Dawlish Warren Nature & Wildlife Reserve

-, Dawlish Warren, Devon

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Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve pathway
  • Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve pathway
  • Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve signage
  • Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve fields
  • Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve landscape

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Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve is a 1 and 1/2 mile long sandspit/beach which runs along the mouth of the Exe Estuary. 

While Dawlish Warren is well known as a traditional holiday resort, it's most valuable ecological asset appears outside of the summer months... the descent of thousands of wildfowl and wading birds who use the mudflats to feed, overwinter, and visit on migration.

In addition to the beaches and mudflats, the Warren has freshwater pools, herb-rich grasslands, woodland and reedbeds and even amateur birders are likely to spot a species that will make the trip worthwhile. If you're lucky you may see a short-eared Owl, a flock of Brent Geese, or maybe a Cirl Bunting.

Rarities recorded at the site include the Broad-billed Sandpiper and Stone Curlew. There is a bird hide that gives excellent views particularly either side of high tide, and the added luxury of facilities nearby including a pub and toilets!

An important area for large numbers of wading birds which over-winter on the estuary.
The Warren is a key part the Exe Estuary Special Protection Area and Ramsar site - an area of international importance for wildlife.

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
Monday - Sunday09:00 - 17:00*
Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change



  • Gift Shop


  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Facilities for Disabled Visitors


  • On-Site café/restaurant
  • Picnic Site

Establishment Features

  • Dogs-Accepted
  • Open All Year
  • Toilets

Key Features

  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • On Bus Route
  • Parking (charge)

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun
  • Marketed towards families



Map & Directions

Road Directions

Situated south of Exeter on the River Exe, Dawlish is signposted from Exmouth. The reserve is at the bottom of the hill in Dawlish Warren Village. Turn onto Beach Road and go under the railway bridge. The reserve entrance is at the far end of the carpark via a wooden gate. Another option is to get a water taxi from Exmouth, from near the sailing club.



Public Transport Directions

Bus Stop, Carpark, Disabled Access and Dogs allowed - restrictions do apply. Buses available from Newton Abbot and Exeter. There is also a train station in Dawlish Warren only a short walk from the reserve. There is a cycle path from Dawlish to Dawlish to Dawlish Warren. It is also easily walked from Dawlish Railway Station.




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