12 things to do with a day in Paignton

Overlooking Paignton Beach from the pier.

There's plenty of ways to have fun in the charming Devon coastal town of Paignton. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here's a dozen delightful ways to spend a great time in the lovely Devon seaside town of Paignton, writes KATE WILLIAMS.

Inside Kents Cavern prehistoric cave in Torquay, Devon.

The underground tour at Kents Cavern tells wondrous tales of Britain's earliest humans. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Kents Cavern 

Go on an adventure to one of Europe’s most exciting Stone Age caves, offering a labyrinth of fascinating and easily-accessible caverns. Kents Cavern is one of the gateway sites to the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark and is open every day of the year. This underground tour tells wondrous tales of Britain’s earliest humans and Ice Age beasts, once inhabitants of the area. 

2. Water-based activities 

The horseshoe-shaped setting of Devon’s English Riviera, makes for an ideal spot for sport on the water. With its stunning coastline long sandy beaches, secluded coves and crystal clear waters it is a dream location for lovers of sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, speedboat trips, coasteering and scuba diving. Find out more about the best ways to get on the water here.

3. Goodrington Boating Lake 

For something a little different, take a trip down to Goodrington Boating Lake for a ride in a swan pedal boat or motorised bumper. It is open March to November 10am-5pm, weather permitting, and even dogs also welcome on board 

Sunset over Thatchers Rock and Tor Bay, Devon.

Enjoy views of Thatchers Rock from the Channel View Boutique Hotel. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Channel View Boutique Hotel 

This hotel sits 15 yards from a gorgeous, long, sandy beach, but away from the hustle and bustle of the town. The stunning panoramic views from the sea-view rooms and relaxing conservatory stretch from Thatchers Rock in Torquay all the way around the bay to Berry Head in Brixham. 

5. Cleve Court Hotel 

A detached licensed hotel set in attractive gardens, Cleve Court is situated between Paignton beach, Goodrington Gardens and Quay West Water Park. The en-suite bedrooms with televisions, beverage trays and complimentary toiletries, are all situated on ground and first floor. Quality home cooked food is offered with a good choice of menu. 

6. The Queens Hotel 

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Perfectly situated in a central location in Paignton, The Queens Hotel is a short, level stroll from the busy town centre, seafront and Victorian pier. The lounge features a well-stocked bar, a large dance floor and hosts an array of quality cabaret acts every evening throughout the year to keep visitors entertained. 

A range of cakes for sale at a Devon cafe.

The cakes at Occombe Farm Cafe are sure to tempt you. - Credit: Occombe Farm Cafe

7. Occombe Farm Cafe 

A stop at Occombe Farm Cafe is a must for home-cooked simple delicious dishes, crammed with locally-sourced produce. The newly-refurbished cafe is run by the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust to raise funds towards the care of Torbay’s natural heritage. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea and there’s a special menu just for kids. 

8. The Boathouse Bar and Grill 

For stunning views and an amazing location, The Boathouse Bar and Grill is a perfect place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat whilst watching the world go by, often with live music. Serving burgers, platters, stone-baked pizzas, fresh local seafood and seasonal salads, it boasts a menu with something for everyone. 

9. Tandoori Nights 

For those seeking fine Indian cuisine dishes, Tandoori Nights has it all. The authentic Indian restaurant and takeaway can be found on Torquay Road in Preston, offering freshly prepared dishes cooked to the highest standard, including traditional curries, specials, masalas and biryanis. 

10. Old Paignton Antiques 

This delightful shop can be found on Winner Street and offers quality period decorative arts, antique furniture, collectables, original oil paintings, ceramics, porcelain, silver, costume jewellery, bronzes, clocks, Chinese and Japanese porcelain works of art. The shop opening hours are flexible so a call in advance if travelling specifically would be beneficial. 

Knitted tea cosies and items at a Devion cafe.

The Harbourside Craft Fair offers an array of locally-made products from talented folk. - Credit: Harbourside Craft Fair

11. Paignton Harbourside Craft Fair 

Every Friday 6-9pm throughout August at Paignton Harbour, the craft market offers an array of locally-made products from talented folk, plus there is live music and the event supports Paignton’s RNLI. Gifts, homewares and jewellery, among other beautiful keepsakes, can be found on the various stalls. 

12. So Sweet 

This small Westcountry chain offers a range of over 250 different different pick ’n’ mix sweets for young and old alike with novelty sweets and retro products. Packed with the store’s signature range of American imported products from candy to soda, this is the place for the with a sweet tooth.