Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Taking the train to the beach

When we visited Topsham in Devon recently (see previous post here). Our car did not move for the whole week that we were away! One day we took the train to visit this beach.  It's not often that you find a whole tree washed up like this!


And for once you could almost feel some warmth from the sun.


When I was a child when I travelled on the train from Shrewsbury down to Cornwall to visit my Granny. I  remember looking out at the sea through the train window.....I have wanted to walk along this stretch of beach ever since.


It's only taken me 40 years to realise this dream! This is the main branch line between Exeter and Plymouth and the railway was initially built in 1843 and was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The line follows the water for 13 miles (20km).The scenery out of the window is spectacular.


 Around Dawlish it passes through five tunnels dug out from the Devon red sandstone. If you look closely at the picture below you can see it shows some of these tunnels.



The beach and view of one of the tunnels.

The station beside the beach

We took the train to Dawlish Warren and then walked along the beach, to the town of Dawlish and then caught the train back to Topsham.The waiting room was warm and welcoming after the cold wind and looked so cheerful with these wonderful paintings of local scenes painted by local school children.


In stormy conditions the waves crash over the sea wall and onto the rails and passing trains. I don't think I would like to be in the train when this happens! There have been many discussions about re-routing the route further inland, but the cost would be huge.




Luckily the tide was out and the weather fine when we visited. 
View from the train travelling back to Exeter

Do you have a favourite train journey? On my wish list for Britain -I still have the Cambrian Coast line in North Wales between Aberystwyth and Pwllheli and the West Highland Line in Scotland to complete! I would also love to take a ride through the Rockies in Canada too!

There seems to be a problem with two of my favourite blogs Val's Alentejo and June at Cats, Dogs and Eiderdowns - their reading lists are not updating on some blogs, they are both still there so do pop over and say hello! If anyone else is affected by this too do let me know. This gremlin seems to have appeared about 3 weeks ago!
 Hope you are having a good week.
Sarah x



54 comments:

  1. My sister in law comes from Dawlish so I've seen the train there- it is so unusual, worth a look for that aspect alone. CT x

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  2. Hi Sarah! Such gorgeous pics and I love that the train passes so close to the sea. It is similar here around the Whitstable area, but not as close. Though you do pass the beach huts as you whizz by.

    Nina x

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  3. Sarah,

    I love that train journey. I like to visit my family in Bristol by train at least once a year, and my journey passes Dawlish and Starcross. I have never been through on a stormy day, but would imagine it would be thrilling!!

    Love the tree too.

    Leanne xx

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  4. You must take the West Highland line one day! Although I'm used to Highland scenery, my wish is to take a train right down to the tip of Cornwall - it would be very exotic for me.

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  5. sounds wonderful - lovely to finally live that childhood dream! I've never really been on a train journey, except Once to London from Birmingham and an odd short touristy train ride - I've never been on a proper train journey with stunning scenery, but I'd love to one day!

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  6. Looks very dramatic, some dreams take a bit longer....but worth waiting for! :) x

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  7. That sounds lovely Sarah and the scenery is beautiful, but as you said I don't think I'd like it in bad weather with the waves crashing so close to the train.

    I used to travel a lot by train when I lived in London many years ago and would love to go on a train journey somewhere, maybe I'll get to do that someday.

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  8. Great pictures as ever Sarah.
    I'd agree, I don't think I'd want to be on the train in rough weather either!!
    And would definitely agree on the West Highland line.

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  9. Thanks for mentioning the problem with my blog posts not updating. I didn't realize that Val's Alenjo had the same fault. That train journey looks so interesting. I must make a mental note of it as it is something I would thoroughly enjoy.
    June

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    1. We have done some of these trips previously from Axminster, If you travel within Devon train transport is quite responsible travel a few miles up the road into Dorset and the price rises dramatically!
      Sarah x

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  10. There is a certain romance about taking a train journey, more so than any other form of transport. I remember this train journey down along the coast too. We went to Newquay for the first week of our honeymoon by train.
    As usual you have some lovely photos, I really like the first one with the tree washed up on the beach and the train passing by those typically Devon red cliffs.

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  11. Memories here for me, I've done this trip quite a few times. Glad you got to realise your dream. x

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  12. it would be a great view from the train, a bit hairy with big seas.
    love the old buildings.
    x

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  13. Hi Sarah,

    Loved seeing your gorgeous photos and the sea looks amazing and you must have had a wonderful time away.
    I travelled through the Canadian Rockies, from Vancouver to Calgary in the train and that was absolutely gorgeous, the scenery magnificent.

    Hope that you are having a lovely week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  14. What a nice trip. I wish it were easier to take train trips where I live.

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  15. Wow! Gorgeous beaches and photos. And that train!!! Never heard of it but it must be amazing taking that train, making that ride. Dramatic waves in the little film you added, such visable force from the ocean. I don't have a favourite train journey but my husband has talked about a train journey in Switzerland(The Glacier Express) he'd love to do sometime. Supposed to be along sharp edges and deep gorges, and beautiful scenery. That wouldn't be with his bike, so I'd be able to come ;-) so who knows, sometime in the future maybe...???
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. We went on the Glacier Express for our 25th Anniversary the scenery was magnificent, I would recommend it!
      Sarah x

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  16. Ahhh another thing you've introduced to me that I must add to the "to do" list. I love the idea of train travel that is easy like this. In Australia it's a long way between cities and train travel isn't as efficient on such terrain/distances. However, we do have incredible journeys that go across the desert which we are yet to do. I look forward to more train travel when back in your part of the world. (I don't know much of these technical things but did you know Google Reader is closing down soon?)

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    1. Many of the trains in Britain are slow compared with our European cousins but it does allow time to enjoy the scenery.
      Sarah x

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  17. ooo I would love a ride on that train!! Does the sea ever come up? that must be scary!!

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  18. I love train journeys, there is still a romance in going by train don't you think, my favourite journey is simply across from Cumbria to Newcastle, such simple green countryside and I love looking at people's back gardens and allotments!

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  19. Sarah, you will love the West Highland line. When I first went to Cornwall by train I nearly jumped out of the window with excitement at the glorious colour of the sea. A lovely post.

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  20. Sounds like Sochi a wonderful day.

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  21. Hi Sarah!
    I have not many experiences with train travels inland because here, the train is not the most popular means and the railways aren't so developed because of the unevenness of the ground.But I remember when I travelled from Frankfurt to Bonn through the Rhine Valley in train, drinking an exquisite kind of beer!!!
    Your photos are very beautiful, the second and the third gorgeous!
    Have a nice day
    Olympia

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  22. Sweet Sarah, your lovely world makes me want to get on a train RIGHT NOW, just like the one on the coast. That is my dream too.

    Well, I must run off; there is an ice storm and I need to drive in it to school! Happy day dear one! Anita

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  23. Hello Sarah, WOW I absolutely love your blog and you wonderful posting... I would of love to go on the train trip along the Sea. It looked glorious. The video was super to watch and even more so without the music. The waves crashing onto the walls sounds would of been music to my ears too. Lovely painting done by the children. Your country is so very beautiful especially Down By The Sea. Hugs Judy

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  24. You've taken me right back to my childhood, we used to stop in Dawlish Warren and had to cross the railway line to get to the beach. Such lovely pictures. Sarah x

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  25. Terrific stuff Sarah you are so lucky having all this on your doorstep.

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  26. Am I wrong to say 'What is the UK without coastlines?' :)
    40 years to realise dream is better late than never. I have many dreams too, and I wonder if I will ever live them!

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  27. Dear Sarah,

    Beautiful photographs of the English coastline. I did not know there was a train track so close to the sea. I can imagine how beautiful your train ride must have been!

    Have a lovely evening.

    Madelief x

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  28. Dearest Sarah,
    so many Thank you for grandios Pictures.....I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS!!!!!!
    How is the weather????Is spring cooming soon to you????
    We´ve got guests from england last days....ist was so happy!!!!
    Sincerely Flori

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  29. ~ What a beautiful scenic view, Sarah..Your pitures always look like holiday shots...Train journeys are always the best ways to travel! Thanks for sharing...I have been missing out on the up dating with Val and June....Actually wondered if they were on holiday and perhaps not posting as regular! Will pop on over to both ladies and say 'Hello'....With kind thoughts....Maria x

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  30. I am amazed at how similar that coastal train ride is to parts of the central California coast. There are some parts where only the train goes so we have never walked that part. We haven't riden a train in years.

    Enjoy a lovely weekend.

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  31. Hi Sarah, lovely photos. I saw this railway on the tv recently, and thought I'd love to travel by the sea on a train. Alas train journeys are a real novelty here, our region has not had trains since the 1960s when the lines were ripped up after it was decided that it was not feasible to join with the rest of the country due to the terrain. S:)

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  32. It looks like it was a wonderful journey! I love traveling on trains, and hope to do the North Wales trip when I visit this September. If you come to Canada you might want to take the Rocky Mountaineer. It goes through the Rockies and is supposed to be terrific (but a bit pricey).

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  33. what gorgeous photos, it looks just stunning.

    Nikki x

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  34. Oh! my goodness!! This is my favourtite bit of the journey which was from home, down to see my Stepmother in Plymouth. I have been up and down like a yo-yo for the last 6 months as SMother has now moved up to live near me. I had one memorable trip late last year, when the weather was dreadful. We were slowly chugging along through Dawlish and suddenly there was an almighty CRASH and a wave just covered the carriage, it made everyone jump!! The force rocked the carriage, was glad the weather had improved by the time I headed back home that day!! On a sunny, calm day it is the best view ever!!! I shall miss my train trips!! I have now exchanged a train jaunt along the coast for a bike ride along the canal path!!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, it sounds frightening! I'm glad you only experienced it once! Hope your Stepmother is settling down in her new surroundings and your journey to see her sounds just as enjoyable!
      Sarah x

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  35. Funnily enough that's my favourite train journey! Great pics Sarah :)

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  36. GOOD MORNING SARAH and Daisy! YES my dears, when you can, try this poetic exercise! I have taught it to my fourth graders and I finally did it myself, and it is so rewarding! Thank you very much for reading and commenting! I hope you and your husband are well; may your spring weather come soon so you can get out and enjoy the sunshine. We are still waiting for our weather to cooperate!

    Many hugs, Anita

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  37. And your dream finally came true. Your phoro's and your country are beautiful. Thank you for your good wishes.

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  38. When I was walking on the beach this morning I was thinking about all the things we have brought home over the years and how little there seems to be washed up lately. Once we brought home the most enormous piece of driftwood which had been a tree; it only just fitted in the car. I used to travel along that line each year when I visited my father after my parents' divorced. Put on the train in Cornwall, then arriving at Derby. It has sad memories especially on the way back knowing I wouldn't see him again for a year. Great post and I love that video.
    Ruth x

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  39. The most memorable train ride I took near water was around a cranberry bog in Massachusetts, USA, but my most favorite spot in all the world is on any ocean beach. Your blog name popped up when I was checking out a new blogging friend's blog. I am adding your blog to my blog roll so that I can get to know you better [and admire your lovely photos.:)] It takes several hours to get to the ocean from where I live now near the base of Mr. Hood. For seven years I was able to live two blocks from the ocean on the northern California coast and I miss that everyday joy although I do enjoy the beauty around me here and sharing it through photos as well. Thanks for posting!!! xxGracie

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  40. I'd love to take the Snowdon Mountain Railway. I love steam trains and have travelled on the Paignton to Kingswear Line. There are so many others to do! The carriages remind me of travelling on holiday to the coast as a child-with corridors and compartments, and little sliding windows. I travel the Paignton to Exeter line regularly with work and always stop to look out,its so beautiful, but its quite surprising how many people keep their eyes on their laptops and phones.

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  41. I know that your sea was a continent away...but it still pinged my heart. There is the one photo that could be taken in White Rock, BC.

    Sounds like a memorable journey.

    Jen

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  42. That must be the most awesome train ride. I can just imagine the views.

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  43. I loved this post; I used to travel long distances by train and this is one of my favourite journeys. I also used to live between Exeter and Topsham and have enjoyed remembering the landscape from your lovely photographs. The sunlight on the sea is beautiful.

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  44. Hello Sarah,

    Thanks very much for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comment. Much appreciated. I have visited the UK one time back in 2003 and visited the south Coast... So Many wonderful Memories of your country Down By The Sea.. Hugs Judy

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  45. Hello Sarah, I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how you put your videos on your blog??? I would love to try and do this. Thanks Hugs Judy

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    1. Hi Judy ,
      Although you can upload a video from your computer to blogger. I have found it is easier to upload on on to you tube and then link it to there. Using you tube doesn't affect using up space on blogger too. Hope this helps. Sarah x

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    2. Thank you Sarah for your advice. Much appreciated. Hugs Judy

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  46. I really liked this post with the pretty pictures of the sea and coast. I love trains and have taken many. I used to have to take a train to go to high school. I also liked to take a train to Normandie like Deauville from Paris, that did not take long. Of course the first time I went to London I took a train from Paris to Dieppe for the ferry, then a train to Victoria. My latest train ride, and it was a beauty, was last October from Nice to Monaco.

    One of my favorite train rides was in the Yukon, Canada. It was a very small train, the one they had built for the gold rush, and it went over tall bridges over rushing rivers. I used to love taking the night train at Gare de Lyon going to Italy. I would go to the restaurant compartment first, and would try to get up during the night when we stopped in Switzerland to buy chocolate! Another neat little train is the one going from Nice to Digne through the Alpes Maritimes – beautiful views too. I also took a very fast train in Japan and the TGV from Paris to Brussels. Unfortunately there are not many passenger trains left in the US, and it’s a shame.

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    1. Thank you for sharing these train rides with us they sound wonderful!
      Sarah x

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  47. Oh my word...I want to go! So incredible:)

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