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Family holiday spot
Paignton in General
Member Name: ashton08
Paignton in General
Advantages: Lots for the family to do
Disadvantages: English weather
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.
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.
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.
Summary: A nice base for a South Devon holiday