The very different faces of Dawlish and neighbouring Teignmouth make for an unlikely alliance: one is well spoken and delicately nibbles on scones piled high with cream and jam, while the other chomps on sweets and begs for a good time with the kiss-me-quick brigade. Mere minutes separate the two towns and holidaymakers find charms in both of these pleasant destinations in Devon, on Britain's south coast.
Dawlish is the refined Regency town, where cream teas and a picnic on The Lawn - the town's verdant parkland heart - are obligatory. Hotels in Dawlish are typical of those on the English Riviera, with cosy B&Bs in converted homes and grand hotels on the seafront.
Teignmouth, just minutes along the coast, also features fine Georgian and Victorian buildings, and it is steeped in maritime history, but the town has also retained the classic image of a British seaside resort, with a pier packed with amusements, fish and chip shops, and souvenir shops dotting the sea front.
A range of Teignmouth hotels can be found within minutes of the sea, and accommodation types include B&Bs, self-catering holiday parks and small hotels with good amenities. Don't expect the well-known hotel brands in town, you'll only find low-cost offerings from the likes of Travelodge and Premier Inn within the area.
Hotels in Dawlish and Teignmouth are quite similar in style and price, and the pleasures of the coast can be easily reached, wherever you choose to stay.
Be aware that in the peak seasons and around public holidays, some Dawlish and Teignmouth hotels might demand a two-night minimum stay. The hotels fill fast, especially in summer, so booking early is the best way to secure your break in lovely, diverse Devon.
Top five attractions
Straight out of the pages of an Enid Blyton book, the secluded beach at Coryton Cove features multi-coloured beach huts, steep cliffs and a working railway track, on which trains occasionally chug by.
When you get bored of the sand and shingles of Dawlish and Teignmouth, head to the mud flats of Dawlish Warren to meet the local friendly birds and a diverse range of wildlife.
On a clear day, you can gaze across the bay towards the Jurassic Coast. This ancient and fossil-rich stretch of coast ends in nearby Exmouth, but a quick journey will enable exploration and fossil hunting.
Dartmoor National Park
Less than an hour from Dawlish and Teignmouth is this spectacular and vast area of protected moorland, which seems to change mood with the weather. Enjoy walks in the hills.
Another short journey will deliver you to Totnes, a delightful and historic market town with much to offer visitors.
Teignmouth Carnival; July: A summer-time extravaganza of music, food and good times for the whole family.
Dawlish Air Show; August: Thousands visit the seaside resort to see the aerial acrobatics and displays of a huge variety of aircraft, including some vintage models. Be sure to book accommodation in good time to secure rooms during this popular event.
Dawlish Christmas Market; December: It might be a bustling summer destination, but Dawlish attracts crowds in winter too, especially with this pleasant market on the Strand.