The English Riviera boasts 22 miles of varied and spectacular
coastline with cliffs, coves, sandy beaches and walks to rival
any in the South West of England. The three towns of Torquay,
Paignton and Brixham nestle around the horseshoe bay and enjoy
a climate you would expect to find much further South. Rightly
famed for its palm trees and floral displays the English Riviera
boasts over 2,000 acres of public gardens and parks where
the diversity of plant life never ceases to astound those
To view a great video of The English Riviera Global Geopark and the geological history of the bay please click here
A numerous range of attractions to suit all ages awaits you,
in fact there is so much to see and do that most of our guests
find they need more than one holiday to fit everything in!
Preston and Paignton’s sands run for well over a mile
and its gently sloping beaches are ideal for families with
children. Behind the beaches are the Green, which
is used for a wide variety of organised activities throughout
the Spring, Summer & Autumn.
Zoo is perhaps one of the most famous of Paignton's attractions.
No holiday in Torbay would be complete without a visit to
Paignton’s world acclaimed Zoo and environmental park.
Covering 75 acres it houses over 1,000 animals and includes
around 60 endangered species, truly one of Torbay’s
The Paignton & Dartmouth steam railway is a must to see
and runs for seven miles between Paignton and Kingswear then
back again several times a day. It runs regularly from April
through to October and takes you on a nostalgic journey back
in time through the glorious Devon countryside.
good way to combine a visit to Dartmouth and Totnes, is to
take the circular tour the 'Round Robin' - this incorporates
a trip on the open top bus from Paignton to Totnes, a boat
trip down the River Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth and the
final leg is the steam train from Kingswear back to Paignton.
With various bus, boat and train times, this gives shopping
time in both Totnes and Dartmouth. It can be taken clockwise
or anticlockwise depending on tide times and individual requirements.
The boat trip down the river is really spectacular, the views
of Dartmoor and countryside from the open top bus are an eye
opener, and for those steam train fans the ride back from
Kingswear a real joy. One definitely not to be missed!
Paignton Pier is an entertainments centre all of its own where
admission is free. Fun for all the family can be had whatever
the weather and the breathtaking panoramic views of the bay
have to be seen to be appreciated.
For those who enjoy the water, Quaywest the English Rivera’s
only outdoor water park can be found next to Goodrington sands
a 10 to 15 minute walk from Paignton town centre. As well
as boating lakes and Go-Karts here you will find 8 water flumes
totalling almost a mile long if connected end to end.
Kents Cavern at Babbacombe is by far Britain’s most
important Palaeolithic (old stone age) cave system. Flint
axes have been found there which have been dated by scientists
as being over 700,000 years old. You can take a tour of the
magnificent caverns and view the passages and chambers with
their stalactite and stalagmite formations while you take
in the sound and light shows.
The model village at Babbacombe is renowned as one of the
top 20 places in Britain you must visit. With literally hundreds
of twelfth scale models set in award winning gardens, photographers
will find this a paradise. It includes 2 villages, farms,
lakes, waterfalls and a host of other things that will amaze
Cockington village nestles in a secluded valley between Paignton
and Torquay where its world famous thatched cottages have
largely remained untouched by the passing of time. Take a
step back in time and take a horse and trap ride to the house.
Here you will also find a variety of walks through
woodland and ornamental grounds, a craft centre and a Norman
A full sized reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s ship
“The Golden Hind” can be found and boarded in
Brixham, Drake circumnavigated the world in “The Golden
Hind” during 1577-1580.
Also in Brixham is Berry Head Country Park, a site of special
scientific interest and nature reserve of national importance
due to its rare plant species and large sea bird colony. It
is a stunning cliff top site with superb views based around
two Napoleonic forts
A little further a field yet still only 15 minutes by car
is Totnes the oldest town in England, this small historic
town contains the most original shops to be found anywhere
in England. Here you will also find Totnes castle and boats
that can take you on the river Dart all the way down to Dartmouth.
Around 20 miles from Paignton is Dartmoor National Park with
its Tors and breathtaking views.
can visit the lovely “Widdicombe in the Moor”
where the story of Uncle Tom Cobbly was born and see written
in the church porch the place the devil was last seen. Wildlife
abounds and of course no visit would be complete without a
photograph of the famous Dartmoor ponies.
Either side of Torbay can be found the cities of Exeter and
Plymouth both of which can be reached in around 40 minutes
For the more adventurous
a taster session or short course in Paragliding can be taken
with the South West Paragliding School. Diving, sailing
and boating can all be found locally - please go to our local
from Occombe Valley down to Preston and across to Brixham