Experience the English Seaside at Paignton in Devon

I must admit that until I included Paignton on a self-guided mini-tour of Devon, I had never heard of it, and had no idea what to expect when I arrived. I stepped off the bus into a delightful seaside resort enjoying the last days of the warm weather before autumn made its presence felt in earnest.

IF01 Paignton

A fun pier stretched across the red sandy beach, but only the seagulls seemed to think it worth the effort to get their feet wet. Unless you are an out of place tourist like me, if the season is over, its over.

IF06 Paignton Pier_2

I could only imagine this Cod and Chips stand surrounded by wet, hungry children with money in their hands and feet burning on the pavement. Fortunately I did not have to imagine the Cod and Chips, very nice indeed.

IF11 Cod and Chips Paignton_2

As mentioned in the previous post, it was from here that I decided to walk around the red sand to Torquay, which I could see in the distance, across Tor Bay.

IF12 Paignton Beach

On the way, I encountered the pretty beach huts of Preston, which apart from a few retirees, seemed like a seaside ghost town.

IF19 Preston Beach Beach Huts_2

I couldn’t resist a close up of these iconic dressing sheds, a popular image for seaside photographers.

IF20 Preston Beach Huts

Between Preston and Torquay are the stunning red cliffs that have provided the colouring for the distinctive sand of the beach.The red earth is a startling contrast to the green vegetation. Man and nature seemed to be having a competition as to who had the superior colour palette.

IF23 Cliffs at Torbay_2

It was great to get a glimpse of English Seaside life, albeit after the crowds had gone home. It wasn’t the only time on my travels that I felt puzzled that people we not drawn to such a beautiful place in such nice weather. Ah, how quickly we travellers forget that the demands of work and school still apply on pretty days.

I am trialling some greeting cards from this Tor Bay area in the Esty store, including the Colourful Beach Huts and Cod and Chips. I hope to build them into an English Seaside theme, at which time I will include them on the Greeting Cards area of this website as well.

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Tourism and Yachting in Torquay

My approach to the famous seaside town on Torquay was on foot. I was in neighbouring Paignton and it didn’t look too far around the sands of Torbay. This was my first close encounter with the red cliffs that characterise the area. As an Australian I have seen my fair share of red dirt, but I didn’t expect to see it on the English coastline.

IG02 Cliffs at Torquay

Famed for being the home of Agatha Christie, Torquay has been dubbed the English Riviera for its warmer climate and beach lifestyle.

IG13 Beach at Torquay

Tourists can enjoy the shops and restaurants that line the waterfront.

IG29 Street in Torquay

You can even go for a ride on the famous red train.

IG30 Torquay Tourist Train

Small boats take shelter in Torquay Harbour near the bustling centre of the town.

IG31 Inner Harbour Torquay

Yachties from the UK and beyond find shelter in the large marina at North Quay.

IG20 Boats at Torquay

Despite all this fun and relaxation, Torquay is also a working port, as this jumble of nets on the harbour walls testify.

IG32 Fishing Nets Torquay_2

Those last two images contributed to the Fishing Boats of Devon and Cornwall Greeting Card series.

After a full day of sightseeing and photography it was time to leave Torquay and get the bus back to my accommodation in the town of Totnes. At this point I realised I had left my jacket somewhere. Retracing the walk back to Paignton did not seem so appealing in the late afternoon, but I was reluctant to give up on the only warm jacket I had with me. These are the extra little moments that make travel interesting. Fortunately I found the jacket in a park where I had sat briefly to make a phone call and was able to get the bus as planned.