15 Best Things To Do In Paignton, England

15 Best Things To Do In Paignton, England

By will

Paignton, England is a hidden gem nestled on the beautiful South Devon coast. With its stunning beaches, charming attractions, and rich history, this seaside town offers a plethora of activities for visitors to enjoy.

From exploring the Paignton Pier to discovering the wonders of the Paignton Zoo, there is something for everyone in this vibrant destination.

As I wandered along the Paignton Pier, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the lively atmosphere and breathtaking views. The pier, dating back to the Victorian era, is a hub of entertainment with its arcade games, amusement rides, and delicious food stalls. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon, soaking up the coastal breeze and indulging in some traditional fish and chips.

But the pier is just the beginning of the adventure in Paignton. A visit to the renowned Paignton Zoo is a must for animal lovers. Home to over 2,500 animals, including lions, giraffes, and elephants, this award-winning zoo provides an up-close and personal experience with wildlife from around the world. Whether you’re exploring the lush tropical rainforest, watching a penguin parade, or getting a bird’s-eye view from the elevated viewing platforms, the Paignton Zoo promises an unforgettable day of discovery.

Paignton truly offers a blend of relaxation and excitement, making it an ideal destination for travelers of all ages. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful stroll through Victoria Park or an adrenaline-filled ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, this charming seaside town has it all.

So grab your sunscreen, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience the 15 best things to do in Paignton, England.

Exploring the Paignton Pier

Paignton Pier
Photo by Gerald England

You’ll love exploring the Paignton Pier, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and create unforgettable memories.

As soon as you step onto the pier, you’ll be greeted by a sense of excitement and anticipation. The pier is bustling with activity, from families enjoying the amusement arcade to couples strolling hand in hand along the promenade.

The sound of laughter and the smell of freshly made fish and chips fill the air, adding to the lively ambiance.

One of the highlights of the pier is the variety of attractions and entertainment options available. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer a more relaxed experience, there’s something for everyone.

Take a ride on the carousel or test your skills at the arcade games. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at fishing off the end of the pier?

The panoramic views of the bay are truly breathtaking and provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll. With its colorful lights illuminating the night sky, the Paignton Pier is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of what Paignton has to offer.

Visiting the Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo
Photo by Chris Allen

Explore the incredible wildlife at Paignton Zoo and discover an array of fascinating creatures from around the world.
As you enter the zoo, you’ll be greeted by the captivating sights and sounds of exotic animals.
From majestic lions to playful lemurs, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Take a stroll through the lush and beautifully landscaped habitats, where you can observe animals in their natural environments.
Marvel at the graceful movements of giraffes as they elegantly roam their enclosure, or catch a glimpse of the mischievous monkeys swinging from tree to tree.
With over 2,500 animals and 80 acres of land to explore, Paignton Zoo offers an unforgettable experience for animal lovers of all ages.

One of the highlights of visiting Paignton Zoo is the opportunity to see rare and endangered species up close.
The zoo is involved in conservation efforts and plays a vital role in breeding programs for endangered animals.
You can witness the efforts being made to protect these creatures and learn about the importance of conservation.
From the critically endangered Sumatran tiger to the adorable red pandas, every animal you encounter has a story to tell.
The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide interesting facts and answer any questions you may have.
Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or simply looking for a fun day out, a visit to Paignton Zoo promises to be an educational and awe-inspiring experience.

Taking a stroll through the Victoria Park

Victoria Park, Paignton
Photo by Derek Harper

When you visit Paignton, make sure to take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Victoria Park, where you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

This well-maintained park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As you wander along the winding paths, you’ll be greeted by vibrant flowerbeds, towering trees, and perfectly manicured lawns.

The park is a haven for wildlife, with ducks gliding gracefully across the pond and squirrels scampering playfully in the trees. It’s the perfect place to relax, unwind, and reconnect with nature.

Victoria Park also offers a range of amenities to enhance your visit. There are picnic areas where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by the beauty of the park. For those looking for a bit more activity, the park features a playground for children to enjoy and a tennis court for some friendly competition.

The park is also home to a charming tea room, where you can indulge in a delicious cup of tea and a slice of cake while taking in the picturesque views.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a place to enjoy some outdoor activities, a stroll through Victoria Park is a must when visiting Paignton. The park’s natural beauty, combined with its amenities, make it the perfect destination for a relaxing day out.

So, take a moment to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this stunning park. You won’t be disappointed.

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Discovering the treasures at the Paignton Palace Theatre

Step into the enchanting Paignton Palace Theatre and prepare to be captivated by its hidden treasures.

This historic theater, nestled in the heart of Paignton, offers a truly magical experience for visitors of all ages.

As you enter the theater, you’ll be greeted by the grandeur of its stunning architecture, with ornate details and a beautiful domed ceiling.

The atmosphere is filled with a sense of anticipation and excitement, as you know you’re about to witness something truly special.

Once inside, you’ll discover a world of entertainment and artistic brilliance.

The Paignton Palace Theatre hosts a wide range of performances, from live music concerts to theater productions and comedy shows.

The talented performers take the stage and transport you to a different world, where you can immerse yourself in the magic of their craft.

The acoustics in the theater are exceptional, ensuring that every note of music and every word spoken is crystal clear.

The intimate setting allows you to feel a connection with the performers, making the experience even more captivating.

The Paignton Palace Theatre is not just a place to watch a show – it’s an experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, this hidden gem in Paignton is a must-visit.

So why not step inside, take a seat, and let yourself be transported to a world of enchantment and wonder at the Paignton Palace Theatre.

Enjoying a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway

Hop aboard the charming Dartmouth Steam Railway and let the rhythmic chug of the train transport you through captivating countryside and picturesque coastal scenery.

As the train sets off from Paignton, you’ll be greeted by stunning views of the South Devon coastline, with its golden sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters.

The train winds its way through lush green fields, past quaint little villages, and along the banks of the beautiful River Dart.

As you sit back and relax in the comfortable vintage carriages, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The Victorian steam locomotives add a touch of nostalgia to the journey, and the friendly train staff are always on hand to provide interesting facts and stories about the local area.

You can even enjoy a delicious cream tea or a glass of bubbly from the onboard refreshment trolley as you soak up the scenery.

The highlight of the journey is the arrival at the historic town of Dartmouth, where you’ll have the chance to explore its charming streets, visit the ancient castle, and perhaps indulge in some fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of the English Riviera, a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway is an absolute must-do when visiting Paignton.

Exploring the history at the Oldway Mansion

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the English Riviera by exploring the elegant Oldway Mansion.

As I step through the grand entrance, I’m immediately transported back in time to a bygone era of opulence and grandeur.

The mansion, originally built in the 19th century, showcases exquisite architecture and boasts beautifully landscaped gardens that are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Inside, the mansion is filled with a treasure trove of historical artifacts and fascinating stories.

The grand staircase, adorned with intricate carvings and a stunning chandelier, sets the tone for the rest of the mansion.

Each room is meticulously decorated, giving visitors a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the past.

From the grand ballroom to the ornate sitting rooms, every detail has been carefully preserved.

One of the highlights of my visit is the chance to explore the sprawling gardens surrounding the mansion.

With their perfectly manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and peaceful ponds, the gardens provide a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

As I wander through the maze of paths, I can’t help but imagine the grand garden parties and social gatherings that must have taken place here in years gone by.

Exploring the Oldway Mansion is truly a journey back in time.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful architecture, this historic gem is a must-visit when in Paignton.

So, grab your camera and prepare to be captivated by the elegance and charm of this magnificent mansion.

Taking a boat trip to the stunning Berry Head Nature Reserve

Set sail on a boat trip and let the stunning beauty of Berry Head Nature Reserve take your breath away. As you glide through the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking cliffs and vibrant blue skies.

The reserve, located in Paignton, England, is a true natural gem that offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

Once you arrive at Berry Head, you’ll be greeted by a diverse array of wildlife and flora. The reserve is home to a variety of seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, and even the elusive puffins.

As you explore the rugged coastline, you may also spot seals basking in the sun or dolphins playing in the waves. The sheer cliffs of Berry Head are an impressive sight to behold, and their dramatic beauty is sure to leave you in awe.

But the beauty of Berry Head isn’t limited to its wildlife. The reserve is also steeped in history, with remnants of an ancient Iron Age fort still visible today.

As you wander through the reserve, you can imagine what life was like for the people who once called this place home. And with stunning views of the English Riviera and the surrounding countryside, Berry Head offers a truly magical setting for a boat trip.

So, set sail on a boat trip to Berry Head Nature Reserve and prepare to be amazed. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, this hidden gem in Paignton, England has something for everyone.

From the breathtaking cliffs to the incredible wildlife, Berry Head is a must-visit destination that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Indulging in delicious seafood at the local restaurants

When you’re ready for a culinary adventure, you’ll find yourself irresistibly drawn to the local restaurants in Paignton, England, where you can indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes that will leave you craving for more.

Paignton is a coastal town, so it’s no surprise that the seafood here is incredibly fresh and delicious. From traditional fish and chips to gourmet seafood platters, there is something to satisfy every seafood lover’s palate.

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One of the must-visit restaurants in Paignton is The Boathouse. Situated right on the waterfront, this charming eatery offers stunning views and an extensive seafood menu. You can start your meal with some succulent garlic prawns or a refreshing seafood chowder.

For the main course, their fisherman’s platter is a true delight, featuring a variety of seafood such as scallops, mussels, and prawns. The Boathouse also offers a range of vegetarian options, so everyone can find something to enjoy. The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere make this restaurant the perfect place to relax and savor the flavors of the sea.

Another fantastic option is TJ’s Restaurant, known for its exceptional seafood dishes. Their menu changes daily, depending on the availability of the freshest catches, ensuring that you always get the best quality seafood. From grilled lobster to pan-seared sea bass, every dish is expertly prepared and bursting with flavor.

The restaurant’s elegant decor and attentive service create a sophisticated dining experience that seafood enthusiasts will truly appreciate. Don’t forget to save room for dessert, as their lemon tart and chocolate fondant are heavenly treats that will perfectly complete your meal.

Paignton’s local restaurants offer a seafood experience like no other. The combination of fresh ingredients, skilled chefs, and picturesque surroundings make dining here a true delight. So, whether you’re a seafood aficionado or simply looking to try something new, make sure to explore the culinary treasures that await you in Paignton.

Shopping for unique souvenirs at the Paignton Harbour

After indulging in the delicious seafood at the local restaurants in Paignton, I decided to explore the Paignton Harbour for some unique souvenirs. Located right by the water, the harbour is not only a picturesque spot but also a bustling hub of activity.

As I walked along the waterfront, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the colorful display of shops and stalls.

One of the highlights of shopping at Paignton Harbour is the wide variety of unique souvenirs available. From handmade crafts to locally produced goods, there is something for everyone.

I found myself browsing through charming little boutiques filled with nautical-themed trinkets, beautifully crafted jewelry, and quirky seaside-inspired home decor. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly shop owners made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Whether you’re looking for a memento of your trip or a special gift for someone back home, the Paignton Harbour is the perfect place to find that one-of-a-kind item that captures the essence of this charming coastal town.

Trying your luck at the Paignton Pier Amusement Park

Get ready to have a blast at the Paignton Pier Amusement Park, where you can test your luck and enjoy thrilling rides! As soon as you step foot onto the pier, the lively atmosphere and the sound of laughter will immediately draw you in.

The amusement park offers a wide range of attractions that cater to all ages, making it the perfect destination for a fun-filled day with family and friends.

One of the highlights of the Paignton Pier Amusement Park is the variety of thrilling rides available. From classic favorites like the Ferris wheel and the carousel, to adrenaline-pumping roller coasters and high-speed twisters, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Feel the rush of wind as you soar through the air on a roller coaster, or experience the excitement of spinning and twirling on the teacup ride.

The park also offers a selection of games where you can test your skills and try your luck at winning prizes. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer a more laid-back experience, the Paignton Pier Amusement Park has it all.

Aside from the rides, the park’s location on the pier provides breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline. Take a moment to pause and soak in the panoramic vistas of the sparkling sea and sandy beaches. The vibrant colors of the amusement park rides against the backdrop of the ocean create a picture-perfect scene that you won’t want to miss.

As the sun sets, the pier lights up, creating a magical atmosphere that adds to the overall charm of the park. So, get ready to create lasting memories as you embark on a day of fun, laughter, and adventure at the Paignton Pier Amusement Park.

Discovering marine life at the Living Coasts Aquarium

After trying my luck at the Paignton Pier Amusement Park, I was ready to explore more of what Paignton had to offer. That’s when I stumbled upon the Living Coasts Aquarium, a place where I could immerse myself in the wonders of marine life.

As I entered the aquarium, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant colors and diverse array of sea creatures. From playful penguins waddling around their enclosure to graceful stingrays gliding through the water, there was something fascinating to see at every turn.

The aquarium’s spacious and well-designed exhibits allowed me to get up close and personal with the marine animals, offering a truly immersive experience. I found myself mesmerized by the graceful movements of the tropical fish and the intricate patterns of the coral reefs.

One of the highlights of my visit was the opportunity to witness the feeding sessions. The knowledgeable staff provided informative commentary as they fed the animals, sharing interesting facts about their behaviors and habitats. It was truly awe-inspiring to see the sheer variety of species that call the ocean their home, and the Living Coasts Aquarium did an excellent job of showcasing their beauty and importance.

Whether you’re a marine enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and educational experience, a visit to the Living Coasts Aquarium is a must when exploring Paignton.

Enjoying a round of golf at the Paignton Golf Club

As I stepped onto the lush green fairway of the Paignton Golf Club, I could feel the gentle breeze caressing my face and hear the satisfying thud of the golf ball as it soared through the air.

The Paignton Golf Club offers a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience for players of all skill levels. Nestled amidst the stunning Devon countryside, this 18-hole course provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape while offering a variety of obstacles to test your golfing prowess.

The course features beautifully manicured greens and fairways, surrounded by mature trees and strategically placed bunkers. Each hole presents its own unique challenges, requiring precision and strategy to navigate.

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Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, the Paignton Golf Club offers a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that will make your round a memorable one.

After a satisfying day on the course, you can relax and unwind at the club’s clubhouse, which offers a range of amenities including a bar and restaurant. Here, you can enjoy a delicious meal and a refreshing drink while taking in the panoramic views of the course.

The Paignton Golf Club is not only a great place to improve your golf game, but also a perfect setting to connect with fellow golf enthusiasts and make lasting memories.

Taking a scenic walk along the South West Coast Path

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the South West Coast Path as you embark on a scenic walk along its stunning trails.

As I set foot on this iconic path, I’m immediately captivated by the picturesque views that unfold before me. The path winds its way along the rugged coastline, offering a perfect blend of dramatic cliffs, golden sand beaches, and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

The sound of crashing waves and the salty breeze in the air create a serene atmosphere, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

The South West Coast Path in Paignton is a haven for nature enthusiasts and avid photographers alike. The diverse landscape provides endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the surrounding area.

From towering cliffs that offer panoramic views to hidden coves and rock formations, every step along the path reveals a new and awe-inspiring sight. The abundance of wildlife, including seabirds and marine life, adds to the charm of the walk.

With each passing moment, I find myself more and more enchanted by the natural wonders that unfold before my eyes.

This scenic walk along the South West Coast Path is not only a feast for the eyes but also a great way to stay active and connect with nature. The well-maintained trails are suitable for all fitness levels, and there are plenty of resting spots along the way to take in the surroundings.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, this path offers something for everyone.

As I continue my journey, I can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility and appreciation for the stunning landscapes that Paignton has to offer.

Exploring the prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern

After enjoying a scenic walk along the South West Coast Path, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore the prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern. Located in Torquay, just a short distance from Paignton, this fascinating attraction offers a glimpse into the ancient history of the region.

As I entered the cave, the cool air enveloped me, instantly transporting me back in time.

The first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the cave. With its vast chambers and intricate passageways, Kents Cavern is a true marvel of nature. As I ventured deeper into the cave, I was amazed by the incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations that adorned the walls and ceiling. The stalactites, with their graceful, icicle-like shapes, seemed to hang suspended in mid-air, while the stalagmites reached up from the ground like ancient stone pillars. It was like stepping into a hidden underground world.

As I continued my exploration, I learned about the rich history of Kents Cavern. The cave has been inhabited by humans for over 500,000 years, making it one of the oldest human settlements in Britain. Archaeological excavations have unearthed a wealth of artifacts, including tools, animal bones, and even evidence of early humans. It was truly awe-inspiring to think about the people who had once called this cave home and the stories it could tell.

Visiting Kents Cavern was a truly captivating experience. From the impressive geological formations to the fascinating history, this prehistoric cave offers a unique insight into the ancient past of the area. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply curious about the world around you, a visit to Kents Cavern is a must-do when in Paignton.

Relaxing and soaking up the sun at Goodrington Sands Beach

Located just a short distance from Kents Cavern, Goodrington Sands Beach is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.

With its golden sand, clear blue waters, and stunning views, this beach offers a serene and picturesque setting for a day of leisure.

Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, take a refreshing swim, or simply enjoy a peaceful stroll along the shoreline, Goodrington Sands Beach has something for everyone.

One of the highlights of this beach is its cleanliness and well-maintained facilities.

The golden sand is soft and inviting, perfect for lounging on a beach towel or building sandcastles with the family.

The crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming and paddling, offering a refreshing respite from the summer heat.

And for those looking for a little adventure, there are various water sports activities available, such as paddleboarding and kayaking.

Aside from its natural beauty, Goodrington Sands Beach also boasts a range of amenities to enhance your beach experience.

There are cafes and kiosks where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy an ice cream while taking in the breathtaking views.

The beach is also equipped with clean public toilets and ample parking spaces, making it easily accessible for visitors.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful day of relaxation or an active day of water sports, Goodrington Sands Beach has it all.

Its tranquil atmosphere and stunning surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the best of Paignton’s coastal beauty.

So grab your sunscreen, towel, and a good book, and get ready to unwind in paradise.


In conclusion, Paignton, England offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages.

From the nostalgic charm of Paignton Pier to the awe-inspiring wildlife at Paignton Zoo, this coastal town has something for everyone.

Whether you’re exploring the beautiful Victoria Park, immersing yourself in the arts at the Paignton Palace Theatre, or enjoying a scenic ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, you’ll find yourself constantly amazed by the wonders of Paignton.

For those seeking adventure, a walk along the South West Coast Path will offer breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature.

And don’t forget to explore the prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern, where you can step back in time and discover the secrets of our ancient ancestors.

And of course, no trip to Paignton would be complete without a visit to Goodrington Sands Beach, where you can relax, soak up the sun, and let the worries of the world melt away.

With its vibrant atmosphere, stunning natural beauty, and an array of attractions, Paignton is a destination that should not be missed.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Paignton has it all.

So pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in this charming seaside town.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.