Trains to Dawlish chug along the east coast of Devon, passing over the Colonnade Viaduct and through a network of tunnels cut into striking red cliffs. All in all, it's not a bad way to arrive in this beautiful seaside town. The station is built on the sea wall, which has not been without its pitfalls - it has suffered storm damage over the years, most recently in 2014 when the wall was breached and the rail line shut for several weeks.
The present station building opened in 1875, but rail arrived in Dawlish in 1846, beginning the town's transition from a frugal fishing village to a top-notch seaside resort for Victorian holidaymakers. The coast remains its key attraction today, with the beach just a two-minute walk from the station. The town centre is similarly pleasant, with plenty of independent shops to browse in and scenic walks along Dawlish Water and the South West Coast Path.