New heritage trail for Dawlish

Mary Youlden's picture
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 9:35am

Dawlish residents and visitors can now explore the history of the area with a new heritage trail around the town.

The Dawlish Heritage Trail has been developed by Teignbridge, with funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and Devon County Council.  Designed for adults and children, the trail has 14 information points. They reveal historic stories which show how the town has been shaped over time to become the friendly, vibrant and cultural town that it is today.

The trail includes descriptions of the history of The Lawn and its transformation from marshland to popular green space; the Victorian bathing machines that were used to transport early tourists to the beach and preserve their modesty; and the prehistoric finds in the area that give us an insight into how life might have been for early settlers. 

The Strand Centre will host a new listening post, with four local recordings on activities, the community and what makes modern Dawlish so special. The Strand Centre is also host to a new historic finds cabinet and a photo montage that highlights the strong community and unique features of the town. 

Trail leaflets are available from key locations in town: the Tourist Information Centre, The Strand Centre, Dawlish railway station, Open DAW: Dawlish Community Information Centre and Dawlish library. Children’s rubbing sheets are available from the Tourist Information Centre. There is also further information on the Love Dawlish website:, including QR codes on the panels and roundels that link to audio readings. 

The trail will be officially unveiled on 4th May 2019 as part of the Dawlish Walking Festival. All are welcome to join in the fun which includes children’s activities and a guided walk around the trail. 

Councillor Philip Bullivant, Teignbridge’s Executive Member for Recreation and Leisure, said: “I’m delighted that the new Trail is now ready for local people and visitors to enjoy, to learn about the history of Dawlish, and discover its hidden secrets!

“It’s vitally important that that we learn about our local history, including how our favourite green spaces were created, the figures and big ideas that shaped our surroundings. These boards will ensure that the olden days of Dawlish are remembered for posterity and celebrated for many years to come, as well as promoting the community spirit in Dawlish.”

“Thanks to Imagemakers, Dawlish Museum and Dawlish Local History Group for their specialist advice in developing the interpretation boards and to Teignbridge officers for coordinating the trail.”

Councillor Humphrey Clemens, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish South West Ward, said:  “I would like to thank the dedication of the Teignbridge officers who developed this amazing trail which demonstrates to visitors and residents alike the rich heritage of our beautiful town.”

Councillor Rosalind Prowse, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish South West Ward, said:  "I am delighted that this project has now been completed and I know that it will be of great interest to both residents and visitors to Dawlish.  Information of this type is to be highly valued and helps people have an understanding of the locality."