Walk - Paignton and Preston Seafront

1.2 miles (2.0 km)

Roundham car park, Paignton - TQ4 6DH Hollicombe Beach

Easy - Wide, smooth tarmac paths throughout, with no gradients.

A short wheelchair-friendly route along Paignton's Victorian esplanade, where there are fossils in the sea wall, and the pier and the two seafront greens still provide an assortment of traditional seaside entertainments. 

There is disabled access to Hollicombe Beach by means of a slipway. Dogs are banned here in the summer but there is a dog exercise area in Hollicombe Gardens.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

The Clifton at Paignton

Steve and Freda look forward to welcoming you to the Clifton, which is ideally located, just off the sea front. Around the corner from shops and stations. Within easy reach of Dartmoor.

The Haldon Guest House

Situated 3 minutes walk from Paignton beach, pier and town centre, we are ideally located for exploring the beautiful English Riviera and beyond. Tasty breakfast and a sunny garden.

The Millbrook B&B

Excellent en-suite accommodation just 800 metres from Torquay sea front, wi-fi & on-site parking, garden. Guest lounge and Conservatory.

The Cleveland Bed and Breakfast

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE * FREE WIFI * OFF-STREET PARKING The Cleveland is ideally located for access to Torquay and the South West Coast Path

Garway Lodge Guest House

Enjoy a 4 Star Award-Winning guest house bed & breakfast. Situated in Torquay. Early Breakfasts are available upon request.

Payge Stay Torquay

A beautiful, luxurious seaview Apartment in the exclusive area of Meadfoot, Torquay. Sleeps 2

Beacon House B&B

Nestled in the harbour bowl, we command breathtaking views of harbour, marina and beyond the breakwater, 4 x en suite bedrooms, sumptuous breakfast. A warm welcome awaits.

Westbury Guest House

A 14th century Georgian Guest House with great charm and character. Short level walk from the harbour, pubs and restaurants.

Brixham House

A friendly welcome, renowned for excellent breakfasts, approx 10 minute walk from the Coast Path and also on the bus route.

Sea Tang Guest House

Friendly, family run guest house located a few steps form the sea with beautiful views across Torbay.

Aveland House

Close to the Coast Path. All en-suite rooms,Free Wi Fi. See our website www.avelandhouse.co.uk for more details

Coastguard Cottage

Small, cosy cottage accommodatioon with all rooms en-suite and with wifi. Close to many amenities. A substantial breakfast is provided.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Terrace Cafe Bar at Living Coasts

Free entry for non-visitors. Come in anytime for family friendly, freshly prepared local food & drink with panoramic views over the Bay

The Breakwater Bistro

A family run bistro with magnificent panoramic sea views and fresh, seasonal menu. Daytime and evening bistro.

The Guardhouse Cafe

Home-made seasonal food, cream teas and delicious coffee, all served with a smile and stunning views from our cliff-top Napoleonic Fortress.
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Paignton Zoo

Over 2000 animals spread across 80 acres, you're in for a really wild time. Rain or shine, enjoy a fun-filled day out.

Living Coasts

Playful Penguins, Otters, Octopus, Seals and much more. Cafe with panoramic sea views- free for non-visitors

English Riviera Bid Company

The English Riviera BID company is the destination marketing organisation for the English Riviera which includes over 1000 tourism businesses. It promotes the England's Seafood Coast brand and coordinates the Seafood FEAST festival

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From Roundham car park return to Cliff Road and turn right to walk to Roundham Road. Turn right here and carry on past the harbour to the roundabout.

Paignton's early origins were Celtic, and the Anglo-Saxon settlement that followed was known as Paega's Town. It was first documented in the 1086 Domesday Book and in 1294 it was granted a fair and market charter, giving it borough status. After the 1837 Harbour Act the small fishing village became known as Paignton, and the harbour was duly built the following year.

The railway arrived in 1859, linking Paignton with Torquay and London and bringing it a new popularity as a tourist resort. The opening of the railway was celebrated with a 'Paignton Pudding', a traditional festive fare first made in the thirteenth century, and the origin of the nickname for Paignton's population - 'Pudden Eaters'. These enormous puddings were so rarely made that a huge crowd turned up to eat it, triggering minor riots.

In 1911 Torquay's electric street trams were extended into Paignton, but they closed in 1934.

  1. Turn immediately right again by the Paignton Club to walk straight ahead to the seafront, turning left onto the South West Coast Path to follow it along beside the sea wall.

The Paignton Club opened in 1885 as a Gentlemens' Club. In its early days, the nearby Torbay Inn provided refreshment for the sailors who moored up on the beach. The inn was linked with the town by means of a causeway running across the marsh where Torbay Road was later constructed. It later became a gentleman's residence known as Torbay House, but it was demolished when the green was created.

The seawall was built in 1866, using blocks of local 'breccia' stone. 'Breccia' means 'rubble', and this red sandstone was formed from gravels and sands eroded from high mountains in a desert landscape in the Permian period, some 250-300 million years ago. Flash flooding swept chunks of limestone through, and as the sandstone was compressed into rocks, angular chunks, or 'clasts', of limestone were embedded in it. In some of the breccia blocks in the sea wall, you can pick out fossils in the limestone.

The promenade and the green were created after the sea wall. Locals were encouraged to help with the construction by being given sand in exchange for barrowloads of soil from their gardens.

Paignton Pier was built between 1878 and 1879, having been commissioned by local barrister Arthur Hyde Denby. He had originally bought Teignmouth Pier to relocate it here, but when that proved impossible he commissioned a new pier, constructed of cast iron girders and columns, with a grand pavilion at the seaward end. Entertainment in the pavilion included the famous 'HMS Pinafore on the Water' adaptation of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera. The pier-head and pavilion were burnt down in 1919, and restoration work was carried out in 1980-1 and again in 1995. In November 2013 the pier was advertised for sale with a price tag of £2m.

  1. When the path curves left at the end of Paignton Green, bear right on Marine Drive, following the Coast Path to the right again in front of Preston Green, by the zebra crossing. At the seafront, turn left on the Coast Path to continue along the Promenade.

Beside Preston Green, the Redcliffe Hotel was a private mansion, built in 1956 by Colonel Robert Smith, a field engineer in the Bengal Division of the Indian Army. He designed it himself in a style that would remind him of his days in the Punjab, and the house became known as 'Smith's Folly'. It was later bought by Oldham's Singer estate, who built Preston's sea wall in 1876.

  1. Reaching Marine Parade, follow the Coast Path behind the beach huts along Marine Parade and turn left up the steps and across the grass towards Hollicombe Beach.

As Paignton's popularity grew following the arrival of the railway, it expanded to merge with Preston to the north and Goodrington to the south. For three years Preston had its own railway station, Preston Platform - the only halt ever built between the Torquay and Paignton railway stations. Like the trams, it arrived in 1911, but it had closed again by 1914.

  1. At Hollicombe the Coast Path crosses the railway bridge and goes on its way towards Torquay. Turn back here and retrace your steps to Cliff Road car park or follow the road round to Paignton Harbour.

Public transport

There are frequent buses to Paignton, stopping at the seafront. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

 

Parking

Paignton Harbour (Postcode for Sat Navs: TQ4 6DH).

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