Our holidays in Paignton, Torquay, Dartmouth and a visit to an amazing Berry Head Nature Reserve
Our wheelchair accessible itinerary:
Day 1: Paignton Pier, Harbour, Walk along the seafront
Day 2: Steam train from Paignton station and a river ferry to Dartmouth
Day 3: walk to Torquay – seafront, pier, harbour. Return to Paignton by bus
Day 4: Berry Head Nature Reserve
We visited this picturesque town at the end of May 2023. We travelled by car and stayed in Travelodge Seafront which offers wheelchair accessible room (with a wet room) at the seafront, free blue badge parking, spacious lift and beds with a gap underneath big enough to fit our portable hoist. It is also a pet friendly hotel which enabled us to take our miniature jack russel, Jack. And we all had a great time 🙂
We started with going to the pier, which was only a few minutes walk from our accommodation. It is free to enter and offers restaurants, arcades and a crazy golf full of dinosaurs. There is a disabled toilet and a changing room with a hoist a short walk from the pier towards the harbour. There are a few nice restaurants around the harbour, most of them have seating outside, with lovely sea views.
Along the main road, there is a Shopmobility shop which offers wheelchairs and mobility scooters hire Shopmobility Paignton – Support Organisations in PAIGNTON, Paignton – English Riviera
In Paignton, you can also relax by going to Vue Cinema, located at the seafront, opposite the pier. All of the screens have wheelchair accessible spaces. Screen 1 and 3 have wheelchair spaces located at the rear, the other screens at the front. See more here: Torbay Cinema | Torbay Cinema Film Listings & Times | Vue (myvue.com)
There are a few nice places to eat along the seafront and harbour, but the one we would really like to recommend is The Redcliffe Bar. The quality of food was excellent and it was also reasonably priced. The restaurant offers wheelchair accessible seating area indoors and outdoors with amazing sea view (there was one step to go out, which we could manage in a power chair)
Steam Train adventure with Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company
We had a great day out going by a steam train from Paignton to Kingswear and then crossing the river on a ferry to Dartmouth. We didn’t book any tickets in advance, but had no problems with accessibility. The ramps were ready at the station and the staff were very helpful.
The journey to Kingswear lasted about 30 minutes and was filled with stunning views. After we arrived in Kingswear, we boarded a river ferry and crossed the river Dart and spent some time in Dartmouth. Then back on the ferry and a train to Paignton.
You can find more information on the Steam Railway and river ferry on the website Steam Train | Dartmouth Steam Railway (dartmouthrailriver.co.uk) and explore other possibilities of day trips here Dartmouth Steam Railway And River Boat Company (dartmouthrailriver.co.uk)
In Dartmouth, we had a really nice time by the river. As soon as you get off the ferry, you can find a few nice cafes, go crabbing or spend nice time in a nearby park, Royal Avenue Gardens, where you can also find a disabled toilet.
The next day, we followed a cycle path from Paignton to Torquay. It was a very nice stroll along the coast. We have stayed in Torquay before and enjoyed a nice boarwalk along the sea with great coastal views, so it was nice to go back there.
After spending a few hours in Torquay, we decided to catch a bus back to Paignton. The buses run frequently and all have wheelchair ramps. The bus stop in Torqauy was located opposite the pier.
BRIXHAM, Berry Head Nature Reserve
On the last day of our stay, we decided to go to Berry Head Nature Reserve in Brixham, located about 20 minutes drive from Paignton. Surrounded by water on three sides, it is a tranquil place with stunning coastal views, a variety of wildlife to spot and interesting history. It definitely is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to. Lots of the paths are wide and even, but there are also some parts that are more challenging. However, we had no problems to get to the lighthouse and the view points in a power chair. See more information here Berry Head Nature Reserve & Cafe – Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (countryside-trust.org.uk).
A great place to visit when you are in Berry Head is The Guardhouse Cafe. It is located right by a beautiful coastal view, offers fantastic freshly prepared breakfasts, lunches and cakes, all reasonably priced. Both indoor and outdoor seating areas are fully wheelchair accessible and also dog friendly. See opening times and the menu here Guardhouse Cafe |
There is a spacious car park on entry with no height restriction. However, you need to pay for it even if you have a blue badge. The cost of parking was 60p per 20 minutes if parked up to 4 hours and 7 pounds for parking over 4 hours.
An interesting thing to see is the lighthouse, which is the highest and, at the same time, the shortest in the country.
We had amazing four days in Devon and we hope that by writing this article we will encourage others to go and explore those beautiful coastal places and also have a great time.