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Local Attractions
Local Attractions

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 visiting.

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.

Paignton 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 finest attractions.

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.

A 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 you.

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 church.

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.  You 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 by car.

Diving, sailing and boating can all be found locally - please go to our local links page.

Events in Paignton and the surrounding area

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway

Splashdown @ Quaywest Water Park - slides and flumes

Paignton Pier - amusements

Torbay Leisure Centre -Velopark, swimming, gym, sauna, keep fit, racket games and crèche etc

Local Live Webcams

Oldway Mansion - Formerly the home of the Singer (sewing machine) Family


Multiplex 9 screen licensed cinema

Historical Kirkham House



Views from Occombe Valley down to Preston and across to Brixham 



 Resident Proprietors: Trish, Andy and Simon Holt
©2004 Guys Cliffe