English Riviera

The place to be all year round

The English Riviera consists of the 4 main towns of Paignton, Torquay, Brixham and Babbacombe. Surrounded by stunning coast and countryside, The English Riviera, South Devon’s Beautiful Bay offers A Good Time Anytime.

The English Riviera may be most famous for its beaches and exotic palm trees, but it has much more to offer than just seaside holidays. The English Riviera has more top attractions (the majority of which are open all year) than any other resort in the UK and is also a Global Geopark, one of only seven in the UK.

It’s not just for the bucket & spade. The South West Coast Path almost passes our door and we are surrounded by beautiful countryside. There are some great walks that not only take in our coast and countryside, but also give you the opportunity to taste some of our local produce, whether it be our famous Brixham fish, local meats and vegetables or some of our fine ales (many thanks to Bays Brewery!). Have a look at the Seafood Coast itinerary, English Riviera Walks, and the National Trust walks around the English Riviera for some great ideas for walking and eating and other refreshment!

Thrill seekers won’t be disappointed. There’s plenty on offer to satisfy you. Try coasteering, canoeing the coves, or Stand up paddle boarding (full details can be found here).

Have a Good Time Anytime!

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Considered to be a jewel in the English Riviera crown, Paignton is famous for its glorious sandy beaches with child friendly waters. The beaches in Paignton stretch for miles and make for fantastic walks along the South West Coast Path with breathtaking views. You can enjoy traditional seaside fun with paddle boats and canoes or there are motor boats and cruise boats for hire. For the more adventurous, you can take advantage of speed boats, water skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, fishing and much more. Out of the water the seafront offers a wealth of attractions for all the family, from waterslides to crazy golf.

Away from the beach there are plenty of attractions to suit every interest such as the ever-popular Paignton Zoo and the steam railway that runs between Paignton and Kingswear. Take a ferry trip to Dartmouth for a spot of shopping or for a pleasure boat ride up the River Dart.

As evening approaches in Paignton, the waterfront promenade comes alive with its illuminated gardens and an abundance of cafés, pubs, restaurants and nightlife.

Paignton Green is home to a number of top events through the year including the BMAD Motorbike and Music Festival, Torbay Carnival and the new Torbay Air Show.

Paignton is an ideal base to explore the beautiful areas of outstanding natural beauty found in South Devon.


The main feature of Torquay is its waterside, with a palm-lined promenade, seafront gardens, a lively harbour and an international marina with its illuminated bridge. Choose from a wide selection of cafés, pubs, restaurants and shops as well as a host of attractions to suit all ages.

Within minutes of Torquay town centre there are beautiful beaches easily reached by foot, road or sea. Most of these beaches are linked by the South West Coast Path, which stretches from the south side of Brixham to Maidencombe and offers excellent walking paths with spectacular sea views.


Located at the southern end of Torbay, Brixham is a charming, hilly town built around a colourful central harbour. Brixham has been home to generations of fisherman and the bustling harbour still remains as the focal point of the area. Alive with trawlers, which were invented in Brixham in the 19th Century, the harbour is also occupied by a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship the Golden Hind, which is a popular tourist attraction to visitors of Brixham.

As a thriving fishing port, Brixham is never short of fresh fish and there is no better place to sample the superb fresh catch of the day than in one of the town’s local eateries.


Babbacombe Downs has the UK’s highest cliff top promenade and looks down over a stunning coastline across to Lyme Bay.

Famous for its historic cliff railway, Babbacombe has one of only very few original working funicular railways still in existence today and offers a gentler alternative to reach Oddicombe Beach down the steep cliffs. Nearby is Babbacombe Model Village, which offers an unusual but interesting representation of England through the ages in miniature and Bygones which has a replicated Victorian Street.

Agatha Christie Country

Torquay is the capital of Agatha Christie country. The world's most famous mystery writer was born in the town in 1890 and used many places in South Devon in her best selling mysteries.

Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway

Experience the romance of the steam age.  The train takes you on a spectacular 7 mile journey alongside Tor Bay, then through wooded slopes to the River Dart.

Paignton Zoo

With over 2,000 animals across 80 acres – you’re in for a really wild time at Paignton Zoo.. Get up close to some of the animal wonders of the world across their specially designed habitats - from the savannah to the wetlands and the tropical forest.  Run wild in the play areas or hop aboard their unique Jungle Express train to get even closer to the action.
Paignton Zoo is a registered charity and part of a worldwide network of zoos which cares for and breeds rare species. 

Splashdown at Quaywest

Situated on the seafront at Goodrington Sands, Splashdown Quaywest with 8 thrilling tyre, mat & body rides is the UK's biggest outdoor waterpark. 

Please click here to find out more about whats happening on The English Riviera.

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Riviera Tour

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