Reflecting the town’s popularity as a family seaside holiday destination, there a plenty of gift shops selling toys, food and souvenirs of Paignton. Torbay Road leads from the sea front up to the train station and town centre, and is flanked with such shops, in between family friendly pubs, amusement arcades, take-aways and cafes. The road can get very busy during the main holiday periods.
The main shopping centre is pedestrianised with a small selection of national retailers, such as WH Smith, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, mobile phone and card shops. Other than that, the largest shops are primarily discount stores selling homewares.
There are specialist shops if you know where to look: Harbour Sports actually on the harbour, the award winning Torbay bookshop and Axworthys art supplies at the top of town, though for a broader choice of shops, Torquay is only a mile or two around the bay.
There is a much wider choice within an hour’s drive too, where the cities of Plymouth and Exeter have both new indoor shopping centres; Drakes Circus and Princesshay respectively. Set amongst the market towns of South Devon, there are also a number of out of town destinations to visit, such as The Shops at Dartington, Trago Mills, and Fermoys or Endsleigh garden centres.