A local

A local's guide to Teignmouth

Clare 31 October 2018

One of Devon’s oldest seaside resorts, Teignmouth is a delightful town on the south coast that has retained its quintessential British charm. Its name derives from its scenic position at the mouth of the River Teign and here you’ll find charming candy coloured beach-huts, blue and white striped deck-chairs along with rolling countryside and the calm waters of the English Channel. Teignmouth is a friendly spot loved as much by the locals as it is by the visitors who come back time and time again to enjoy its laid-back charm.


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The beaches


Food and drink

The history

The events

The surrounding area



Teignmouth, Devon

About the town:

Boats bob gently in the harbour alongside the back beach, while independent eateries serve up the daily catch. Galleries, quirky shops and cafés jostle for space along the friendly high street and side streets, and squeals of delighted children float on the air as they discover the joys of the beachfront park and attractions. In Teignmouth, life takes on a slower pace with each moment and experience there to be fully enjoyed.


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Shown in this photograph is Teignmouth's back beach, located behind the Den and seafront, which offers views of the Teign Estuary upstream towards Newton Abbot. The harbour that covers the beach is always being used by tourists and locals, and has been a staple of the town since the early 1900's. #lovegreatbritain, #lovedevon, #visitdevon, #southdevon, #devon, #teignmouth, #england, #visitengland, #loveengland, #uk, #visituk, #ukshots, #ukshooters, #backbeach, #shoreline, #seaside, #sunset, #boats, #harbour, #quay, #sillhouette, #contrast, #colours, #landscape, #lensbible, #wonderfulplaces, #earthfever, #my_natural_feature, #thisprettyengland, #walkinguk, @ukcoasts

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Here, the locals welcome you wholeheartedly: from friendly ice-cream vendors to bakery owners who pour love and care into each delicious treat. The town offers all the amenities you’ll need during your holiday, with a choice of convenience shops and supermarkets including Co-Op and, just out of town, a Morrison’s superstore. The train station, which is just 150 metres from the town centre, provides direct links from Teignmouth to London and beyond, as well south into Cornwall. The town, seafront and beaches can all be easily explored on foot, and there’s an abundance of amenities to keep the slow tourist fed, watered and entertained.

The beaches:

Teignmouth Pier

Teignmouth’s distinctive red sand beaches are one of the town’s main attractions. Long and gently sloping, with dogs allowed in winter and lifeguarded in the summer, the seafront beach attracts families and those simply wanting to let their worries slip away on the sea breeze.  Long hours spent building sandcastles and splashing in the gentle summer waves give way to bracing winter strolls, searching for beach treasures or frittering away loose change in the slot machines on the Victorian Pier.



One of life’s simple pleasures is a stroll along the beachfront promenade, pausing at one of the iconic, upturned-cornet-shaped ice cream kiosks or treating yourself to an al fresco sausage sandwich from the East Cliff café towards the north end of the beach. Children will love waiting eagerly by the wall alongside the railway line for trains coming in and out of the station. Wave at the driver with enough enthusiasm and they’ll likely reward you with a blast of the horn as they clatter past.

The sandy harbour which faces into the river estuary to the rear of the town is known locally as the Back Beach. A little ferry runs from here to Shaldon, just across the river mouth, and the scenic spot is frequented by people fishing, dog walking (dogs are welcome here all year round), sitting in the sunshine outside their beach huts in the summer, barbecuing in the evening or enjoying a pint or two in the waterside pubs.

If you’re feeling a little more active, try your hand at the several water sports on offer. While the seafront beach is rarely good for surfing, its calm waters are ideal for paddle boarding, kayaking or sailing. Before undertaking any activities in or on the water, make sure to heed any warnings from lifeguards, and steer clear of the river mouth where currents are strong.

The attractions and activities:

You won’t find busy theme parks or showy attractions in this little corner of Devon, but what you will find are unique days out offering traditional family fun, leaving you with unforgettable memories without having to reach too far into your pockets.

Teignmouth’s Victorian Pier is a prime example of old-fashioned fun. Chock-full of arcade machines, children’s rides and interactive games, it’s easy to while away a few hours at the penny slots or the grabbing machines whilst trying to win a stuffed toy.



For more family fun, the fantastic play area alongside the green on the seafront (known as The Den) is hard to beat. There’s play equipment for all ages and in the summer, little ones can cool off in the water jets and arches in the dedicated splash area. Next door to the play area is a dinosaur-themed crazy golf course, guaranteed to keep the whole family busy for a couple of hours of friendly competition!

Take a 5-minute journey on board the little passenger ferry from the Back Beach to Shaldon to spend a relaxing afternoon dipping in and out of pubs and cafés, wandering along the beach and admiring Teignmouth from a different perspective.


If you feel like a longer stroll, set out along the seafront promenade, following the sea wall and railway line. Dip down underneath as the tracks disappear into the tunnel through the headland and walk inland on Smuggler’s Lane, along the main road, before re-joining the South West Coast path down Windward Lane, all the way to the neighbouring seaside town of Dawlish.


Take time to explore Teignmouth’s main shopping street and back streets, where you’ll find a plethora of unique shops and galleries. A favourite is the gallery of local artist, Laura Wall, whose endearing representations of Teignmouth and other local places, as well as her charming children’s books about ‘Goose’, are sure to capture your imagination.


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All ready for this afternoon's showing of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

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Before you visit, look up the programme of shows and events at the Pavilions. From theatre productions and dance performances to films and workshops, there’s something to suit all ages and interests. Even if you don’t stop for a show, pop into The View Bar and Café for a bite to eat in a scenic setting.

The eateries:


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Perfect breakfast setup โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฅ“

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If there’s one thing Teignmouth isn’t lacking, its places to eat! Choose to support local independent eateries such as the renowned Oystercatchers Café, the celebrated Crab Shack and Finn McCools fish and chip shop. Many of the cafés and restaurants serve up fresh fish and crustaceans brought in by local fishermen, and you’ll never be far from a cute tearoom or patisserie with a mouth-watering array of cakes and savouries. Universally loved Wetherspoons has also made a home within the town if you crave a familiar menu.

For fine dining, The Owl and the Pussycat is hard to beat, or if it’s flavours of the world you’re after, take your pick from the town’s selection of Indian, Italian and Chinese restaurants.

The history:


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MV Elbetor berthing this evening in Teignmouth. . . . #nofilter #shipspotting #teignmouth #teignmouthharbour #devon

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Teignmouth has a long history which dates all the way back to 1044 and probably further. Records suggest that it was already a significant port in the early 14th century, and the fishing industry continues to this day. In Georgian times it became a popular seaside resort, and in 1846, the South Devon Railway helped the town become more accessible and even more popular.

The town has seen its fair share of trauma, including Dunkirk raids, sea born attacks from across the channel, to numerous air raids during the Second World War. The town has also leaned heavily on smuggling as a trade (in the 17th century), while ship building and cod fishing in New Foundland have also proved profitable in the past. Nowadays, its port is still active, dealing with clay, timber and grain. Watching huge cargo ships enter through the comparatively narrow river mouth is a sight to behold.

The events:


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What a night In the pouring rain! #teignmouth #teignmouthcarnival #tour #rain

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As already mentioned, Teignmouth Pavilions is an events hub with various shows and performances held here throughout the year.

The town also hosts some exciting annual gatherings, including the Folk Festival (June), Jazz Festival (November) and Carnival Week (end July/beginning August). The Taste of the Teign Festival in September sees cookery demonstrations, special foodie events, music and participation from local restaurants.



If your visit coincides with Teignmouth Regatta in August, you’re in for a treat: a week of fun for the whole family which includes eagerly anticipated events such as crab catching, ‘floaty mcfloat race’, water sports and activities for children.

A little more low-key but worth recognition nonetheless are the monthly farmers markets held on the last Saturday of each month. Shop for locally grown and prepared produce to take back to your holiday accommodation to cook up a hearty feast.

The surrounds:

While Teignmouth is a little gem itself, it is also surrounded by towns, villages and attractions which make for interesting days out.

Shaldon tunnel

Across the mouth of the river lies Shaldon, an elegant village which seems to have more than its fair share of pubs and eateries, as well as a small zoo and secluded beach accessed via a tunnel through the cliffs. Shaldon Regatta (August) is the highlight of its calendar of events; it sees visitor numbers to the sleepy village explode with the promise of entertainment in the form of sports, competitions, a plastic duck race and boating.


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A trip to Old Walls vineyard to start the day off right #oldwallsvineyard #vineyard #wine #wineofinstagram #devonblush #rose

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Old Walls Vineyard in Bishopsteignton is worth a day-trip out of Teignmouth to sample the wines grown and produced on site before tucking into a light lunch accompanied by a glass of wine in their café with a view. Tours and tastings are available to book for those looking to learn more about the vineyard and its produce.

Dawlish, Teignmouth’s neighbour to the north, is famed for the black swans which live in its central brook. There’s a small beach here and a few shops, or you can head further north to Dawlish Warren where the sand turns golden; a vast stretch of beach backed by a nature reserve teeming with wildlife. Here you’ll find amusements, attractions, go-karts, beach shops, pubs and restaurants – plenty to keep the whole family occupied for at least a day.

Torquay, South Devon

Further afield yet easily accessible by car are the vibrant towns of Torquay (9 miles), Paignton (14 miles) and Brixham (18.5 miles) which jointly make up the curve of Torbay. Here there are numerous attractions, including Torquay’s Living Coasts coastal zoo, the large zoo at Paignton, the Dartmouth Steam Railway and the bustling harbour at Brixham.

If retail therapy is on the cards, take a trip inland to the cathedral city of Exeter, which not only has a plethora of high street brands and independent boutiques, but also a beautiful cathedral green and historic quayside to explore. From here, take the train from Teignmouth which meanders along the scenic coast before tracing the banks of the river Exe into the city centre: one of the most attractive stretches in the South West.

The accommodation:

Teignmouth offers a great range of holiday cottages to choose from. From dog-friendly cottages like Sancta, so your four-legged friend can come too, to cosy apartments such as Hillbre Apartment, perfect for a romantic getaway, we have a fantastic selection of holiday homes in the town and across the surrounding area. Take a look at our collection and find your next Teignmouth cottage today!

Discover more of Devon:

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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