Travelling on the Riviera Line may be the single best way to take an overview of the gorgeous surroundings in this part of the country.
There are few things more pleasurable in life than a train journey through majestic and beautiful countryside and there are few train lines that pass through more gorgeous surroundings than the Riviera Line through Dawlish Warren.
The Coastal Lifeline
The line is part of the Network Rail Route 12, which leads from Reading to Penzance. The Riviera Line proper begins at Exeter St Davids and heads on down to Paignton. Along the way it passes through many tunnels, and the line runs right by the sea for many parts of it. In fact, this railway line made the news in January of 2014, when record storms battered the South Coast of England. Part of the track and sea wall was washed away entirely.
It shows how important this train line is to the nation as a whole that the extensive repairs were completed just two months later.
A Scenic Route
For several miles the Riviera Line follows an almost identical route to the world-renowned South-West Coast Path. This walk, along England’s longest waymarked footpath, is regularly voted one of the best walks in the world, and with good reason. On the Riviera Line, you can take in the same views from the comfort of a railway carriage!
Dawlish Warren is located about halfway along the Riviera Line, and as you can imagine, that makes it a pretty special place. One of the best things about being here is the freedom to travel either ‘up’ the Riviera to Exeter, or ‘down’ to Paignton.
Exeter – City of Time Immemorial
There have been peaceful and affluent settlements in Exeter since at least 250 BC if the presence of Mediterranean minted coinage there is anything to go by. The city’s history is completely bound up with the history of the island as a whole. There is a fabulous cathedral, dating back to just before the Norman conquest, and the ruins of a Norman Castle built in the area shortly thereafter.
Because it has been a major settlement for so long, it has many of the oldest examples of certain things in the country. The canal system, for example, was one of the first to be completed in the 16th century, and Northernhay Gardens, just outside the castle, is one of the oldest public spaces in the country. The city is even home to one of the oldest synagogues in the country – a testament to the tolerant nature of the people of Devon.
All this, plus modern shopping areas and hundreds more municipal attractions make Exeter a great place to take a day trip to when you are staying in Dawlish Warren.
The only difficult question is whether to take pictures to remember your journey, or just to sit back and appreciate one of the world’s more sublime experiences.
Looking for somewhere to stay?
Welcome Family Holiday Park has a great choice of self-catering holiday accommodation to suit all sizes of family and budget and is ideally situated in the sunny Dawlish Warren seaside resort, the perfect location for experiencing South Devon along the Riviera Line.