City or sea? It's the dilemma often faced when deciding on a new destination to visit but what if you could have both? Well if you're visiting Exeter then in less than half an hour you can be transported by rail to the Great British seaside.

Start the morning with some shopping and city sight seeing before hopping on a train and spending the afternoon soaking up the fresh sea air and feeling the sand between your toes. How's that for the perfect destination combo!


Your journey with begins at Exeter Central train station as you board one of the regular Great Western Railway rail services to the beautiful seaside town of Exmouth. Nestled on the east bank of the mouth of the River Exe, and 11 miles southeast of Exeter, the star attraction is two miles of golden sandy beach. It's also the western gateway to the world famous Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural World Heritage Site. 

Train travelling alongside the River Exe Estuary

If you fancy exploring this area of coast from a different perspective then Stuart Line Cruises are a multi-award-winning, family-run passenger boat company who have been running trips for over 50 years. As well as offering regular cruises around the calm-assured waters of the River Exe throughout the year, they also run Exeter Canal Cruises on select dates throughout the year along with lots of other popular coastal trips.

All that fresh sea air is bound to have taste buds tingling and so what better way to enjoy some lunch or an evening meal than at Rockfish Exmouth, serving up the best seafood with the best view! Located next to the town slipway overlooking the beautiful Exe estuary, the tide rips past the front of the dining room providing the perfect setting to enjoy freshly cooked seafood all year round.

If you're enjoying yourself too much and finding it hard to leave the seaside then you'll be pleased to know that trains run regularly into the night so you can easily return back to the bright lights of the city, and soak up Exeter's vibrant nightlife.

Dawlish Warren, Dawlish and Teignmouth

Heading the other direction alongside the Exe estuary and first stop for beach lovers is the golden sands and dunes of Dawlish Warren, an award winning Blue Flag beach. If it's a quiet spot in the sand you're seeking then you've got a stretch of 1.5 miles to explore and Dawlish Warren is also a nature reserve. Home to over 500 acres of protected grassland, sand dunes, mudflats, over 600 different species of plants and over 23,000 wildfowl and wading birds – it's a paradise for bird watching.

Next stop on the line is Dawlish, a traditional seaside town and a must visit to see the iconic black swans. You might even be lucky and spot some cygnets! A great destination for families, the long sandy beach is ideal for winding away summer days and there's lots of rock pools to explore too.

Just a little further on by train, and still only 12 miles from Exeter, is Teignmouth. Sitting on the mouth of the River Teign, here you'll find historic Georgian buildings, long sandy beaches, and fresh local food in abundance. Gaze out to sea with a gentle stroll along the promenade and Grand Pier or head into the town and explore Teignmouth's Arts Quarter, home to a selection of art galleries, interesting independent shops, bakeries, pubs and cafes. On the other side of the river mouth you'll find Shadon and there's the chance to visit on board England's Oldest Passenger Ferry, which operates daily.

On returning back to Exeter by train then our top tip is to take a seat on the right hand side. From here you'll get a close up view the coast as you pass by and it truly is one of the most scenic and memorable rail journeys anywhere in the UK.


Great Western Railway
GWR train on Dawlish line

Great Western Railway operates trains to Devon from over 270 destinations. Direct, high-speed services operate from London Paddington to Exeter St. Davids. While visiting the city, customers can catch local services to Okehampton for Dartmoor National Park, Exmouth for the Jurassic Coast, Barnstaple for Exmoor and the North Devon coast, and Torquay and Paignton for the English Riviera.

Stuart Line Cruises
Boat Trip
Geology Day Trip

A family owned passenger boat business operating from Exmouth. With sailings along the East & South Devon coastline & River Exe. A large variety of trips available from scenic river cruises to all day excursions. Operating all year round.

Rockfish Exmouth
Rockfish dining area

You can enjoy freshly caught local fish landed that day, from sole, bream, mackerel, monkfish and pollack amongst other fish species on our local fish menu, which are cooked freshly to order for you. Our menu can be served gluten free and is suitable for coeliacs. Everyone is welcome at Rockfish including small, well behaved dogs. Our priority is serving great seafood with great hospitality and we can't wait to welcome you.

Exmouth Beach

The oldest seaside town in Devon, Exmouth boasts two miles of sandy beach, and is the gateway to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast.

Dawlish Warren
Dawlish Warren beach

The family beach resort with shops, amusements, go-karts, adventure golf, pubs & accommodation. A birdwatchers paradise - Something for everyone 365 days/year!

View of Teignmouth

With an elegant crescent of Georgian buildings dating back to the early 1800's, Teignmouth is steeped in maritime history. An historic port; it's one of the country's top holiday resorts situated between stunning red sandstone cliffs.



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