Your guide to holidays in Brixham
Every inch the working Devon fishing town, Brixham holidays are all about experiencing Devon life in all its glory. With a sheltered position in South Devon’s Torbay, Brixham is made up of cobbled streets that wind their way down to the bustling harbour, and the traditional shops that line them showcase locally made souvenirs, crafts and foods.
Pick any summer’s day in the harbour town and you’ll find children peering over the harbourside to see if they’re attempts at crabbing are bearing fruit, and the smell of the catch of the day wafts through the air from the restaurants that huddle around the harbour.
Things to do in Brixham
The Golden Hind replica that sits in the harbour is a constant reminder of Brixham’s maritime past, and every year the Brixham Pirate Festival sees the town celebrate all things nautical with fancy dress for all and a host of activities for one weekend. It’s not uncommon to wander past a group of pirates raising their voices in sea shanty, and if you’re beside the harbour at the right time you’ll even see an unfortunate pirate walk the plank. If you prefer to visit without taking on the character of a pirate, don’t worry, there are planet of things to do in Brixham that make the most of its spectacular South Devon setting.
There’s a laidback atmosphere throughout Brixham that makes it a retreat from the pace of everyday life, and with some of the county’s most spectacular scenery on the doorstep it attracts walkers throughout the year. Whether you’re content to sample a Devon cream tea in the sunshine or you’re keen to get exploring, Brixham’s just the right balance between escaping from it all yet being within easy reach of some fantastic days out.
Now we’ll let you in on a little secret of a beauty spot called Berry Head that’s got to be one of our very favourite Brixham attractions. The Berry Head Nature Reserve is a dramatic jutting headland, and if you sit back and listen to the waves crash below you’ll feel a world away from home. There’s a bird watching hut perched on the edge of the cliff too, and if you sit back and watch the sea swirling below for awhile you may just spot a seal. Berry Head’s also home to a Napoleonic fort and the UK’s smallest lighthouse – and it’s worth wandering up to the park just to take in the panoramic views across the bay.
Greenway House in nearby Churston is a must for any fans of Dame Agatha Christie, as this gem of a National Trust house was once the family’s summer retreat from the public’s gaze, and it’s full of their personal possessions and collections. The ITV version of Dead Man’s Folly was filmed in the grounds, and with views over the twinkling river Dart below they make a beautiful setting for a stroll.
The summer sees ferries run between Brixham’s harbour and Torquay throughout the day, and if you keep your eyes peeled during the half an hour journey across the water you might spot a dolphin or two as they follow the boats. To see a little more of the surrounding countryside, hop aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway in nearby Churston which winds its way to Kingswear and Paignton.
Our favourite Brixham restaurants
Even if you’ve never been to Brixham then you’ll have probably heard of Brixham Fish Market. Right on the harbourside, the market sees more than 40 different varieties of fresh fish sold for auction and shipped off to restaurants throughout the country. Look at the specials board in any of the town’s seafood restaurants and you’ll most likely see 'catch of the day’, and half the fun of dinner in a Brixham restaurant is finding out what’s been landed that day and freshly prepared for the menu.
Mitch Tonks owns Rockfish Seafood Restaurant, and it sits right in the heart of the fish market made famous by the documentary ‘Fish Town’ which aired on Sky Atlantic. If you’re keen to sample the local crab, we’d recommend Claws Indoors, an informal café that specialises in crab and has a fantastic reputation.
Lytehouse is another firm favourite with us locals, and it serves up yummy new style tapas with a blissfully extensive wine list. The head chef Daniel serves up the finest local ingredients, so a visit means you can partake in a little taste of the South West as well as experience the friendly atmosphere that we all know and love Brixham for.
Brixham holiday cottages
We think you’ll love Brixham…it’s one of those little harbour towns that’s kept its character and instantly makes you feel at home, and every single one of our Brixham holiday cottages has something special about it to make your stay a special one. Many of them have views across the harbour so you can watch the fishing boats come and go without even leaving your sofa, others have sweeping views of the bay, and then there are the stylish interiors that just beg you to relax and forget the rest of the world for a few days.