Brixham is Torbay’s jewel, rich in maritime and smuggling heritage with a beautiful harbour, town and picturesque beach coves. Coast path walking just outside the town around Berry Head Nature Reserve offers some of South Devon’s most beautiful coastal walking. Back in the town and around the harbour you’ll find a wealth of cosy B&Bs, luxury waterfront apartments, fine real ale inns serving great food and in the harbour the famous reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s ship The Golden Hind. Pick up boat trips and ferry services from the harbour to other Torbay resorts and popular attractions like Agatha Christie’s historic home Greenway.
Visit the town’s little museum in the Old Police Station with a reconstructed fisherman’s cottage dating from the 1900s, a preserved police cell dating from 1902 and galleries on maritime and local history. The fishing industry here continues to thrive, so you can stock up on fresh from the catch fish at Brixham’s famous fish market – perfect if you’re self-catering in one of the town’s historic fisherman’s cottages or luxury apartments. If you’re a fishing fan, head to Brixham’s Breakwater where you can expect to catch mullet and bass. There’s always something going on in Brixham, especially during early summer in May when the harbour town hosts its annual BrixFest family festival and its fun Pirate Festival.
Smugglers & Pirates Experience
For swashbuckling fans young and old, Brixham’s Smuggler and Pirates Experience on the harbourside is a fun family indoor attraction where you’ll also discover the history of West Country pirates through the centuries. Star of the experience is Jack Rattenbury, born in Beer in 1778, and his band of Smugglers and Pirates. Join them on their adventures and hear real life tales of smuggling, escaping press gangs and piracy. A fabulous gift shop and the fully licensed harbourside Smugglers Retreat restaurant are onsite.
Beaches, Diving & Boat Trips
Brixham’s beaches are award-winning. Central Blue Flag and Quality Award Breakwater Beach is Good Beach Guide recommended and one of Torbay’s cleanest beaches offering safe bathing and great scuba diving opportunities off shore around wrecks! On the outskirts of the town around Berry Head is Shoalstone Beach, a top spot for rockpooling and fishing with a sea water swimming pool and beach café. Take a walk from the town to peaceful beach retreat Fishcombe Cove, a truly romantic spot popular for fishing and swimming. Other picture-postcard cove beaches in the area include shingle beach Elberry Cove with its crystal clear waters accessible via a coast path from Broadstands Beach.
Beautiful Churston Cove between Brixham and Paignton is dog friendly and a real beach cove gem accessed down a steep path off the coast path. Waters are wonderfully clear here and the beach is flanked by a steep wooded hillside. Head to Brixham Harbour for a wide choice of boat trips, wildlife trips and fishing excursions. Dolphins are often spotted off shore along with numerous sea birds. Regular ferry services also run between Brixham and Torquay. Water sports popular around Brixham’s crystal clear warm waters include diving off Breakwater and Berry Head.
The Golden Hind & Heritage Museum
The Golden Hind Ship, a famous replica of which is moored at Brixham, was captured by Francis Drake and because of it he was knighted by Elizabeth I on 4th April 1581. Originally called the Pelican, the ship was renamed by Drake and a tour of the reconstruction at Brixham offers a fascinating insight into life on board a ship in the 16th century. This iconic Tudor ship replica has featured in numerous TV shows and films. Discover Brixham’s rich maritime and fishing history in the Brixham Museum with galleries digging deep into the town’s heritage, covering a diverse range of topics including theatre, the railway, maritime trades, trawling and smuggling. The museum has a huge maritime archive accessible to the public.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve
Berry Head National Nature Reserve in the Brixham area is one of the most beautiful spots on the coastal Geopark. Pick up maps and guides from the Visitor Centre with cafe on the Headland then head off around the Reserve and Coast path. Dogs are welcome in the reserve, but must be kept on leads at all times. Bird hides are available, ideal for viewing the many sea birds. You can also stroll around the restored Napoleonic War fortifications.
Where to Stay
Charming bed & breakfast accommodation overlooks the harbour and offers great value, quality en-suite rooms with free WiFi, inclusive of freshly cooked breakfasts served in dining rooms with harbour views. Families are warmly welcomed in the resort. On the outskirts sit a selection of all inclusive family holiday parks which welcome pets, and contain newly renovated accommodation, onsite pools, entertainment, restaurants, shops and usually easy access to award-winning beaches. Luxury self-catering accommodation, either classic smuggler and fisherman’s cottages or stunning contemporary apartments and holiday homes are extensive in this beautiful Torbay resort.