Thursday, 3 March 2011


Paignton is one of three major resorts in Torbay, sandwiched between Brixham and Torquay. It started off as a celtic settlement called Paega’s town, and until the 19th century was just a small fishing village, but it gradually grew in size, and gained in popularity following the opening of the railway line in 1859. Today it is a traditional bucket-and-spade resort, complete with a pier with all the trimmings such as the obligatory amusement arcade. In 1871 the man behind the famous Singer sewing machines, Isaac Singer, considered it attractive enough to purchase an estate there, where he resided at Oldway Mansion, which was rebuilt in the style of the Palace of Versailles. The mansion and its gardens is open to visitors Monday through Friday. Paignton is the terminus of the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway which can be used to visit Kingswear and Dartmouth. Another major attraction for visitors is Paignton Zoo.

Torbay has gained a bit of a reputation as a hot spot for UFO sightings. One report in 2010 recorded by an observer in Paignton described “this orange glowing figure approx 5 foot in length with huge wings flying” and “two orange objects like plates in sky racing rapidly in circles”*. I don’t know what they put in the beer in Paignton, but I wouldn’t mind some of it.


Map of the area.

View of the coast near Paignton from the steam railway

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