQs
  • no horse riding
  • no metal detecting
  • no collecting driftwood