Exeter as a city destination has so much to offer, from the bustling city centre, the historical heritage, the endless array of food and drink and the huge array of things to do. What’s even better is that just a stone's throw away, you will find some fantastic coastal destinations and areas of natural beauty.

One such destination is Dawlish and the surrounding villages of Starcross and Cockwood, situated on the stunning Exe Estuary, just a 15 minute drive from Exeter. Here you will find a whole host of walks, gorgeous views and stunning beaches.

Cofton - Exe Estuary

So whether you're looking for a family day out or a peaceful walk in the countryside here are a few of our suggestions:

Places to visit

Cofton Holidays

In the heart of Starcross, just minutes outside of Dawlish you will find the hidden gem that is Cofton Holidays. Here you can take a splash in the indoor and outdoor pool, enjoy the onsite amusements, adventure in the indoor and outdoor play areas. Cofton provides the perfect setting for a family day out, with lots to do for children and fantastic places for adults to sit down, relax, eat and drink.

Cofton Holidays

Exe Estuary Trail Cycle Path

If you are staying near Exeter, what better way to see the local sights and fully appreciate the gorgeous surroundings than to head out by bike? If you are staying in Exeter you can hire a bike from Saddles and Paddles on Exeter quayside, or if it's been a while since you've cycled, pick up an electric bike from Co-Bikes!

Why not set yourself a challenge and cycle all the way around the 26 mile Exe Estuary cycle route, making stops along the way at some fantastic eateries and areas of natural beauty and stopping at Starcross to catch the ferry across the estuary to Exmouth.

Dawlish Warren

If you are looking for a family day at the beach, few beach destinations offer as much as Dawlish Warren. From amusements to food and drink you will be well stocked for a full day on the stunning beach. So whether you want to chill out in the sand, take a dip in the sea or play games on  beach, Dawlish Warren has everything you need for the perfect day.

Powderham Castle

If you are looking for the best of traditional English heritage, take a tour through the history of the stunning Powderham Castle. Venture through the majestic rooms and hear the fascinating stories about the Courtenay family. If you more interested in the great outdoors, Powderham is not short of stunning walks, wildlife and the best of the natural environment.

On your visit be sure to check out the exciting events line up, as Powderham are renowned for their outdoor events including this year's Lets Rock Exeter, Craig David and special guests and the brand new Sunday Sessions featuring Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.


The perfect spot to watch the day go by. Feed the ducks in the brook, indulge in a delicious Devonshire clotted cream ice cream at the famous Gay’s Creamery or enjoy traditional fish and chips by the sea, before taking a walk along the coast to Dawlish Warren. Dawlish is easy to access by train with rail links to Exeter and beyond, along one of the country's most scenic rail routes.

Food and drink

Cofton Holidays

A hidden gem when it comes to the very best in local produce and amazing food. Cofton holiday park is a hive for fantastic quality produce from across the region. You may not always associate holiday parks with great food, but Cofton have worked hard to develop a diverse menu that offers something for everyone. So whether you are looking for a burger and chips, a cake with your coffee or a 2 course gourmet meal, you can find what your appetite desires at Cofton.

Dining at Cofton

The Turf

If you are looking for the perfect pit stop on your Exe Estuary Trail cycle adventure or a lovely pub with a garden, the Turf is a great choice.  Enjoy fantastic views of the estuary and delicious locally sourced food, with a pint of beer or local wine.

The Anchor

If seafood is your thing, you simply can’t pass through the village of Cockwood without taking a pit stop at the Anchor. Tuck into a seafood platter and try the very best local catches. Don’t miss out on the Mussels, they are famous and not to be missed.

Places to stay

Cofton Holidays

If you are looking for somewhere to stay near Dawlish, Cofton is a great choice as it offers an accomodation type to suit everyone's needs. From quality camping pitches, static caravan spaces, through to the choice of luxurious static caravans, cottages and apartments.

Cofton Holidays

Langstone Cliff Hotel

A family-run hotel set in 19 acres of wooded grounds overlooking the sea. The hotel is a popular family holiday destination, with indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, tennis court, fitness room, golf practice area, table tennis, snooker, short mat bowls and children's adventure unit.

Welcome Family Holiday Park

Just a few minutes' level walk from Dawlish Warren beach, this independent holiday park also has plenty of choice when it comes to family activities, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sports ground, children’s playground, free crazy golf and evening entertainment.

So whether you are travelling, by bike, by car or by foot, don’t miss out on some of the fantastic things to do in Starcross and Dawlish.

This guest blog was provided by Cofton Holidays, please visit their website to find out more: www.coftonholidays.co.uk


Cofton Holidays
Camping & Caravan Site
Cofton Holidays - Outdoor Pool

Cofton is set in a peaceful valley offering eighty acres of Devon countryside to explore. Fantastic four star facilities on a family-run holiday park. You’ll struggle to find a more beautiful setting for your holiday.

The Exe Estuary Trail
Cycle Route
Exe Estuary Trail, vintage bike (c) mathilde le floch

The Exe Estuary is a 26 mile cycle route & walkway which goes along the whole Exe Estuary through Exmouth, Exeter & Dawlish.

Immerse yourself in over 600 years of history at Powderham.

Immerse yourself in over 600 years of history at Powderham, the family home of The Earl of Devon. Enjoy the flexibility of our UNLIMITED seven-day free return on all full-priced tickets, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

Langstone Cliff Hotel
Al fresco dining area on a beautiful summers day

Family-owned and run hotel set in 19-acres of wooded grounds with spectacular sea views. Extensive leisure and conference facilities include 2 swimming pools, Tennis and childrens Play areas. 2 Bars a ballroom and licensed restaurant.

Welcome Family Holiday Park
Camping & Caravan Site
Welcome Family Holiday Park

First Class accommodation, fantastic entertainment every night, terrific indoor funpools and free WiFi - these are just a few of the things that make Welcome Family an ideal park for a family seaside holiday. In a superb location, just a few minutes level walk to Dawlish Warren Blue Flag beach and a short drive from Exeter makes this a great choice for a holiday in beautiful Devon.



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