Are you on the lookout for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle? A spot that combines natural beauty with fascinating heritage? Look no further than Paignton, a delightful seaside town nestled in the heart of the English Riviera, in the sunny South Devon.
Travelling to Paignton is as easy as a walk in the park, regardless of where you’re coming from. For those who prefer to fly, Exeter International Airport is just 45 kilometres away. Regular trains from London Paddington to Paignton also make it a breeze for anyone travelling by rail. And for those who love a good drive, Paignton is easily accessible via the M5 and A380.
Once you’ve landed in this lovely town, the first thing you’ll notice is the splendid array of Victorian architecture, harking back to Paignton’s origins as a quiet fishing village turned holiday hot-spot in the 19th century. The Paignton Pier, a 240-metre-long pleasure pier, is an absolute must-visit. Built in 1879, it’s a nostalgic reminder of the grandeur of Victorian engineering, offering not only stunning views of the coastline, but also plenty of old-fashioned fun with amusements and rides.
Another intriguing landmark is Kirkham House, an exquisite medieval dwelling tucked away behind the town’s busy streets. Open to the public during the summer months, you can explore the well-preserved rooms and learn about the lives of its former residents.
For nature enthusiasts, Paignton doesn’t disappoint. From scenic coastal paths to the lush greenery of the Devon countryside, there are numerous walks to enjoy. The South West Coast Path, stretching from Brixham to Torquay, is a favourite, offering stunning sea views, beautiful beaches, and charming cafes along the way. Don’t miss the walk to Roundham Head, a peaceful park overlooking the harbour, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Torbay.
If you’re fond of green spaces, make sure to visit the lovely Victorian Park at Goodrington. With its lush gardens, tranquil ponds and an abundance of wildlife, it’s an oasis of calm in the heart of the town.
Did you know Paignton is also home to the third largest zoo in the UK? Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is an exciting day out for families. With over 2,500 animals spread across 80 acres, it’s a conservation and education hub where you can meet everything from mighty gorillas to colourful parrots.
A visit to Paignton isn’t complete without a trip to the beach. Paignton Sands, with its long stretch of red sands and clear waters, is a favourite for families. You can rent a deckchair, build a sandcastle, or even take a dip if you’re feeling brave.
As for dining, Paignton offers a wonderful array of traditional British seaside fare. You can’t visit the seaside without indulging in fish and chips. There’s also the local Devonshire cream tea, a delightful treat of scones, clotted cream, and jam.
Before you leave, don’t forget to take a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway. This heritage railway offers a picturesque journey along the coastline and through the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In essence, Paignton is a seaside gem steeped in history and brimming with natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a family in search of a fun-filled holiday, Paignton offers something for everyone. So why not plan a visit and experience all these wonders for yourself? You’ll be chuffed to bits with all that Paignton has to offer!