Life in Brixham primarily revolves around the sea, so for all you water lovers there are plenty of opportunities to get your feet wet. Boat trips to Torquay & Dartmouth, fishing, sailing, scuba diving, canoeing, swimming and sunbathing are all right on your doorstep.
For those who would prefer to stay firmly on dry land there is a huge variety of activities and places to visit including spectacular walks to suit all abilities be it coastal or parkland. Play a round of golf at nearby Churston Golf Club, or why not just watch the world go by with a pint of beer or a cup of tea from your favourite harbour side pub or restaurant? Of course you can also buy shellfish from the stalls around the harbour, eat fish & chips from the paper or dine in some of the very fine fish reataurants in town.
In spite of its picturesque ‘pretty as a postcard’ feel, the historic port of Brixham is one of the busiest commercial fishing ports in England. Every day dozens of trawlers unload their catch of squid, crabs, lobster, scallops & plaice. Much of the bounty is brought by local restaurants and the rest heads for top hotels and restaurants in London and the Continent. Visitors can view the hustle and bustle of activity and the fish market from an elevated platform on the harbour side.
Many of the harbour side pubs are full of local fishermen who are never shy about sharing a few tales with visitors. Because it is a real working port, Brixham has avoided becoming a quaint, twee tourist trap.
Things to do in and around Brixham
Events & Happenings
There are numerous events, festivals and fairs in and around Brixham throughout the season. Some of the biggest include the Pirate Festival in early May, BrixFest has music & fireworks at the end of May, the Trawler Race in June and the Steam Fair at the end of August.
For up to date listings please look at the website:
Or ask at the Tourist Information Office on the harbour side
The queen of crime lived and wrote most of her works in the Torbay area.
Agatha Christie at Torquay Museum – 01803 293975, 529 Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HG
Has a permanent gallery dedicated to Torquay’s most famous daughter including an original manuscript and handwritten notes.
Agatha Christie's Greenway – 01803 842382, Greenway Road, Galmpton, TQ5 0ES
A National Trust Property – Pre-booked parking only or ferry trip
This is an extraordinary glimpse into the private holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family. The relaxed and atmospheric house is set in the 1950s, and contains many of the family's collections, including archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china and books. Outside you can explore the large and romantic woodland garden, with a restored vinery, wild edges and rare plantings, which drifts down the hillside towards the sparkling Dart estuary.
WATER BASED ACTIVITIES
Kelley’s Hero Charters – 01803 855179 or 07970 642354
If it's deep sea fishing that 'floats your boat' then Dave’s your man. Aboard a Mk II Lochin 33' Sports fisher powered by a cummins 335hp diesel called 'Kelly's Hero' he can take you inshore rough ground, wreck fishing, reef, bank, mud flats, and gullies.
You don't even need to get on a charter boat to take in some great fishing just up the road from Harbour View. For advice & bait go to Brixham bait & tackle on the quayside.
Fishing – Mackerel
Boats run regular trips from the harbour, suitable for all ages. Trips cost about £14 and last 1 ½ to 2 hours. No experience needed. Keep what you catch! Ask at the kiosks along the harbour.
Just buy a net and bucket from any of the local shops, add some bacon (crabs LOVE bacon – really!) and drop over the harbour side. In no time you’ll have a bucket full of crabs. Best time of day for catching crabs is mid afternoon to early evening.
BAIT & TACKLE
Brixham Bait & Tackle – 01803 853390, 10 The Quay, Brixham
SAILING & BOATING
Plain Sailing – 01803 853843, Brixham Marina, Brixham TQ5 9BP
Full range of RYA training courses, Round Britain Experience and yacht charter.
Brixham Yacht Club – 01803 853332, Overgang, Brixham. TQ5 8AR
Founded in 1937, The Brixham Yacht Club is recognised as one of the premier clubs on the South coast of England, as it continues to grow in both membership and stature. The clubroom, formerly a sail-loft, together with the Jubilee Room Restaurant, provide panoramic views of the busy, but quaint, working harbour of Brixham and the beautiful waters and coastlines of Torbay and Lyme Bay.
There is currently a fleet of six heritage sailing trawlers in Brixham Harbour. The "Golden Vanity", "Leader", "Pilgrim", "Provident" and the "Vigilance". The sailing trawlers are all gaff-rigged boats built between the 18-1900's. You can often see them berthed on the Brixham Town Pontoon and you will often find local craftsmen and women working on them who will be only too pleased to show you around the trawlers and tell you their history.
Greenway Ferries - 01803 882811
Regular ferry service between Torquay & Brixham pluse a huge range of trips and tours including Dartmouth, Agatha Christies Greenway, and wildlife tours. Operates Easter to October. See the kiosks around the harbour or click the link above.
Western Lady - 01803 852041
Regular ferry service between Brixham and Torquay for nearly 65 years. Operates Easter to October.
Paignton Ferry - 01803 529147
See kiosks around the harbour.
Dartmouth Steam Railway & Riverboat Company - 01803 555872
Voted UK's No.1 day out in The Sunday Times. Huge range of river and steam train trips around Dartmouth, Totnes & Paignton.
Sun-Fish Charters – 07968 262421.
Based in Brixham Marina.
Splashdown @ Quaywest – 01803 555550 – Goodrington Sands, Paignton TQ5 6LN
Water park with waterflumes and pools. Check website or phone for opening times and prices.
BEACHES & COVES
Brixham is at the far end of Torbay and is in the lee of Berry Head. This combined with the famous Brixham Breakwater ensures that Brixham is a sheltered port and a natural shelter.
The beaches are found in coves, are secluded, less prone to overcrowding on busy periods and have more of a rocky coastline to explore. Rockpools, fishing and a quiet time can all be enjoyed by taking those extra few minutes to get to the beach.
Broadsands is within 2 miles of Brixham. It is one of the most extensive gently sloping beaches in the Bay, with lots of parking and all facilities. This beach can be reached by a short car journey or, by a walk along the South West coastal path. This also takes in Churston & Elberry cove and Broadsands headland and makes a great day out for the active! Further south around Berry Head, the beaches of the South Hams beckon, Man Sands, beautiful Blackpool sands and magnificent Slapton sands, all worth a visit.
Type - Sand / Shingle
Access - Easy, to rear of the breakwater, gently shelving. Difficult disabled access
Bus No - 17 Shoalstone Beach
Facilities - Limited parking, no dogs allowed, swimming, safe with care, warning flags in operation, life saving equipment, toilets by beach, cafe / refreshments. This open air sea pool also has lifeguards
Type - Sand / Shingle
Access - Easy, to rear of the breakwater, gently shelving. Difficult disabled
Bus No - 17 Breakwater
Facilities - Limited parking, no dogs allowed, swimming, safe with care, warning flags in operation, life saving equipment, toilets by beach, cafe / refreshments, toilets nearby. Open air sea pool nearby (Shoalstone) plus rockpools. Blue Flag.
St. Marys Bay
Type - Sand / Shingle
Access - Moderate, down steps The beach is found to the SW of Berry Head
Bus No - 17 (St Marys Bay Holiday Camp)
Facilities - Parking, 400M away at Sharkham point car park. No dogs allowed. Disabled access may be difficult
Type - Sand / Shingle
Access - Easy, to rear of the breakwater, gently shelving.
Bus No - 17 Devon Cottage
Facilities - Limited parking. Café/Refreshments and deckchair hire. William of Orange landed his army in this secluded cove, 15 th November 1668 .
Type - Sand / Shingle
Bus No - (17 Devon Cottage)
Facilities – Limited
Type - Shingle. A pretty and popular water skier's beach, off the coastal path.
Bus No - 118 Broadsands Park Road
Facilities - Parking ½ mile away (Broadsands) Live saving equipment, all else limited.
Type - Sand, gently shelving, excellent family beach
Access - Moderate
Bus No - 118 Broadsands Park Road
Facilities - Extensive Parking. No dogs allowed, swimming safe with care, warning flags in operation, life saving equipment, toilets by beach, cafe / refreshments.
Admiral Swimming Centre - 01803 857151 – Higher Ranscombe Road, TQ5 9HF
25M Indoor pool. Check website for opening times and prices.
Shoalstone Open Air Pool
Brixham’s outdoor seawater swimming pool is one of only a few left in the country, with large open areas to relax in and enjoy the sun. There is also a small shingle beach adjacent to the pool. There is easy access with some parking at the back of the pool and a nice café with superb views across the bay.
The ‘Friends of Shoalstone Pool’ is a group of community-minded local people who have been instrumental in ensuring that the pool remains open to the public. Without their sterling efforts to repair the winter damage every spring, it is unlikely that it would remain open and free for all.
Churston Golf Club - 01803 842751
There is a lovely golf course just a mile or so up the road from Harbour View. Open to non-members if you phone the pro shop ahead of time.
Cayman Golf - 01803 845 909 - Dartmouth Road, Brixham, TQ5 0JT
Great value 18 hole pitch n put course using special ‘cayman’ balls. First of its kind in the UK.
The Golden Hind
Although it has no direct connection with Brixham, there is a surprisingly small (considering it had a crew of 60) full size replica of the Golden Hind moored in the inner harbour. Fun for all the family – especially on ‘Pirate Thursdays’
Go Karts - 01803 842779 - Brixham Road, Churston, TQ5 0HP
Churston Go-Karts in Brixham has a junior and senior outdoor go karting track with fast karts and even some 2-seater karts. Suitable for all abilities. Children and beginners welcome. Prices for activities vary so please contact Churston Go-Karts for more information
Paignton Zoo - 0844 474 2222
Very good zoo located just off the A380 in Paignton. Great for all the family.
Kents Caven – 01803 215136 – Ilsham Road, Torquay, TQ1 2JF
Kents Cavern is one of the most important Palaeolithic caves in Northern Europe and the oldest recognisable human dwelling in Britain. It holds beautiful and spectacular geological formations and significant prehistoric finds, some over 700,000 years old. Sadly, Brixham's own Cavern is not open to the public, but this is the nearest you can get to experiencing it.
Living Coasts - 01803 202 470 - Beacon Quay, Torquay TQ1 2BG
Much more than just an aquarium, Torquay’s coastal zoo features a host of exhibits including local sea horses, cuttlefish, seals, & starfish as well as Penguin Beach. New for 2010 is Octopus Odyssey.
Model Village – 01803 315315 – Hampton Avenue, Torquay TQ1 3LA
In addition to the obvious models, many of them animated, you can watch a 4D FX special called Journey to the centre of the Earth, see the model railway and visit the award winning landscaped gardens.
Cockington – 01803 606035 -
Historic Village Craft centre & country park, managed by the Torbay Coast and Countyside Trust. Lovely park land, quaint thatched cottages, tea rooms, Glassblowing, Blacksmith, Gold & Silver Jewellery design and manufacture, Leatherwork, Pottery, Resident Artists.
Coleton Fishacre – 01803 752466, Kingswear, nr. Brixham TQ6 0EQ
Travel back in time to the Jazz Age at the holiday home of the D'Oyly Carte family. You can lose yourself in the magical 12-hectare (30-acre) garden: viewpoints give enticing glimpses out to sea, paths weave through glades past tranquil ponds, and tender plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand thrive in the moist and sheltered valley. This most evocative of holiday homes, built in the Arts & Crafts style, is imbued with 1920s' elegance. A light, joyful atmosphere fills the rooms and music plays, echoing the family's Gilbert and Sullivan connections.
Brixham’s Heritage Museum
The museum tells the story of Brixham. It covers life in the port from the Stone Age through to the present day with a strong nautical flavour.
View from Berry Head
Brixham & Berry Head circular walk – about 6 miles.
Fish. Penguins and an unusual Lighthouse. Berry Head is a prominent feature on the South Devon coast, marking the southern end of the great coastal feature of Tor Bay. Across the Bay it gives views as far as the East Devon coast, while in the opposite direction the coastline heads off towards the Dart Estuary and the South Hams.
Magnificent romantic cliff path walks. A favourite is to "Walk into the Brixham sunset" around Battery Gardens . Delightful cliff paths bordered by wild shrubs and flowers, magnificent panorama of shimmering sea in subtle shades of blue and pending night purple, and a huge, low red sun spreading a red-gold path across the waters to Paignton and Torquay on the other side of the bay, then finally disappearing into the water.
Here are two popular walks, way marked with distinctive signs:
The Panorama Route
The Panorama Route passed by the Oxen Cove coach park, leading to the Tourist Information Centre (inner harbour) via the busy Fish Quay. The return to Oxen Cove is via Middle Street shops, all Saints Church, quaint fishermen's cottages, delightful secluded Fishcombe Cove and the peaceful Battery Gardens , where the remains of a World War II Battery can be explored. Walk takes about 1 hour.
The Mariners Way
Start from the Tourist Information Centre, visiting The Old Coffin House (a building in the shape of a coffin) on through the main shopping area of Fore Street , past the site of Brixham Cavern, returning via Breakwater Beach and the new Marina Walkway, pas the Lifeboat Station and the Coastguard building. Walk takes about 1 hour.
The Original Brixham Ghost Walk
Our neighbour David runs these spookily entertaining walks throughout the peak season. They depart from the Prince William Statue on the harbour side and are suitable for all ages. See the poster in our window for dates and times.