Best Things To Do In Paignton

Paignton Beach and Pier, Best things to do in Paignton, South Devon

Best Things To Do & Days Out In Paignton, South Devon

We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Paignton, along the south coast of Devon. The top activities and days out perfect for families, couples, and young children. 

Spending a day or a week in Paignton is a must during the long summer months, but finding the best things to do is the tricky part. We’ve whittled it down for you, so you can save time searching and more time relaxing on your holiday!

Where is Paignton?

Paignton, located in the South of Devon along the English Riviera, is home to some of the most beautiful, long sandy beaches in the UK. Colourful beach huts and the famous promenade sit along the stunning rugged coastline of steep hills and palm trees in Torbay. 

The seaside resort sits in the centre of Torbay, where much of the action takes place around the stunning seafront and the busy promenade. The coastal town has a mile-long sandy beach, a small harbour, and a traditional pier with many shops, restaurants, and bars for the entire family to enjoy.

There are plenty of family-friendly activities and accommodations making it the perfect place to spend a family holiday or weekend getaway.

Read on to see the best things to do in Paignton and places to visit near you.

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Best Activities, Attractions & Things to Do in Paignton, South Devon

Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo is one of the largest and most popular zoos in the UK. Home to over 2000 animals, 6 habitats, a jungle-themed train, an indoor play area, and many more activities and things to do to keep the kids entertained.

Paignton Zoo, Best things to do in Paignton, South Devon

Visit the Paignton Beaches

Paignton Sands

Paignton Sands has everything you could possibly need for a day at the beach for the whole family. From the popular pier which lies in the middle of the two beaches in Paignton, to the golden sand, to the arcades and cafes. 

The wide sandy bay is ideal for young kids wanting to put their bucket and spade to use, and older kids can splash about in the water.

The beach does not allow dogs between 1st May and 30th September.

Preston Sands

Preston Sands is very similar to Paignton Sands, with an abundance of attractions nearby, but also has rock pools for the adventurous little ones. The rock pools are ideal for casting a net at low tide.

Preston Sands has a Quality Coast award and features a row of colourful beach huts behind. The pier sits in the middle of Preston Sands and Paignton Sands providing refreshments, amusements, inflatables, and other seaside items.

Dogs are not allowed between 1st May and 30th September.

Read more about the beaches in and around Paignton here.

Paignton Pier

Head to Paignton Pier for an afternoon of full for the entire family. Free to enter, the pier is voted one of the best attractions with its rides, amusements, and games for all ages.

For those not so interested in the amusements, take a stroll along the 780ft (240m) pier and breathe in the sea air with the stunning views of Torbay and the majestic water.

Paignton Sands in Torbay - Best beaches in Paignton

Splashdown Quaywest Waterpark

Splashdown Quaywest Waterpark is the largest outdoor waterpark in the UK. Located on Goodrington Sands near Paignton, the waterpark has eight water slides, splash pools for young children, and a swimming pool.

From the Devil’s Drop at 65ft, to The Screamer which is perfect for speed freaks, some of the rides are not for the faint-hearted!

Coastal Walks

Torbay has an endless list of beautiful walks and hikes to keep your calves busy. From coastal hikes with views of the English Riviera to woodland walks and clifftop trails, this region has it all. 

Berry Head is one of the best lookout spots with its panoramic views of Torbay.

Some stunning walks in Torbay are:

  • Daddyhole Plain – 1.9 miles (3.0 km)
  • Greenway, Broadsands & Galmpton Creek – 6.9 miles (11.0 km)
  • Labrador Bay – 4.3 miles (7.0 km)
  • Maidencombe Circular – 3.3 miles (5.3 km)

Take a look at this list of some of the best walks in Torbay.

Coastal walks in Torquay and Torbay - Best things to do in Torquay when staying at the Quayside Hotel

Paignton Ferry

Boat trips from Paignton to Brixham or Torquay are a great way to spend the day and visit the local Torbay towns. Take the ever-popular Paignton Pleasure Cruises which departs multiple times a day from the Torquay harbour to the New Pier in Brixham.

Brixham, located in Torbay on the English Riviera, is brimming with things to see and do. Kids will be spoilt for choice with this treasure trove of history, beautiful scenery, beaches, and delicious food.

Torquay is famous for its busy harbour, international marina, family attractions, shopping, and some of the freshest fish and seafood around. Read more about what to do in Torquay here.

All boat trips are weather permitting.


Explore the Nearby Towns

If exploring new places is right up your street, the South of Devon has plenty of towns and villages worth making a visit. Relish the history of Cockington, enjoy fish and chips in Brixham, and stroll along the River Dart in Dartmouth.

Our Favorite Local Places to Visit:

  • Brixham
  • Cockington
  • Dartmouth
  • Torquay
  • Sidmouth
  • Dittisham
  • Salcombe

Dartmouth Steam Railway from Paignton

There’s a reason the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company have been awarded Outstanding Visitor Attraction by Heritage Railway Association. 

Take in the spectacular scenery from Paignton along the coastline to Kingswear, stopping in Dartmouth via a short ferry, and back to Paignton again on the historic steam train. 

Dartmouth Steam Railway Train, Best things to do in Paignton, South Devon

Summary of the Best Things To Do In Paignton

From museums, beaches, walks, attractions, and activities, there’s so much to see and do in Paignton to keep the whole family entertained.

After a long day exploring in and around the seaside resort, head back to your B&B, holiday apartment, campsite or hotel to recharge your batteries for the fun-filled next day.

If you’re looking for a hotel close to Paignton, take a look at the Quayside Hotel located in Brixham, the next seaside town alongside Paignton. A traditional 30-bedroom hotel, with a restaurant and bar, set in the very heart of bustling Brixham.

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Best Things to Do Paignton

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