The lustrous stretch of coastline from Teignmouth estuary to Dawlish is called Teignmouth Main Beach. This particular seafront is hailed for its ability to intermingle rustic views of the striking Jurassic coast with a sweet sense of nostalgia, conjured by the Victorian pier and promenade. Rural but not overtly rugged, the beach is a mix of shingle and sand and slopes gently towards the sea. Teignmouth has even won an award from the Marine Conservation Society for its clean waters; they are so clear it is sometimes possible to spot dolphins off of the coast. For those interested in coastal features, the array of sand bars are worth studying, as they can change shape over as short a period as overnight. However if you’re simply looking for spectacular views, the Torbay coastline is in view to the west of the beach.
The pier, erected in 1867, is evocative of yesteryear, where bathing machines were still a thing of common necessity. Yet the pier does not simply serve as a monument of sentiment, it is dotted with arcade games that will keep the children (young and old) entertained for hours. Aside from these amusements, there is still plenty to do: the award-winning children’s play area should easily keep little ones occupied. If some light sport is the order of the day, adventure golf is ready to bring out the family’s competitive side. For the more audacious sportsman, the nearby skate park is very popular.
The beach can cater for a more leisurely day out; the shops and cafes that lace the coastline ensure that afternoon tea is an option for those seeking an hour’s recluse from the sun. Simple pleasures are not neglected; deck chair hire is available for those with a novel and plenty of hours to spare. Such peace and quiet is possible on this beach, as its impressive length means that overcrowding is rarely a problem, even in the holidays. It may of course be more bustling if you care to join in with the annual summer carnival celebrations, or even have a day at the fairground during the regatta.
Since Medieval times, Teignmouth has been an important fishing and boat building centre. Even today, it is not a rare sight to see fishermen mending their nets on the sandy slopes. Consequently, the town’s knowledge of fishing and seafood is extensive. The Crab Shack, a restaurant just off the beach, has owned its own fishing boats for nearly 30 years.
If you wish to take a boat trip yourself, there are Pleasure Cruises, as well as a passenger ferry over to Dawlish, where the sandbar ensures excellent opportunities for whitebait fishing.
Disabled access, toilets and parking are all available at the beach. RNLI lifeguards are on regular duty from May to September, and dogs are allowed on most areas of the beach, although it is worth checking restrictions.
When the light fades, why not try one of Teignmouth many restaurants, or even venture a little further afield to Newton Abbot or Exmouth? If not, linger for an evening of rock pooling, reminiscent of days gone by.