Paignton is a Tourist town on the South West coast of Britain. It is the middle town between Torquay and Brixham which together make up Torbay
. The tourism industry
is more aimed at the family
, bucket and spade
market than its larger, more upmarket neighbour, Torquay
. There is also a traditional Steam Train
link to Kingswear
and then Dartmouth
(via the ferry
A Brief History
Sandwiched in the centre of Torbay, between Torquay and Brixham, Paignton did not benefit as much from the fishing and merchant fleets that preferred the more sheltered harbours of it neighbours even though there are references to its own as far back as 1567.
Isaac Merrit Singer (founder of the Singer Sewing Machine company liked the village, however, and chose it as the spot to build the beautiful Oldway Mansion (The reason for the naming of the local Wetherspoons pub, the Isaac Merrit.
It was only with the growth of the tourist industry in the twentieth century that the village of Paignton became the town of approx 40,000 people that now stands.
Things to do in Paignton
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park
No trip to Paignton would be complete without visiting one of the largest zoos in the country. Having recently undergone a multi-million pound facelift, Paignton Zoo is home to many hundreds of animals, including many endangered species, in well recreated habitats. It is also home to the BBC1 docu-soap 'Zoo-Keepers', two series of which have followed the trials and tribulations of the parks animals and staff.
Holiday fun abounds at Paigntons outdoor waterpark. 8 different flumes and slides range from pleasant to terrifying together with an adult swimming pool, go-karts and other attractions all set withing easy walking distance of one of the towns many pleasant and clean beaches.
Inspired by French and Italian architecture, the grand marble staircase and the gallery modelled on the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles is a must see. The Mansion also doubles as Torbay's Register Office and is said to be amongst the most beautiful non-religious places to wed in the country. (I should know, I got married there :-D )
Back to Everything Quests: Places to visit in Ireland and the UK
The English Riviera Online. (http://www.theenglishriviera.co.uk)
BBC Devon. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon)
Paignton Zoo (http://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/)