In this section:
Activities in Paignton
Board games: The Idle Games Club is a local social enterprise providing a venue for people to meet and play games. They also have a store selling board games.
Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton is a large, modern leisure centre with pool, gym, classes.
Paignton seafront has a Pirate-themed Adventure Golf park.
Splashdown Water Park boasts water slides that promise an adrenaline rush with names like Wild Kamikaze, Devil’s Drop, Raging Rapids, and Sidewinder, the park also has swimming pools and sun decks for relaxation or recovery.
Learn to sail or take part in sailing events with Paignton Sailing Club.
Support local creatives
Torbay Arts and crafts events are listed by Visit South Devon.
Relaxation & Therapies
Swimming pools and spas:
Aztec Leisure Centre Part of the TLH resort in Torquay. Open to non-guests for £10 per session (no time-limit on sessions). Two indoor pools (one 25m), sauna, steam, jacuzzi. Treatments and Fire & Ice experience are available for extra charge. Also has offers like “Dip & Dine” which include a voucher for a meal (cafe has a few vegan options and plant milks).
Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton has two indoor pools (one 25m) and a separate health suite with sauna and steam rooms (extra charge for accessing health suite). Sessions are time-limited.
Genesis at the Palace Hotel, Paignton, is the nearest to The Miggi. They charge £10 for one hour’s use of their pool, sauna and steam room.
Grand Hotel, Torquay offers a £10 day pass for their indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and steam (check if everything is open before booking).
Headland Hotel, Torquay, has hydro pools, sauna and steam rooms (don’t think there’s a swimming pool). Their £29 Lazy Days for locals includes £14 towards a meal (some vegan options on menu).
Therapeutic activities & Treatments
Several of the above spas offer massages and treatments, but many of them use products that are not vegan or cruelty-free, so please do check when booking.
Vegan Organic Skincare in Torquay runs self-pamper sessions monthly and workshops in which you can make your own soap or candles.
The Garden Room offers aromatherapy, Swedish and Reflexology massage treatments.
The Devon Clinic, by Paignton station, offers a range of physical and talking therapies.
Riviera Wellbeing provides wide range of services including chiropractic, acupuncture, sports therapy.
Heaven on Earth offers massage, Reiki, and Reiki drumming.
Anne’s provides reflexology and reiki.
Places to visit in Torbay
Our own Preston Sands is a red sand beach, sheltered by a red cliff one side and an outcrop of land on the other. A green runs the length of the beach and dogs are allowed on the green all year, but they are only allowed on the beach from October to April due to the Blue Flag criteria. The flat promenade walk is wheelchair accessible and runs all the way along the length of the beach. Facilities include toilets, cafes (with vegan ice creams and plant milk for drinks), and you can rent a beach hut by the day or week from Torbay Council.
Next door Paignton beach is also sandy and has a level promenade pathway, pier, and leads around to Paignton harbour.
There are further long sandy beaches to the south at Goodrington (which allows dogs on half the beach all year round) and Broadsands and many smaller coves to explore such as Fairy Cove, Oyster Cove, and Saltern Cove. Saltern Cove is a local nature reserve and a geological Site of Specific Scientific Interest. It is the only underwater SSSI in the country with a marine local nature reserve which extends to a point 376 metres below the low water mark. There are sheltered coves and exposed cliffs with a beach, accessed via a set of steps from the coast path above.
Torre Abbey Museum is housed within an ancient monument that was built with stone from the headland in 1196 and was once used as a medieval monastery. The building now houses interactive displays, exhibitions and a fine art collection. The gardens are also open to visitors – don’t miss the “Potent Plants” garden inspired by Agatha Christie’s books.
Torquay Museum houses a collection of exhibitions and artefacts including a 41,000-year-old human jawbone discovered at nearby Kents Cavern (Babbacombe). Other displays include a traditional Devon farmhouse and local Devonshire Marble as well as a gallery dedicated to Torquay’s most famous resident, Agatha Christie.
Cockington Court and Country Park: Cockington is a quaint village with Saxon origins. Some of the cottages and buildings date back to the 16th Century and are mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The land and property were first owned by the Fitzmartin (De Cockington) family. Today Cockington Court and Country Park hosts a cricket lawn, water mill, mediaeval lakes, water meadows and a contemporary arts centre with maker workshops.
Babbacombe Cliff Railway – built in 1926 between the gaps in the 73m high cliffs: a fault line between the Devonian grey limestone and Permian red rocks.
Find Tessier Gardens – a “secret garden” for adults.
There is a blue plaque to mark the house in which Oscar Wilde stayed with Bosie during the winter of 1892/93. Wilde completed his plays A Woman of No Importance, Salome and Lady Windemere’s Fan during the stay.
There’s an extensive labyrinth of caves to visit at Kents Cavern.
Brixham Heritage Museum is housed in an old police station, the museum celebrates the heritage of the historic seaside town. The exhibits and displays include maritime models and local archaeological finds at Brixham Bone Caverns and the Napoleonic fort at Berry Head.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve: Up on 200 feet (60 metre) cliffs, Berry Head marks the southern point of the English Riviera. It’s thought that the 400-million-year-old limestone once formed part of a reef environment in a shallow tropical sea south of the equator. The stone used to be quarried and was used to build the Napoleonic forts which can still be seen today. The area attracts an array of wildlife including cirl bunting, greater horseshoe bats, peregrine falcons and guillemots. Guided tours and bat walks are organized by the Countryside Trust.
Historic houses and castles
English Heritage attractions in Torbay include a restored medieval stone house in Paignton, Totnes Castle, Berry Pomeroy Castle, several medieval and bronze age sites nearby.
Theatres and Cinema
Paignton cinema: My Vue
Paignton theatre events: Palace Theatre
Torquay theatre listings: Princess Theatre
Babbacombe theatre shows: Babbacombe Theatre
Nightlife guide to the “Rainbow Riviera” from English Riviera.
LGBT Torquay facebook group lists events and helps folk connect.
Visit Devon provides a what’s on list of upcoming events in Torbay.
There is a Paignton Festival each year.
Torbay libraries offer a range of events for readers and writers. The events at Paignton library are listed here.
The International Agatha Christie Festival takes place each September.