As a traditional seaside town, Paignton has long been associated with family holidays and there is much to do for children. Thinking of all the destinations in the South West, if you are looking to entertain children on holiday, Paignton offers the highest number of attractions and activities in one area.
Paignton Zoo, on the outskirts of the town, has won many awards as a visitor attraction and for it’s environmental and research work. The park is set over 80 acres of landscaped woodland which in itself makes for an enjoyable walk. With 2000 animals and varieties of plants to see, it is a full and enjoyable day out. The zoo also has a number of indoor facilities including the new crocodile and large snake enclosure, tropical and desert houses and a children’s play zone.
In the town centre the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company operate the steam train along the coast then inland to Kingswear opposite Dartmouth on the River Dart. As the train passes beaches at Goodrington and Broadsands, passengers enjoy coastal views over Tor Bay before the train heads inland through rolling hills to run alongside the River Dart to Kingswear. Many holidaymakers then take the foot ferry over the Dartmouth to explore the town and maybe grab a bite to eat before heading back. Also on offer is the popular ‘Round Robin’ excursion where a ticket can be bought for the steam train to Kingswear, then a boat ride up the River Dart to Totnes, then a open top bus ride back to Paignton – a great way to see the natural beauty of South Devon.
The third of the major family attractions in the town is the Splashdown @ Quaywest outdoor water park on Goodrington Beach, just south of the town centre. Here you will find 8 large slides as well as a toddler area – something for all ages and levels of bravery! Goodrington is also home to go karts, a station on the steam railway line, a boating lake and a family friendly pub, not to mention the beach and ample parking.
Elsewhere in the town, Paignton Pier has a wide range amusements and rides for younger visitors in a central position on Paignton Green where the Multiplex cinema and indoor and outdoor crazy golf courses are also located.
The beaches are a big attraction for families in Paignton with a number of wide sandy beaches can be found with parking, safe bathing (with care), toilets, cafe’s and beach shops all with easy access.
Outside the town, some of the major family attractions within an hour’s drive include Living Coasts and Bababbacombe Model Village in Torquay, Pennywell Farm near Dartmoor, and the adventure parks at Crealy near Exeter and Woodlands near Dartmouth.