One of the highlights of any holiday to South Devon is a visit to the English Riviera.
Incorporating 22 miles of beautiful coastline, picturesque villages and clean sandy beaches, Devon’s bay has plenty to offer the whole family.
So to help you plan your time, here’s a list of our five, favourite days out.
In addition to being the home of Living Coasts, Torquay is a great location for a spot of retail therapy. With its combination of high street stores, independent shops and tourist goodies, there’s plenty for everyone.
In terms of places to eat you’ll be spoilt for choice so take your pick from fresh fish and chips by the harbour, to a wide range of restaurants and cafes.
Then, if you want to get close to the water, enjoy a long; leisurely stroll around the harbour and marina before heading along the meandering promenade.There are plenty of stop off points so plan for ice cream, high tea or sandcastles and paddling on the beach.
You’ll discover lots of choice for boat trips across the bay and even further afield. And if it’s views you’re after, why not ride Torquay’s Big Wheel or navigate the network of paths that make up the Royal Terrace Gardens.
If you’ve already visited the zoo, why not spend a second day exploring Paignton itself.
With its traditional seaside pier and wide array of amusement arcades, at Paignton you can enjoy a spot of traditional British entertainment!
Paignton’s beach is also perfect for sunbathing and paddling. In addition, children of all ages will absolutely love the new geologically themed Geoplay Park. With its exciting range of zip wires, challenging climbing frames and sand play there’s plenty for keeping energetic kids busy.
Historic Brixham is one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK. Here you can soak up the atmosphere around the bustling harbour and check out the vast range of great seafood restaurants.
If you’re an art lover you’ll feel right at home as Brixham has a wide range of interesting galleries. There’s also “Artists’ Corner” on the Strand where you can watch working artists creating their next masterpiece.
Brixham museum is also worth a look but if it’s history that interests you the full size replica of Sir Francis Drakes’ Golden Hind is a must see. The ship gives a fascinating insight into Tudor history and life as a sailor and will captivate your children.
Then when it’s time to cool off either head to one of Brixham’s secluded coves or try the open-air seawater swimming pool at Shoalstone. Both offer ideal swimming opportunities on a hot day.
Babbacombe & St Mary Church:
Despite being a districts of Torquay, Babbacombe and St Marychurch have plenty to offer holidaying families and are a stones throw away from each other and are easily assessible from Dawlish Warren on the number 22 Stagecoach bus.
The settlement or St Marychurch is one of the oldest in South Devon dating back to around 1050 AD. It’s now the home of a pedestrianized centre bursting with independent boutiques and family-owned businesses. You’ll find it’s the perfect place for hunting out something different away from the High Street of Torquay.
Also in St Marychurch is Bygones, an interesting indoor tourist attraction that takes a nostalgic look at Britain’s history since Victorian times and promises to bring “the past to life”. Among the attractions spread over three floors is the life size Victorian Street with its fascinating apothecary, general store (with jars of pick ‘n mix sweets) and toyshop. There’s also a 28ft model railway as well as a World War I trench experience and a 40s and 50s shopping arcade.
A visit to the popular Babbacombe Model Village is a must. With hundreds of models on display you’ll wander through a “masterpiece of miniaturisation”. Discover architecture ranging from a traditional English thatched village to intricate Georgian and Tudor towns. Watch the Virgin train as it meanders around scenes ranging from a football stadium to Stonehenge and even see the newly added St Mary’s Hospital capturing the moment William and Kate introduced Prince George to the world. There’s even a miniature Stonehenge and a medieval castle with its own fire-breathing dragon!
After, head onto the expansive Babbacombe Downs, a cliff top green with stunning views over Lyme Bay. There are plenty of public benches and lots of space to run off steam making it a great spot for a picnic or for some relaxation time.
And if you prefer chilling out on the beach, take the funicular cliff railway down to the Blue Flag awarded Oddicombe Beach and relax in a deckchair, hire a peddle boat or enjoy a paddle. Perfect.
The village of Cockington is picturesque and quintessentially English. With its narrow lanes, charming thatched cottages and stunning historic English manor house, Cockington is a must-see.
Take a wander around the peaceful chocolate box village before heading for Cockington Court. Here you can explore over 450 acres of beautiful country park that combines woodlands with ornamental lakes and formal gardens. Children can run loose on the lawn and all the family can enjoy a traditional horse-drawn carriage ride around the estate.
The manor is also home of Cockington’s contemporary craft centre and the tearooms are a perfect pit stop for lunch or high tea after a busy day of exploring.
As you can see, from shopping to tourist attractions, beaches to country parks, spending time within these five towns and villages on the English Riviera will ensure you create many magical holiday memories.
Why not book a break at the 4* Welcome Family Holiday Park? The park is ideally located in the sunny Dawlish Warren seaside resort, has a great choice of self-catering holiday accommodation to suit all sizes of family and budget and superb family holiday entertainment that makes Welcome Family one of the most popular holiday parks in the UK.