Paignton the ideal bucket and spade destination. Paignton beaches are flat easy to access and mountains of red sand for children to fall in love with. It certainly has better beaches then Torquay. On the main beach there is a delightful pier and to the side there is a huge green which during the summer months can be found with many displays, fairs and events being held. One of my favourite things about Paignton is to the right there is a harbour which is small and delightful, the views accross this are amazing. The only downside is that Paignton and espicially around the harbour area suffers from a alittle maintanace where it could be an array of colourful flower displays however they seemed to be overgrown. There are plenty of hotels, Band B's and self catering. There is plenty of eating places which includes a new weather spoons. The high street is a little disappointing as it seems to be full of the grockle ( the west country word for tourist) shops and pound shops. It would benefit from more individual shops but I think this is a main problem for most high streets. There are some wondeful tourist attractions with the amazing steam train which takes you to Kingswear which is opposite Dartmouth and on the edges you have the world famous Paignton zoo. If you on a budget then Paignton is excellent value for money
I used to visit Paignton every year as a child with my father as it was one of my favourite seasides - alongside dawlish, teignmouth, weymouth, torquay and exmouth. That was over 30 years ago, and I still go back to visit quite regularly, and no it hasn't really changed much over the years. It still has its pier, nearly all the same shops up to the level crossing leading to the town centre, its zoo and steam railway. 30 years on, I still love the place. For those that enjoy nostalgic moments the steam railway is a must, and the zoo has certainly improved over the years with a new crocodile area recently installed - but some of the more usual animals you'd expect at a zoo are sadly missing. It is certainly worth spending 1/2 day at the zoo and despite being extremely hilly, now offers mobility scooters for disabled visitors. Like the rest of Torbay, the only disadvantage is that its very expensive. However, it is an enjoyable place to visit and offers plenty to do including its very clean beach and is why I would recommend it to anyone.
We first visited paignton a couple of years ago to go to the brilliant zoo there, and took a stop off in the city afterwards. I've been back a couple of times since, to the town and the zoo, and I can't honestly say the place has changed much in the last few years. it's a typical, quaint, tourist filled seaside town - great in the summer, pretty much dead out of season. there is a great stretch of coastline, which has unfortunately been spoilt by the semi-permanent fair that always seems to be opposite it. It's full of seagulls, naturally, and generally feels so rundown and tired that's it's almost a little depressing to visit. there are quite a few nice places to eat and drink, and plenty of beaches to frolick on if that's what takes your fancy, but don't be expecting too much that's modern and up to date. The zoo, however, is definitely worth a look :)
Paignton (pronounce Pain-tun) got its name from Paega's Town , the original Celtic settlement. There were a couple of spellings (Peynton, Paington) before the finally settled on the name we know today. History; A village believed to be dated back to 700AD and is mentioned in the Doomsday book in 1086. Paington remained a small fishing village until the 19th Century, when in 1837 a harbour was built for the town. The original harbour still exists today, although exteneded over the years. It is now a thriving tourist spot, with its many hotels and long sandy beach. Places to Visit; -The railway line was opened in 1859, linking Paignton and Torquay with London. Now operated as a heritage railway. Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway operates from Paignton to Kingswear, passing the sea and the River Dart. -The beautiful Oldway Mansion was built in the 1870s for Isaac Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine. Rebuilt in the early 1900's by his son in the style of Palace of Versailles. During World war I, it became an American Women's War Relief Hospital. Tennis courts and a bowling green were then added. During World war II it was used to house RAF cadets. It is now open to the public for free, there is a small museum and a cafe. The 17 acres of gardens are kept immaculate, including a maze. The inside of the building is just breathtaking, the art and architecture is definitely something to see. It is now home to Torbay council, also is very popular for holding civil ceremonies. The inside makes a stunning regency feel wedding and the gardens create a beautiful backdrop to the pictures. -Paignton Pier was built in 1889, the 780-foot iron structure along with the Grand Pavillion. In 1919 a fire destoyed the pier-head, it wasn't repaired until after World War II. In the 1980's it was part of a major regeneration including a new pavillion. As you enter the pier there is a cafe, further down there is the arcade amusement area. Win (or lose) as much as you want. Great if the weather isn't good. Further down, you exit the pavillion to the outside amusements. There are dodgems, tramplines and a mega slide. Entrance is free. -Paignton Zoo was opened in 1923 by Herbert Whitley, during World War II it took in animals and keepers from Chessington Zoo. It is now one of the biggest zoos in the UK showing animals from monkeys to bats and zebras to crocodiles. They are very commited to preserving endangered species and also to the education of its visitors. I visited the zoo when I was in secondary school, it has continued to improve since then. In February 2006, tragedy struck the zoo when a female giraffe and her one week old calf were killed in a fire in the elephant and giraffe house. The male giraffe died a few weeks later from smoke inhalation. The zoo is a registered charity. Owned by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, who also run Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay zoo. There are 2 admission prices, standard admission and gift aid admission. The latter is 10% more (roughly £1) if you are a UK taxpayer, the government will then give an extra 28% on top of the donation. There are special rates of families, disabled and education visits. -Quay West waterpark has eight slides; two kiddies pool areas, a swimming pool and various food/retail outlets. You can really spend a day here and the kids will love it. As you are going to get wet anyway, the weather isn't a problem. Summary; Paignton is heavily reliant on tourism, it has beautiful sandy beaches and amusements plus the things I have mentioned above. I live close by and it makes a nice day out with the family. There is also a large liscenced cinema right on the sea front which I visit quite reguarly. Various bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Paignton Green, behind the sea wall offers an alternative to lazing on the beach. It is also home to a funfair during the summer holidays. A perfect holiday spot for familes.
I have lived in Paignton in Torbay for some 34 years with the exception of about 1 year I spent living in Oxfordshire in my early twenty?s. First thing we had best get straight is the correct way to pronounce Paignton. It is Pain-ton the ?g? is not sounded. Now we have that straight I would like to take you on a little tour around my hometown. Firstly I?ll take you to ?Paignton Zoo?. One of the largest Zoo?s in England, there was even a TV series all about the zoo and its keepers a short while ago. The zoo is huge and you need to go for the whole day if you are to get to see it all. Admission costs are: - Adults-£8.25. Children over 3 years-£3.60. OAP and Students-£6.75. Family 2 adults + 2 children-£25.75. There are special rates for parties. The zoo its self is divided up into six parts: - Primley has many different animals and plants from many different habitats and is the oldest part of the zoo. It is named after Primley Estate, which was once the home of the zoos founder, Herbert Whitley. Some of the animals that are kept in that area are the porcupines, Barbary sheep, cranes, monkeys, ground hornbills, red pandas, woodchucks, kangaroos and many more. Animals are not the only things kept at the zoo, but also a wide verity of plants are cared for there. In this area such things as the foxglove tree, which is quite an unusual member of the foxglove family. Savannah is a tropical grassland and contains animals such as maned wolves, ostrich, white rhino, giraffes, elephants and many more. Some of the plants to be found there are Pampas grass and Bamboo. Forest area has owls, gibbons, pygmy marmosets, orang-utans, cassowaries, Asiatic lions, Sumatran tigers and of course gorillas. Plants in this area include trees like oak, ash alder and beech. Clennon gorge nature trail is a 700-metre circuit nature trail where you can see such things as pipistrells, yellow-necked mouse, buz zards, badgers, emperor dragonflies and many breeding birds. If you should go to the zoo to see this you should know that it is not suitable for pushchairs. Wetland area. Wetland conservation is an international issue and Paignton zoo does its best to play its part in keeping many of the endangered things that needs it to survive. Here you see golden pheasant, hamerkop, pelican, cranes, storks and geese. Rainforest. Plants in this part are figs, orchids, ferns fungi and many more There is a large car park at the zoo also a gift shop. Restaurant, play area and so much more. Web site for this. www.Paigntonzoo.org.uk Another one of Paignton?s attractions is ?Quay West?, which is situated at Goodrington beach and is said to be Britain?s largest water park, which contains the dreaded ?Devils Drop? the highest water flume in England at 65 ft. and the ?Kamikaze? a water flume nearly one mile long, there are eight flumes in total. Of course there are things for the little one like the ?Toon Town Pool? as well many other things. There are always qualified lifeguards and first aiders there at all times. Web site for this. www.quaywest.co.uk Goodrington is one of the best beaches in Paignton and has a backdrop of beautiful gardens, which are illuminated at night and has little boating lake. There is a lovely path cut into the cliff face called rock walk. This elevates you to a height where you can see the whole of the Torbay coastline. If you want something a little more gentle there is always the ?Dart Valley Steam Railway? where you can ride along the coast taking in all the lovely scenery from Paignton to nearby Kingswear, in a real old fashion steam train. When you reach Kingswear you can take a short ferry ride across the River dart to Dartmouth. Web site for this. www.paignton-steamrailway.co.uk Oldway mansion is a large mansion that was once home to the Singer family w ho first invented the sewing machine. This has now been taken over by the council and houses their many offices, but much of the great hall and gardens are accessible to the public. The mansion was modelled on the French château ?Versailles?. The main shopping part of the town is fat with a wide verity of shop?s most of the big names are here, Woolly?s, Tessco, Somerfield, Thornton?s (most important), Boots and many, many more. Should you ever come to Paignton and need to find a good little café for lunch, you should visit ?The tea pot café?. This is a lovely family owned café, which is very clean and serves lovely home cooked meals. You can find this café tucked away down a little lane just right of the main Post office in the town centre. There is an old theatre in Place Avenue just off of Winner Street and Church Street, which are the old and conserved parts of town. There is a large park near the centre of town, with a playground, skateboard area, Tennis courts and duck pond, this is called Victoria Park. Near this are a multi storey car park and the library. On the out skirts of the town we have some of the bigger shops and superstores, Sainsburys, Safeway?s and focus, these all have large car parks and are very well stocked and very conveniently placed. There is also a drive through KFC. On the main sea front of Paignton is a long beach and another park area where each year many advents and fair?s are held. The beach has nice soft sand with a pier full of entertainments. At the end of the beach is a small harbour full of small yachts and boats. Here there are small fishing boats that charge a reasonable fee to take you on fishing trips around the bay or on sight seeing cruises. Or you can just go fishing off of the harbour wall. The best time of year to visit Paignton is of course in the summer months when the weather is good (hopefully), there are many more advents happening in the summer such as the carnival or the Regatta when there are also countless firework displays put on by the local council. There is always something to do the summer and there are many more shops open as quite a lot of the more tourist orientated shops close down for the winter. We have a great deal to offer visitors and it is quite a nice area to live if you don?t mind it getting a little crowed in the summer. Paignton also has some interesting neighbours, such as ?Berry Pomroy?. A ruin of an old castle where it is said a ghost of a woman wanders and smoke has been seen coming from the great chimneys. There?s a neighbouring town called Totnes where once a week all the towns? folk dress up in Elizabethan clothes and go about their daily business as usual. I could go on forever there is just so much here far too much to put into any one review. I do hope that I have given you a good idea of what we have to offer here in Paignton, although I am unable to list it all, as there is just so much here. So to sum it up, here in Paignton we can offer you lots of lovely things, such as sand, sea, fun and of course ME. Web site for Paignton. www.999paignton.co.uk Thanks for reading. Kim J If you want to take part, please include MY HOMETOWN in the title and include the following paragraph: This review is part of the HOMETOWN challenge where members are asked to write about any aspect of their home town - or a town they'd like/not like to be their home town. 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