Making up one third of the arresting English Riviera while its coastal town counterparts Torquay and Brixam make up the rest, Paignton in Devon has been a popular family holiday destination since the Victorians arrived by rail in droves.
As well as boasting vast sandcastle-ready beaches, lush gardens, a charming harbour and a traditional pier with fairground attractions, Paignton’s seafront is a hub of arts and culture with its impressive theatre and cinema complex. Here, you’ll also find a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants offering local delicacies, astonishing views and a vibrant nightlife.
Should history float your boat, you’ll be interested to know that Paignton has Celtic roots and some amazing architectural offerings. Be sure to check out Oldway, a mansion with flavours of Versailles that was built in 1874 by Isaac Singer of sewing machine fame, and the National Trust’s Compton Castle – which has its own ghost!
You can see the Torbay coast as your ancestors did; just jump on a steam train from Paignton GWR Station, amble along the scenic shoreline and then mosey on over to Dartmouth by ferry. The Dartmouth to Torbay Railway line opened in 1859 and provided pretty Paignton with a link to London and a whole host of tourists. A huge pudding was baked to mark the occasion, which caused uproar amongst the townspeople – a locomotion commotion, if you will! Before and after this event, Paignton Puddings have been a local celebratory tradition earning Paignton residents the nickname of “pudden eaters”.
If daring desserts and steam engines aren’t tantalising enough, perhaps an animal adventure will drive your party wild. Paignton Zoo has a wealth of over 2000 creatures big and small, from African elephants to the Hartmann’s mountain Zebra. With its indoor play area, daily keeper talks and year-round events – this is an excellent all-weather attraction for all ages.
As well as fascinating old buildings there are plenty of beautiful holiday cottages in Paignton that are bound to delight. Check out our Paignton holiday cottage recommendations today.