Teignmouth South Devon has been an important port and boat building centre from medieval times. For over 400 years until the end of the nineteenth century, fishermen from the port would head for the storm lashed cod banks off Newfoundland. With the opening of a mineral tramway off the moor and the Stover Canal the port then became a centre for the export of granite and later of ball clay.
Though the Haytor Granite Quarries and the Canal are long since closed the port continues to thrive. The commercial traffic of today includes timber from the Baltic to fertilizers, to ball clay for export from the claypits of the nearby Bovey Basin. Indeed after recent expansion of the Docks the harbour sees nearly a thousand commercial shipping movements a year, taking vessels up to 100m long. Bathing very dangerous in river mouth and approaches.
The older part of Teignmouth town is a maze of narrow alleys- all fronting onto Back Beach and the harbour. Take in the colourful scene- maybe fishing boats landing their catch, ocean going vessels guided by the local pilots into the docks at high water, the foot ferry plying across to picturesque Shaldon much has it has done for centuries, yachts on moorings. The multi coloured beach huts on the Spit.
Given its maritime history you will not be surprised to learn that Teignmouth has over a dozen pubs: Ship Inn great to sit outside in the evening sunshine, kids can play on the beach; New Quay Inn famous for its live bands including jazz and for bed and breakfast; the Blue Anchor for its range real ales; upriver Combe Cellars or The 'Cellars' as known locally.
The South Devon Railway arrived in the Teignmouth in the early 19th century, turning it into the popular Devon holiday destination it remains today. Witness the rows of elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses over looking the Esplanade. The Grand Pier dates from 1865.
Wander along the Seafront and Esplanade with Bowling Green, Tennis Courts, and Open Air Paddling Pool and Lido.
Teignmouth Beach. Enjoy the summer sunshine on Main Beach reaching from the Estuary mouth towards Dawlish, with the Pier in the middle backed by the Esplanade. This generally sandy beach slopes slowly towards the sea. Lifeguard manned in season-dangerous currents near river mouth. Lots of shops, cafes all within easy walking distance. Dog ban in season. Notice the Den Lighthouse built in 1845?
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Though numbers have declined in recent years the Teign is still an important Devon Salmon river, and if you venture inland on a day trip to Dartmoor, you may be lucky after the first of the autumn rains, to see the silver flash of these magnificent fish as they jump the weirs at Fingle and Drewes Weirs, beneath Castle Drogo on their way to spawn in the River's upper reaches. The Drogo Estate offers some of the most dramatic walks in Devon with breathtaking views over the Teign Valley as the River tumbles through a boulder strewn wooded valley on the way to the sea.
In the middle of the river below the bridge is ‘the Salty’ meaning a small island. At low water maybe see the locals raking for cockles and mussels. In summer Devon holiday makers fish for bass on the incoming tide using live sandeel. In winter the estuary was renown for chance of catching very large flounders, particularly if using peeler crab as bait. Note the Teign estuary is an important bass nursery area, fishing for bass from a boat is prohibited for much of the year. Please respect minimum sizes and practice catch and release, or put back all undersize fish. Did you know that though the road bridge was widened a few years ago in the early 19th century the estuary was crossed by a timber trestle bridge at the time the longest such bridge in the country? Visit the fascinating Teignmouth & Shaldon Museum. http://www.teignmuseum.org.uk
Sample the delights of the Combe Cellars pub and even further upriver, near the Teign’s tidal limit, the Passage House Inn. Both with outstanding views over the Estuary and very pleasant places to sit outside, have a meal and a drink, and watch the world go by particularly on a warm summers evening.
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