12 fab things to do in Paignton

Sandy beach at Paignton in South Devon.

Paignton is a charming seaside town. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

KATE WILLIAMS selects her choice of 12 great things to do in the charming seaside town of Paignton:

A girl on a floating yellow inner tube on a flume.

For a water-filled adventure for the family, Splashdown Quay West has slides and flumes aplenty just waiting to entertain. - Credit: Splashdown Quaywest 

1. Splashdown Quay West 

If you are looking for adventure during the summer months, then this is just the ticket. With a multitude of flume fun - from the Devil’s Drop to the Surf Lagoon and Sidewinder - visitors are sure to feel exhilarated. Check out opening times, ticket information and height restrictions before you turn up though 

Paignton pier as the sun rises over Torbay, South Devon.

Paignton’s historic pier was first opened in 1879 and still hold its charm now. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Paignton Pier 

There is nothing quite like a stroll along a pier with an ice cream in hand. Paignton’s historic pier was first opened in 1879 and still hold its charm now. While your time away gazing out across the bay or try your luck at one of the amusements. Dogs on leads are welcome 

3. Paignton Pleasure Cruises 

Run by the Lane family, this buoyant boating business is fully floating when it comes to giving visitors a day to remember. Cruising along the River Dart, spotting wildlife and historic landmarks, is a memorable experience and a top way to see the sights. Passengers young and old will enjoy a fishing or day trip 

A blue-themed hotel bedroom.

This stunning annexe oozes style and is an ideal retreat for two just half-a-mile walk from Preston’s sandy shores. - Credit: Holiday Cottages 

4. 3 Palms 

This stylish annexe, boasting comfortable furnishings throughout, is perfectly situated to explore South Devon with the sandy beach of Preston a short half-a-mile walk from the doorstep. Sleeping two with one king-size bedroom and a bathroom, both on the ground floor, this delightful annexe is the perfect Paignton retreat 

The white-fronted Palace Hotel in Paignton, Devon.

GBX4X9 The Palace hotel in Paignton Devon UK. Image shot 2016. Exact date unknown. - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

5. The Palace Hotel 

Originally the home of Isaac Merrit Singer, who invented the Singer sewing machine, The Palace Hotel is in a prime seafront location on Esplanade Road, a short, level walk from Paignton town centre and minutes from the beach. The hotel has retained the elegant splendour of its original classical décor and façade as well as wonderful attentive service 

6. Anstey's Lodge — Beachside 

This incredibly spacious penthouse apartment has been refurbished in 2022 to provide guests with a fabulous coastal getaway. The perfect spot for friends and small families, the property sleeps four with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Situated along the South Devon coastline, the spacious open-plan lounge, kitchen and diner has been nicely refurbished to really allow guests to relax in style 

A bar with beer taps and optics.

For a relaxed, family-friendly stop for some good old pub grub with lovely views, the Inn on the Green ticks all the boxes. - Credit: Inn on the Green 

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7. Inn on the Green 

With views of the sea and over the town’s green, The Inn on the Green provides visitors with super pub grub in a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. Serving pub classics, modern twists, and food from around the world, this pub also offers a function room, parking and it even has rapid electric vehicle charging 

8. The Devon Ice Cream Shop 

The Devon Ice Cream Shop is situated on the edge of Paignton’s glorious Goodrington Park, looking out to sea and enjoying picturesque views of the bay. With 20 ice cream flavours to choose from, delicious ‘99s’ using a special Cornish mix and a huge selection of ice lollies too, there is sure to be something to please all palates 

9. Upper Deck Bistro 

New last year, this seafood bistro has an amazing South Devon sea view with its central location in the middle of the bay. Owners Ruth and Peter are passionate about great food, and together with their team have created a relaxed, modern environment at this bistro just for grown-ups 

Interior of a cards and gifts shop.

Bubbling with a vast array of beautiful gifts and trinkets, Lollipops and Roses on the Eastern Esplanade is a must-visit. - Credit: Gerry Peake

10. Lollipops and Roses 

Brimming with beautiful things, this little shop on the Eastern Esplanade will make you happy just by looking at it. Spilling over with unique gifts and trinkets, it offers everything from wax melts, teapots and cups, bird feeders as well as personalised items 

11. Come West 

Originally, Come West was well known as a traditional jeanery, selling denim since the 1970s. Today, the shop on Torbay Road stocks a large range of branded clothing, catering for men and women, including Ben Sherman, Lee and Wrangler. The store is also well known for its good quality leather boots, jackets, handbags and shoes 

12. Patchwork The Store  

Patchwork The Store is a gift and lifestyle shop that sits alongside Patchwork House Women's Centre, a safe space for women and children. Visitors to this lovely shop will not only find clothing, jewellery, homeware and stationery but they will also will be supporting Patchwork House as profits from each product sold through Patchwork The Store will go straight to the women's centre.