THINGS TO DO
Splashdown Quaywest Water Park
Goodrington Sands, Tanners Rd, Paington, TQ4 6LN
Splashdown Quaywest is an outdoor water park located on Goodrington Sands Beach near to Paignton, Devon. It is the largest outdoor waterpark in the UK. The site has 8 water slides, small splash pools for youngsters and a swimming pool.
Torbay Quad Centre
Moles Lane, Marldon, Paignton, TQ3 1SY Tel: 01803 615660
Situated in Torbay, 12 miles from the southern edge of Dartmoor is the Torbay Quad Centre, offering exhilarating quad biking for all ages. If you have never ridden before don’t worry, as all riders are given a thorough instruction, a practise ride and general safety procedures before they gain access to the main circuit which consists of an entertaining mix of tarmac and off road conditions.
Boat Trips – Brixham
A boat trip is the perfect way to experience the English Riviera from one of its best vantage points – the sea! Whether you’re looking for a sight-seeing trip, fishing excursion or simply to cross the bay on a ferry, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Greenway Ferry and Pleasure Cruises – Brixham
Operating from Brixham Harbour. Run regular boats between Brixham and Torquay. Also run: Fishing trips, Sea-Fari wildlife sight-seeing trips, Heritage Voyages to Slapton Sands, river cruises to Dartmouth and Totnes, evening cruises, special events and trips to Agatha Christie’s holiday home at Greenway. Tickets available from Greenway Ferry kiosk and from Visitor Information Centres.
Western Lady Ferry Service – Brixham
Operate from New Pier, Brixham. Run regular ferries between Brixham and Torquay. Also run wildlife cruises, evening cruises, special events and fishing trips.
Paignton Pleasure Cruises
Operate from Brixham Harbour. Run a regular Brixham to Torquay ferry service, Paignton ferry, cruises to Dartmouth, evening cruises, wildlife cruises, special events and fishing trips – both mackerel and wreck fishing.
The Donkey Sanctuary
Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, EX10 0NU
Set along the historic Jurassic Coast and nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the working farm is home to hundreds donkeys, mules and hinnies, large and small. Doggies are welcome on leads, its free entry and parking (donations always welcome) and has as onsite café with vegan options, voted one the Telegraphs Top Ten Days Out.
Dartmoor Otter & Butterfly Sanctuary
The Station, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ
A small, friendly and very different visit for all the family. Run by a small dedicated team that aim to make your visit educational and fun. You can enjoy and learn about our tropical butterflies in the specially designed habitat of which you become part. You not only see the butterflies but feel the rainforest atmosphere that they enjoy as you see their amazing life cycle unfold. In the Otter Sanctuary there are three species of otter to see, our native British otter, the playful Asian short clawed otters and the large North American river otters who love to show off. The keeper ‘Tim’ is on hand to explain all about the otters to visitors, some are here for breeding, some for retirement, some just for fun and some because they are unsuitable to be returned to the wild.
Parkfield Adventure Centre Paignton
Colin Road, Paignton, TQ3 2NR Tel: 01803 698900
Designed by young people for young people, Parkfield is a multi-million pound world class activity centre on Paignton seafront packed full of fantastic facilities including skate and BMX parks, superb climbing walls, media suite, sports hall, theatre and chill out zone. It also hosts extreme sports competitions, youth events, exhibitions and music festivals. There is also a café on site with WiFi access
Torquay’s Dinosaur World
3a Victoria Parade, Torquay, TQ1 2BB TEL: 01803 298779
Torquay’s Dinosaur World is an exciting indoor exhibition that brings dinosaurs and their worlds to life! There are a host of scaled and full size models set in realistic scenes accompanied by exciting information. There are excavation sites where you can uncover fascinating fossils, dinosaurs that you can sit with if you are brave enough, a fun family quiz and many other interactive exhibits.
Go Ape Haldon Forest
Bullers Hill, Kennford, Exeter, Devon, EX6 7XR Tel: 0845 643 92 15
Go Ape is the UK’s No.1 Forest Adventure.
The classic and original Go Ape experience. We’ll brief you for safety before you fly down our zip-wires, leap off our Tarzan Swing and tackle our crossings whilst enjoying some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery. Minimum age 10.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve – Brixham
Gillard Road, Brixham, TQ5 9AP
Berry Head National Nature Reserve guards the southern half of Tor Bay. One of the gateways to the English Riviera Global Geopark, it is an internationally-acclaimed heritage site, home to a fascinating variety of wildlife and history, with recently-restored Napoleonic War fortifications. Enjoy the stunning views and superb local food at the new Guardhouse Cafe, visit the Visitor Centre, enjoy one of the many events, and walk the ramparts as the soldiers did 200 years ago.
Geoplay Park Paignton
Paignton Seafront, Paignton, TQ4 6AG
The park is designed around the English Riviera’s geological history. Toddlers areable to ride on a trilobite and swing over a wet pour sea. This area also has a seesaw, climbing hut, trampoline and spinner bowls.
The junior area has a giant climbing net symbolising a time during the Carboniferous.
The sand and water play area represents the Permian Period when we were just north of the equator and all of our red sandstones and breccia rocks were formed.
Then we skip to the Quaternary period which is the teen play zone and links with Kents Cavern from a geological perspective. This is the largest area of the park and has the zip wire, towers, play huts, a six-way swing, climbing logs and stilts and climbing trees.
Babbacombe Cliff Railway Torquay
Babbacombe Downs Road, Torquay, TQ1 3LF
Built in 1926, the Babbacombe Cliff Railway has shuttled hundreds of thousands of holiday makers to and from Oddicombe Beach in over 84 years of service.
Surrounded by some of the most breath-taking scenery to be found in the UK, the Cliff Railway provides a vital and non-exhausting way for locals and holiday makers alike to soak up the peaceful atmosphere and take in the amazing views as they travel to and from the water’s edge. In 2012 a new Visitor Centre was opened on Oddicombe Beach. With free admission, it is full of fascinating information about the history of this wonderful funicular railway.
Waves Leisure Pool Torquay
Riviera International Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay, TQ2 5LZ Tel: 01803 299992
If you are looking for fun and exercise for the whole family, be sure to visit Waves Leisure Pool for indoor family fun whatever the weather! Waves Leisure Swimming Pool is open every day.
With sloping entry into the pool, even the youngest children can enjoy the water (heated to 29 degrees) and never feel out of their depth. All can enjoy the wave machine in this warm indoor leisure pool every half an hour. Friendly, qualified lifeguards guarantee and enjoyable time. For competent swimmers over 5 (and mums and dads too!) the flume adds that extra excitement to your visit. Sunday afternoons are ‘Fun Sessions’ in Waves Leisure Pool, complete with a giant water inflatable dinosaur and toys for the children.
Brixham Fish Market Tours
c/o Christine Hodgetts, Brixham Tourism Partnership, Brixham, TQ5 8AW Tel: 07410617931
Does your fish-eating experience extend to just cod, haddock, salmon and mackerel? Then the Brixham Fish Market tour is for you, where you’ll see over 40 different types of fish at the auctions. More than £25 million of fish is landed, bought and sold in Brixham and then delivered to many of the top restaurants across the nation and indeed abroad to our European neighbours.
Come along and see the auctions in action, as featured in the recent Sky Atlantic series ‘Fish Town’. You will be guided around by Rick Smith, head of Brixham Trawler Agents, who has decades of experience in the fish trade. After the tour we then head to the nearby Fishermen’s Mission for a delicious full English. Tours are charged at £8.00 which includes your breakfast and tour and numbers are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
Unfortunately children under 14 years of age cannot be accommodated
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park
Totnes Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EU Tel: 0844 474 2222
Paignton Zoo is one of Britain’s top zoos. It’s home to some of the planet’s rarest and most amazing creatures. Discover all your favourites, like gorillas and orang utans, giraffes, lions, tigers and rhinos, and be ready for a few surprises along the way. Paignton Zoo has plenty to keep everyone going all day – as well as the amazing wildlife there’s food, shopping, indoor and outdoor play areas, a miniature train, a free bird show and the hands-on interactive Discovery Centre.
Living Coasts Torquay
Torquay Harbourside, Beacon Quay, Torquay, TQ1 2BG Tel: 0844 474 3366
Living Coasts, Torquay’s award-winning coastal zoo, is home to a magnificent array of marine life from around the world. Set in a state-of-the-art naturalistic environment, you can journey from the South African coast to a mangrove forest and then on to a sunken wreck.
Whatever the weather there is always plenty to do, mingle with the playful penguins, get up close with the otters and come face to face with the seals. There are a selection of over 20 species of fish, including archer fish and rays. Living Coasts offers visitors the chance to get closer to the animals than ever before; join the keepers at a penguin feed to see these incredible birds waddle around your feet.
Museums & Galleries
The Old Police Station, New Road, Brixham, TQ5 8LZ Tel: 01803 856267
Brixham Museum & History Society was founded in December 1957 to record, preserve and promote the story of our historic town and its people. In 1999, the members voted to change the Society name to include the word ‘Heritage’. Museum staff and volunteers answer hundreds of enquiries each year, providing local and family history data, photographs and copy documents to people from all over the world. The Museum is heavily dependent on the efforts and enthusiasm of its members, many of whom are volunteer researchers, painters, cleaners, caretakers, guides, lecturers and fund-raisers throughout the year.
Battery Gardens and Brixham Battery Museum
Fishcombe Road, Brixham, TQ5 8RU
Not only does Battery Gardens boast one of the most panoramic views in the bay, it is also a Scheduled Monument. As far back as the 1780s the area was used for military training; most significantly it was a World War II Coastal Defence Battery, with up to 250 soldiers based there. Many of the structures and emplacements from this period are still in existence.
Battery Gardens is not a cultivated park, but more a natural landscape of trees, shrubs and grass. At the top area of the grounds, wild orchids and bluebells flourish. The gardens are known as the ‘Grandstand of Torbay’, due to the fantastic views across the area – a great location to watch the many nautical events throughout the season. Entry to the park is free and it is open daily all year round. The gardens are accessible by public transport, but disabled access is limited.
529 Babbacombe Road, Torquay, TQ1 1HG Tel: 01803 293975
The fascinating Torquay Museum will give you a real insight into the history of the English Riviera – both modern and prehistoric – taking you back through 400 million years!
Upstairs there’s the interactive Explorers Gallery which is great for the kids, and there are plenty of intriguing artefacts from all over the world to discover, as well as from the famous excavations at Kents Cavern undertaken by William Pengelly (a contemporary of Charles Darwin) which were pivotal in furthering the nation’s knowledge of the origins of man.
The museum also holds the country’s only permanent Agatha Christie Gallery, dedicated to the Queen of Crime. Here you’ll be able to view some of the family’s personal photographs and mementoes, as well as costumes from the Joan Hickson Miss Marple series.
History & Heritage
The Quay, Brixham, TQ5 8AW
The Golden Hind at Brixham is a full-sized replica of one of the most iconic ships from the age of exploration being a feature of this picturesque harbour since 1964 and has a long history of screen appearances in films, television dramas & documentaries. Sir Francis Drake, a soldier, seaman, politician and engineer is best remembered as an explorer. In his most famous ship, The Golden Hind, he became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe in an epic expedition of plunder and discovery (1577-1580).
The ship gives a fascinating, hands on and exciting experience to life on board in 16th Century, enthralling and delighting thousands of visitors young and old alike. Step back in time and see & feel the Captain’s and Officers’ cabins, how up to 60 men slept below decks, the weapons, tools, cannons, artefacts from the age of discovery, the ropes hauled by the sailors, the creak of the timbers, the voices of the crew, treasure, pirates and so much more.
Kents Cavern Torquay
Ilsham Road, Wellswood, Torquay, TQ1 2JF Tel: 01803 215136
Kents Cavern is one of Europe’s top prehistoric Stone Age caves with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year. This iconic heritage attraction has many quality tourism awards and comes highly recommended by visitors on TripAdvisor. It is the official underground visitor centre for UNESCO’s English Riviera Global Geopark. Tours (approx 1 hour long) are led by entertaining guides concluding in an underground exhibition chamber. Plenty goes on in and around the caves all year including a woodland trail quest, kid’s archaeological dig area, hands-on cave art walls and regular appearances by the attraction’s mascot Cavog the Caveman.
Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay, TQ1 4PR Tel: 01803 326108
Find the unexpected at Bygones with three floors of pure nostalgia for all the family. Wander back in time, visit an authentic, life-size Victorian street including forge, sweet shop & apothecary.
Imagine yourself in the nursery, kitchen, parlour or the dentist! Arrive in the twentieth century and take a break in the station cafe for refreshments and real home-made cakes. Return to your childhood and play with a 28ft model railway and magical fantasyland.
Imagine your ancestors in a WW1 trench in France in 1916 or serving in the Far East in 1944. Don’t miss the 1940’s and 1950’s shopping arcade. On your departure from Bygones take away your own memorabilia from the Jubilee Gift Shop.
Bygones appeals to all ages and is an all-weather attraction. Dogs are welcome throughout the attraction on a lead with restricted use of the cafe
Heritage Pontoon, Brixham Harbour, Berry Head Road, Brixham, TQ5 9BW Tel: 07764845353
Vigilance is a restored 78-foot heritage sailing ketch based in Brixham, Devon, England. She is ideal for corporate or private charter, either locally in Devon or to France, the Channel Islands or the West Country. Alternatively, why not enjoy the experience of sailing a classic yacht on one of our local morning, afternoon or evening trips around this lovely part of Devon. Vigilance was originally built as a beam trawler or smack. She was the last of a long line of sailing trawlers built at Upham’s Brixham shipyard in 1926. Vigilance can carry up to 12 passengers and sails with an experienced crew. She has a fully equipped galley, a large saloon that can seat all passengers and crew, and there are bunks in 4 cabins.
Unless Vigilance is on charter, we normally have a 1000 hrs sailing on Sundays and also an evening sail on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from Easter till September. See the Sailing Programme on the website listed above for details. Vigilance can normally be viewed any Tuesday morning or by prior arrangement.
Vigilance can be chartered at a fee of £600 per 24 hours. 3-hour sails are £20 per head with concessions for families.
Greenway (Agatha Christies Holiday Home)
Agatha Christie’s holiday home. In the house at Greenway see Agatha Christie and her family’s extensive collections, hear clips of Agatha and her grandson Mathew speaking, delve through scrapbooks and much more.
Berry Head Road, Brixham, TQ5 9BP tel: 01803 853843
Plain Sailing Charter is now part of South West Marine Training. With our established Yacht Charter department and our training operated by Torbay Sea School, we can offer our customers excellent services. Our neighbours at South West (UK) Marine Sales can assist with selling and purchasing and so we are able to offer a one-stop shop for your boating needs.
Through our parent company we run a wide range of RYA courses, including all levels of Sailing, Motor and Powerboating. We also run all the RYA one day courses and own boat tuition.
Yacht Charter South West have a wide range of yachts on the fleet, ranging from a 30ft, 4 berth yacht to a 46ft, 10 berth yacht, available for training, skippered and bareboat charter.
On the fleet is a range of motorboats and a 10-seater “Rib Craft” available for skippered days out and training.
Brixham Sea School
15 Fore Street, Brixham, TQ5 8AA Tel: 01803 882644
As an RYA-recognised training centre and Wildlife Safe operator, we offer sailing instruction & skippered yacht charters, specialising in personal and comfortable sailing experiences at realistic prices. So if you would like to experience sailing, take a family sailing holiday, do an RYA course, take an adventure break.
Jennifer Ann Dive Charters
Town Dock Marina, Beacon Quay, Torquay, TQ1 2RD Tel: 01803 607704
Jennifer Ann Recreational & Technical dive charters depart from the pontoon mooring in Torquay harbour to popular dive sites in the Tor Bay, Lyme Bay, Dartmouth and Salcombe areas.
Water Sports Torquay
Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 1EA Tel: 07967512737
Local company offering Speed Boat Hire and Rides, Ringo and Banana Rides. Water Skiing.
Totnes Kayaks Ltd
Stoke Hill, Stoke Gabriel, Devon TQ9 6RD Tel: 07799 403788
Canoeing and kayaking in Devon is a massively popular water sport, so if you are looking for a fun day out on the water but have no previous experience then we can “Get you out there” For the last three years we have helped families looking for a safe outdoor adventure, couples seeking quality time together, stag or hen groups wanting a day to remember, and taught people that have always fancied learning to kayak
Torquay Kitesurfing & Kitebuggying School Torquay Wind & Surf Centre
55 Victoria Rd, Torquay, TQ1 1HX Tel: 01803 212411
Celebrating 35, husband and wife team, Andre’ and Dulce Shorland started out back in ’78 with the existing shop then known as The Skate & Surf Centre and have always been at the forefront of new sports in this country such as surfing, skateboarding, windsurfing, powerkiting, kitebuggying, kitesurfing and stand up paddle boarding.
The business has evolved over the years from the manufacture of surfboards, a very successful skateboard team which competed all over the UK, the RYA recognized Torquay Windsurfing School which taught a great many over the course of 25 + years, and the shop.
Dartington, Totnes, TQ9 6TQ Tel: 01803 862725
Dynamic Adventures at Dartington, Devon are able to offer a unique variety of outdoor activities. We are based in the stunning River Dart Valley. We provide activities for all ages and for all abilities from beginners to advanced. We welcome Schools, Companies, families, groups and individuals.
Rock climbing in our own quarry
Canoe and Kayak on the river dart
New high ropes and course and zipline: fun and adrenaline for all ages
Archery in our beautiful meadow or indoors if its raining
Mountain Bike hire and guiding