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It’s not actually that difficult to get a picture-postcard view when staying on the Devon coastline, but some are just so pristine we reckon you’ll have the Facebook photo uploaded before you’ve even unpacked. And so it is at Paignton’s Waterside Holiday Park, set on a hillside overlooking the Torbay coastline on the English Riviera.
Waterside – unsurprisingly, given the name – is also one of the most sea-faring sites in the region, with clifftop access to the sands of Saltern Cove between the popular beaches of Goodrington and Broadsands and with seaside and clifftop walking, watersports and fishing all nearby. Or you and the kids might prefer to dip your toes on site at the heated outdoor pool and paddling pool; there’s a big sun terrace to dry off or lounge about at on sunny days.
If the weather’s less than kind, take the youngsters to burn off all that tiresome energy at the Loopy Kids’ Club or challenge them to a game of pool or a test of skill in the amusement arcade. The Yacht Club family entertainment complex will keep you all out of mischief in the evenings, while for food there’s the Smugglers Inn and Restaurant for meals and takeaways (the waffles are recommended for a decadent dessert).
Waterside has free wifi in the club with the option of buying a wifi package for your caravan at a reasonable cost; other convenient amenities include a mini mart shop and a launderette at a small charge. Caravans come in a range of tariffs, with pets allowed in the Bronze accommodation.
Tourist board rating
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Many sites set a maximum occupancy of 6/8 people per pitch, so try breaking your booking down into smaller groups to generate more results. For example, if you’re a group of 10, enter 5 people in your initial search and then book 2 pitches.
However, where the pitch or accommodation occupancy allows it, you can make a booking for up to 30 adults and 30 children in one booking.
To book multiple pitches or accommodation, use the 'Special requests' box on the booking page to ask to be sited together. Complete the booking form for the first booking (you can add a password and save your card so that we remember your details). Then click "Make another booking like this" at the top of the confirmation page to make the next booking.
Large groups: check the listing page for any group restrictions set out in the terms and section titled ‘Please note’.
Large tents/caravans: check the restrictions on unit dimensions to ensure your unit is suitable for the space you will be provided with.
Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Cycle hire nearby
Indoor pool nearby
Leisure/theme park nearby
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Nearby farmers' market
Public transport nearby
Large (51-200 pitches)
- Coach stations
Paignton Bus Station — 1.5 miles
1.5 miles Brixham: Bank Lane Coach Stop — 2.3 miles
2.3 miles Torquay: Coach Station Lymington Road — 4.4 miles
- Train stations
Paignton Rail Station — 1.5 miles
1.5 miles Torquay Rail Station — 3.4 miles
3.4 miles Torre Rail Station — 4.2 miles
- Ferry ports
Brixham Ferry Landing — 2.3 miles
2.3 miles Brixham Harbour Boarding Stage — 2.4 miles
2.4 miles Greenway House Ferry Landing — 2.6 miles
Exeter International Airport — 22.9 miles
From Exeter you have a choice of routes...
Route 1 – take the A380 from Exeter to Torquay, turning right on to the Ring Road (A380) at the roundabout outside Torquay, following the caravan and camping signs, staying on the A380 heading for Brixham. Turn left onto the A379 at Churston traffic lights. Head for Paignton and Torquay. After half a mile the road becomes a dual carriageway. Take the first exit right then the first left which brings you onto the park. (This route avoids the town centre, often congested on Saturdays).
Route 2 – take the A380 from Exeter to Torquay and Paignton. From Paignton take the A379 Dartmouth Road to Brixham. The park is approximately 2 miles on the left-hand side at Goodrington past the shops. Proceed on the dual carriageway up the hill, take the first turning left, then left again into the park.
Take your fishing rod or surfboard to Broadsands beach or explore the coves and coastline around; there are also beaches at Goodrington and a coastal dog walking route linking the two areas. Goodrington is on the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway which puffs along past Torquay, Brixham and Totnes to Teignmouth; vintage trainspotters can also steam along to the South Devon Railway starting at nearby Buckfastleigh.
Paignton is the closest of the three English Riviera towns to Waterside Holiday Park and has railway links to Torquay and London, watersports at Paignton Sands and Elberry Cove, and Paignton Zoo with six different habitats to ooh and aah at; there’s a Jungle Express miniature train, regular events and indoor and outdoor play areas at the zoo as well.
Brixham is the site for swashbucklers with a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Elizabethan ship The Golden Hind and weekly pirate re-enactments in summer; you can also hire boats here from the shacks by the quayside in summer and via the Tourist Information Centre out of season.
Torquay, legendary home of hapless hotel owner Basil Fawlty, is much classier these days than his crumbling establishment, with smart restaurants, shops, cafés and two theatres. A must for murder mystery fans is the Agatha Christie Mile from the Grand to the Imperial Hotels and passing all sorts of Christie-related local landmarks: Torre Abbey Garden with the Christie’s Potent Plants collection, her old roller-skating spot Princess Pier and the Torquay Museum, with the only dedicated Agatha Christie Gallery in the country. Beacon Cove, where a young Agatha almost drowned, can be seen from the terrace at Torquay’s coastal zoo Living Coasts.
Minis should like Torquay’s teeny Babbacombe Model Village and there are endless choices for family fun around this part of Devon: birds and (quad) bikes at the popular Pennywell Farm, gulping on the water coasters at Crealy Great Adventure Park and floundering along the assault courses at Ashcombe Adventure Centre.
Further along the coast there are the history and sights (and shopping) of Exeter to explore with Exeter National Park around thirty miles from the city; Dartmoor National Park is closer to home and has activities and events for all ages all year round.
- Paignton Zoo Environmental Park (1.4 miles)
- Living Coasts (3.5 miles)
- Buckfast Abbey (11.0 miles)
- Greenway (2.3 miles)
- Compton Castle (4.4 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.