Our guide to self-catering holidays in Paignton

There’s something about Paignton holidays that takes us right back to the days when we were small and enjoying beach breaks away with our own mums and dads, and the resort still has that nostalgic atmosphere that reminds us of early holidays and makes us smile.

Sunny summer days see families descend on the area’s sandy beaches to unroll their towels and see who can build the biggest sandcastle, and attractions such as Paignton Zoo and the Dartmouth Steam Railway mean that whatever the weather decides to do there’s a day out to suit every visitor.

Paignton attractions

The Paignton attractions that make a good holiday a great one mean there’s a day out to enjoy no matter when you visit. Who doesn’t love pedalling their way around a boating lake while the kids shout for you to speed up? Well those of you who do are in luck, Goodrington boating lake’s home to swan pedalos, so families can take some time out on the water.

Paignton Zoo’s one of the South West’s leading family attractions, and if you buy a joint ticket you’ll be able to enter the Living Coasts attraction beside Torquay harbour too. We should probably point out that not only is Living Coasts home to a free-roaming collection of friendly penguins, but it even has a zebra crossing for them to waddle across between the humans!

If you fancy seeing some of the countryside that we all know and love South Devon for you can board the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Paignton and chug your way on to Kingswear (where you can board a ferry to Dartmouth), or hop off at Greenway Halt station and wander through woodland to the summer retreat Agatha Christie loved.

Imagine if you could wind the clock back to the days when Agatha Christie called Torbay home…well, hop aboard Barnaby the vintage Agatha Christie bus on Paignton’s seafront and you’ll be ferried to Greenway House , the queen of crime’s former summer home. Barnaby found fame in the TV series Heartbeat, and you’ll be entertained on the short journey to Churston with a commentary on Agatha’s life in the area from the guide and driver…be warned though, it’s a bumpy ride!

Things to do in Paignton

Did somebody say “sandy beach”? The sandiest jewel in the English Riviera’s crown, spending time together on the local beaches is one of our favourite things to do in Paignton. First of all there’s Paignton Sands, the longest sandy beach in Torbay (and a Seaside Award holder too don’t you know), and then there’s the collection of family attractions in the local area that keep sun seekers flocking to the town every year.

We should point out that not only is the beach huge at low tide, but a study recently showed that it has the best sand for making sandcastles in the whole of the UK. So, if your usual attempts at sandy creations end up in crumbling messes while the kids look bemused there’ll be no excuses this time…

The beach backs onto Paignton Green, a wide grassy space that’s now home to the kind of play park the kids won’t want to leave – the Geoplay Park, and the summer sees friendly donkeys set up camp on there ready to ferry toddlers around their enclosure while mum stands back with the camera at the ready.

Just along from Paignton Sands, Goodrington Sands is another of South Devon’s most popular beaches, and with a curving arc of sand, plenty of amenities and the excitement of the odd steam train passing by it has the feeling of days gone by to it. If you stand on the sand and look up you’ll see curving flumes jutting from Splashdown Quaywest Waterpark, and it’s not only the UK’s largest waterpark but its setting right beside the beach makes it one of the most picturesque too.

Our favourite restaurants in Paignton

When the sun starts to set after a blissful day on the beach there’s only one thing for it, to pick a restaurant and start thinking about what you’re going to tuck into. The restaurants in Paignton include some of our favourites in the bay, and we’d have to point you in the direction of Squires Fish and Chips if you fancy being traditional during your time by the sea, or The Harbour Light if you want dinner with a view. If you fancy embracing Devon life during your stay, head to Occombe Farm Shop and stock up on local fruit and veg.

It’s only right that we mention the most popular Paignton restaurant according to TripAdvisor, and that’s TJ’s. With views across the harbour, and a reputation for fantastic service with a friendly atmosphere, TJ’s offers tapas in style, and it’s a great place for that special meal during your stay in Paignton.

Paignton holiday cottages

Every property in our collection of Paignton holiday cottages has been carefully selected by one of our local experts, so we can be sure that when you open the door and drop your bags your first thought is “wow”. Many have sea views so you can make the most of life in Torbay, others are so close to the nearest beach that you can check the tide without even stepping foot outside, and then there are the pretty cottages that feel like a home from home.

If you want to take your dog along and make the most of the many coastal walks in the area then check out our dog friendly cottages, just look for the doggie icon beside the property. There’s good news for the mums and dads amongst you too, every property in our baby friendly collection has a cot and a high chair to make things easier – just look for the dummy icon when you browse for your perfect pad.

Torbay Velopark

There’s one attraction in Paignton that should be top of the list for anyone with a love of cycling, Torbay Velopark. The closed road circuit is 1.5km long and opens every day of the week, and it’s the perfect place for cyclists of all abilities to enjoy some time in the saddle. You’ll find the track at Clennon Valley, and...

Occombe Beer Festival

No matter where you go you’ll always find that one attraction in every region that just knows how to throw an annual event that the crowds flock to, and Occombe Farm in South Devon has become as notorious for its beer festival as it is for its produce. Tickets are sold in advance (as early as April) and it’s usually...
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