Surfing Dawlish & Dawlish Warren

surfing dawlish and dawlish warren

Surfing Dawlish and Dawlish Warren can require some careful planning and acceptance you might get disappointed.

When it all comes together here you can find some fantastic waves with hardly anyone out but these days are few and far between.

If you do plan to go surfing at Dawlish or Dawlish Warren make sure to read this handy guide first for the low down before you go.

surfing dawlish and dawlish warren

Surf spots in Dawlish and Dawlish Warren

Finding good waves here is often about knowing what the wind and swell are doing beforehand and trying to predict which of the many breaks along this stretch of coast will be the best.

Luckily all the surf spots are in very close proximity and you won’t have to drive much further than 5 minutes between waves.

Dawlish Warren is a great option if surfing Exmouth is looking a bit wild, it faces an easterly direction so it doesn’t suffer as badly when westerly winds pick up.


Dawlish town beach is separated by large wooden groynes, unlike other beaches in the area, sand doesn’t seem to build up along the groynes here meaning the best waves are generally found between sets of groynes.

The best waves along this stretch of beach are normally further down the beach towards Dawlish Warren.

The railway at Dawlish has been severely affected by storms with continuous repair work that can sometimes block access to certain parts of the beach.

Dawlish Warren

Dawlish Warren generally provides better waves than the Dawlish town beaches.

Similar in appearance with sets of groynes separating each section of the beach but unlike the town beaches the banks here focus around the groynes with a predominant right-hander.

You can actually find some pretty steep takeoffs and waves but Dawlish Warren suffers from a deep spot in the middle of the wave.

This means waves can offer a great take-off into a steep section to perform a manoeuvre but leads to the wave softening and sometimes completely disappearing.

Other surf spots around Dawlish and Dawlish Warren

Heading south on this stretch of coast can often provide well-needed shelter from prevailing south-westerly gales.

Consider surfing in Teignmouth if it’s too onshore and messy at either of these spots.

If the waves are too small at either of these spots you’ll likely need to cross the estuary to find surfable waves.

Southwesterly swells will mean that you’ll be dealing with waves nearly twice the size surfing in Sidmouth.

Is it dangerous surfing in Dawlish or Dawlish Warren?

Both of these surf spots are fairly safe for the majority of the time.

The wooden groynes are the biggest risk to you while surfing especially when only just submerged by an incoming tide.

What’s the best time of year to surf here?

October to February normally gives you the best chances of finding surfable waves.

Where can you park to surf?

Free parking for your surf is fairly hard to find here without a long walk.

If you don’t mind paying there are paid car parks fairly close to both waves.