Torquay, Paignton & Brixham
England's Most Popular Resort
When the Brits head for a holiday in their own country, where do they go? Well, it turns out that more go to Torbay than any other inland destination. Torbay is a region on the south-we
Once a fishing village, the centre of Torquay is probably the harbor, now surrounded by shops and restaurants, penny arcades, and the Living Coasts mini-zoo which specializes in marine life such as sea birds and seals. You can also catch the half-hourly ferry from here to Brixham or
The Princess Theatre beside the harbor usually has some TV mini-celebrities playing there, and at Christmas-time they run a traditional pantomime show for the kids - Jack & The Beanstalk, for example. A bit further around the sea-front by the historic Torre Abbey, there is usually a fun-fair with rides and sometimes a balloon to give you a bird's-eye view of the bay.
Just up the road a mile or two is Kent's Cavern. This is a cave system rediscovered in the 19th Century. Inhab
Of course, being a seaside resort, Torquay has a number of beaches for the sun worshippers, and cliffside walks for those who prefer a bit of a challenge (the area is very hilly - it's those ancient volcanoes). Meadfoot beach is pebbly rather than sandy, but there is the chance of finding a fossil or two as although this is not the region known officially as the Jurassic Coast, which begins a few miles further East at Exmouth, it is nevertheless designated as a site of special scientific interest. For sandy beaches, you might try Torquay beach, or Oddicombe beach. These
Not far from Oddicombe beach is the Babbacombe Model Village - a strange sort of entertainment, but good fun for the kids to see toys used to make a whole miniature town.
Paignton has a large sea front, and lots of shops and cafes to attract the tourists. It is also full of hotels, so if you are holidaying in the region there is a good chance that your hotel will be situated here, most likely only a few minutes' walk from the beach. If you're not keen on that beach (although it is a good one) you might like Preston Sands and Goodrington Sands, each a short walk or bus ride further West along the coast. Preston Sands are often used for kite surfing and dinghy sailing.
For me, though, Paignton's main attraction is the world famous Paignton Zoo: one of the best in the country and certainly far superior to London Zoo. Paignton Zoo is quite large so it would be easy to spend a full day here. There is a mini-train ride around the zoo that the kids will love, and the restaurant serves a good selection of food.
Brixham is basically a quaint little fishing villa
Nowadays, the harbour is mainly populated by fishing boats and pleasure yachts. The town is known also for Berry Head, the penninsula on which the town of Brixham stands. This is a national nature reserve including a lighthouse, the remains