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Area Guide to Paignton

Paignton is the central point in Torbay with a number of beautiful stretches of coastland and vast beaches such as Preston Sands, Goodrington and Broadsands as well as a smattering of hidden coves used for recreation and water sports. The famous Paignton Pier and a number of cafes & restaurants can be found in Paignton town centre and seafront making this a typical British seaside destination. The town centre has recently been granted a substantial sum from the government for its regeneration of the towns retail centre and surrounding areas.

A Brief History of Paignton

Paignton started as a predominantly farming and fishing community noted especially for excellent cider. It is the home of the ‘Paignton Pudding’ and the notorious Paignton Pudding riot in 1859 where chaos erupted to try and get a taste of the celebratory pudding that was created for the opening of the railway station, it was approx. 5ft tall and 13.6ft in circumference!

Isaac Merritt Singer commissioned a stunning home – Oldway Mansion – where he resided after making his fortunes through his Singer sewing machines. Another famous face from Paignton is tennis superstar Sue Barker.

Travel & Transport

Road - Accessed from the M5 and new South Devon Link Road

Rail – Paignton station has direct links to London as well as being a stop for the Dartmouth Steam Railway

Bus – There is a central bus station linking the local towns and with regular services to Exeter & Plymouth

Schools & Education

Paignton is just a short drive from the sought after Churston Ferrers Grammar School which is approximately 2 miles. It is also nearby the Torquay Boys & Girls Grammar Schools. South Devon College & University Centre is located here with its ever expanding buildings, facilities and courses looking to gain University status in 2024.

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Green/Blue Spaces – Enjoy an ice cream wandering down Goodrington beach or take a paddle board out as the sunsets at Broadsands, there is plenty of coastline to explore here connected to the rest of Torbay by the South West Coastpath. There are some lesser known coves that are well worth visiting such as Elberry Cove reached either from Broadsands beach up and over a green cliff path or from Churston throught the golf course and down through the boarding wooods & Oyster Cove where you can go rock hopping around the coast to Goodrington beach in low tide. Paignton green is well manicured and hosts the fairground every summer bordered with our colourful beach huts.

For The Kids – As a popular holiday destination there are tons of family activities in Paignton from the Splashdown waterpark in Quay West situated in Goodrington to Paignton Zoo and conservation centre as well as the popular arcades and in summer a huge fairground across Paignton Green. There is also pirate themed crazy golf and escape rooms near the multiplex Vue cinema.

If you are looking for something to do that is free there is a fantastic playground (The Paignton Geopark) just set back from Paignton seafront where kids can run wild.

Culture – Historically Paignton was home to arguably the oldest cinema in Europe which whilst currently closed has plans for development to restore it back to its original glory. There is a wonderful harbour and plenty of watersports. The English Riviera Airshow is a popular annual event where locals spread across the beaches and parks to watch the display. Catch the steam train to Dartmouth and along the stunning Devon coast.

Dining/Nights Out – There are a number of nice restaurants in Paignton, The Torbay Thai is one of our particular favourites but be sure to book well in advance as this small restaurant gets booked up very quick. TJs restaurant at Paignton Harbour will offer some of the best seafood in the town and if you want a delicious lunch spot or a place for live music and wicked cocktails be sure to check out The Lion’s Monocle in Paignton Town Centre.

Head to Goodrington for the day and you could find your lunch time at ‘Cantina’ spreads well into a lazy afternoon/ evening listening to live music in the sun and drinking the local drafts they have on offer. Fantastic atmosphere and brilliant food too! (dog friendly)

NB: All recommendations have multiple veggie & vegan options.

Sport – Paignton is home to a large leisure centre which has an outdoor velodrome which hosts sporting events and a weekly park run. There is also ‘The Hub’ where local team sports such as netball and football local leagues play. At the beach you can find various water sports ‘Reach Outdoors’ provide kayak and paddle board hire as well as thrill seeking activities like rock climbing and abseiling.

Charity sports events are often based in Paignton from the 5K colour rush to the Race for Life.

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