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Dawlish Warren
an area of international importance for wildlife
Dawlish Warren beach

The dynamic, shifting landscape of Dawlish Warren can make some parts of this nature reserve trickier to access

A photo of the visitor centre at Dawlish Warren



Dawlish Warren is highly valued by local people and visitors for a variety of amenity uses and it accommodates one of the main tourist resort beaches in Teignbridge. 

The main track leading from the car park to the visitor centre and beyond, is accessible for terrain suitable wheelchairs and buggies. Kissing gates, necessary for grazing ponies, can impede progress through the site. Wheelchair access to the nature reserve via the promenade and boardwalk is also possible, though short sections of this route are liable to shifting sands - much of the site has soft sand, which can make access difficult.


An illustrated map of Dawlish Warren showing which areas dogs are allowed in.



Visiting with a dog? Due to the sensitivity of the area for wildlife, there is no access for dogs beyond Groyne 9 of the beach, year-round. Other requirements apply to different parts of the site, as shown in this map (left). 

We have created the Dawlish Code to provide all the information you need for a worry-free visit!

In winter large bird flocks roost on the beach north-east of Groyne 9. All visitors (including dog owners) are asked not to walk along the beach here for approximately 3 hours either side of 'medium' to 'spring' high tides when roosting birds will be present. Instead, please walk along the dune path. Tide times and heights are posted on notices at Groyne 9 on site, or consult tide tables for Exmouth. If in any doubt please ask at the Visitor Centre

Recent winter storms have caused erosion along the beach front and some paths have had to be closed for safety. Walking the dune ridge to the bird hide is no longer possible and access to the end of the sand spit is restricted at high-tide. Please follow safety advice on site, always check the signs for tide-times and access updates.






An illustration of Warren Point at Dawlish Warren, showing Oystercatcher, Brent Geese, Sand Lizard and access arrangementes



Arriving by water? Follow this guidance to help ensure you don’t disturb protected wildlife as you enjoy our coast:

The dorsal end of Dawlish Warren sandspit (Warren Point) is a vital high-tide bird roost during the winter months and important habitat all year round. Please don’t come ashore here during the winter – overwintering birds need this space to rest and feed.

Only come ashore in Soft Sand Bay between April 1st and September 4th. This designated landing area operates to help keep disturbance to wildlife to a minimum on the rest of the nature reserve.

Due to the potential for wildlife disturbance and wildfire, this is not a suitable location for dogs or BBQs. The nearest alternative site suitable for both is Pirate Cove (next to Exmouth Marina). You can also BBQ anywhere on Exmouth beach, and have your dog with you at Orcombe Point in Exmouth.


A satellite image of the southern part of the Exe Estuary with the Exmouth and Dawlish Wildlife Refuges shown.



Be aware of the boundary of Dawlish Warren Wildlife Refuge, an area of restricted access which includes the bight, mudflats and saltmarsh beyond. It’s marked using yellow buoys to help identify it. Please do not enter this area (unless necessary for your safety, of course!)