Monday, 7 March 2011


Teignmouth marks the start of one of the most scenic stretches of railway in the country. The main line between Exeter and Plymouth hugs the coast between here and Dawlish, nipping in and out of tunnels, and providing the opportunity to view at close quarters the weird red sandstone formations carved by the sea’s action on rock which has become separated from the mainland. I have travelled on this line many times over the years, and there was one particular pillar of rock clinging on by a thread, which I observed gradually becoming more and more eroded each time I sped by on the train. The building of the railway caused the destruction of a well-known smuggler’s cave at Holcombe, between Teignmouth and Dawlish.

Teignmouth became popular as a resort during the Victorian era, but as early as 1818 the town was visited by the poet John Keats, who completed the poem Endymion during his stay. A more contemporary claim to fame is that the highly successful British rock band Muse met in the town during the 1990s. Although past its heyday, the town continues to attract visitors in search of the traditional seaside holiday, offering long walks along the distinctive red-tinged beach and a pier with amusements.  The estuary side of the town is dotted with pleasure craft and frequented by an assortment of waterfowl and wading birds. Otters are also reportedly making a comeback.

Map of the area.

File:A Spring Morning On The Back Beach - 2 (7018246503).jpg
Photo by Barry Lewis, via Wikimedia Commons

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