A popular holiday resort situated on Torbay some 18.5 miles (39) miles south of Exeter.

Paignton Harbour

Paignton Harbour by Garth Newton - CCL

Paignton started as a small fishing village, until 1837, when a new harbour was constructed and the town began to grow. As was the case with its close neighbour Torquay, the coming of the railway in 1859 led to its rapid growth into a thriving holiday centre. The town retains many good examples of Victorian and earlier architecture, such as the late medieval stone built Kirkham House, run by English Heritage. Next door to the Parish Church stands Coverdale Tower, named after Bishop Miles Coverdale of Exeter, who published an English Bible translation in 1536.

Today, the entire Torbay area continues to enjoy its reputation as the English Riviera due to the mild climate and sub-tropical trees and gardens. Paignton has all the gift shops, restaurants and guest houses you would expect to find a major seaside resort. Paignton sands stretch alongside a fine esplanade which is dominated by the 780 ft (240 m) Pier and there are more sandy beaches from Goodrington to Hollicombe Bay. The pier has many children's rides, old slot machines and other amusements.

Tourist Information Centre:

The Esplanade, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 6ED - Tel: 01803 211211

Content by B Benney

Places of interest to visit in Paignton

Century of Playtime

This is a museum with a difference. It contains a collection of toys from years gone by that will take you right back to your childhood.

Location: 30 Winner St, Paignton, Devon, TQ3 3BJ - Tel: 01803 403017

Oldway Mansion and Gardens

Oldway Mansion is a large house built around 1870 for Isaac Merritt Singer, who made his fortune from advancements to the design of the sewing machine. It is now owned by the Torbay Council and open to the public. It has a grand marble staircase and a miniature hall of mirrors an idea borrowed from the Palace of Versailles. The impressive landscaped gardens extend to some 17 acres.

Location: Torquay Rd, Paignton TQ3 2TY - Tel: 01803 207933

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

This is a combined zoo and botanical gardens covering some 72 acres. The zoo is one of the largest and most popular in Britain with over 2000 animals and often features in TV animal programs. Set in secluded woodland, with spacious naturalistic enclosures. Regular feeding times and keeper talks.

Opening times: all year, daily 10am to 6pm (5 in winter) closed Xmas. Admission Charge
Location: Environmental Park, Totnes Rd, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 7EU - Tel: 01803 697500 - Website
Facilities: parking, refreshments, licensed restaurant, gift shop, children's play area

Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway

Restored GWR steam train line, running from Paignton to Kingswear. At Kingswear a ferry can be boarded for the river crossing to Dartmouth.

Opening times: Jun~Sep, daily 9am to 5.30pm Admission Charge
Location: Oueens Park Station, Torbay Rd, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 6AF - Tel: 01803 555872 - Website
Facilities: Parking (5 mins walk,) wheelchair ramp for boarding trains, gift shop

Quaywest Waterpark

Situated on the beach at Goodrington Sands this attraction has eight water slides and flumes, a swimming pool and children's and toddler play areas.

Opening times: vary, see website for details Admission Charge
Location: Tanners Road, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 6LN - Tel: 01803 555550 - Website

Map of Paignton


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