One of the best ways to spend a day on the English Riviera is cruising around on the water. The sea is one of the best vantages to see the region in all its splendour. You can enjoy a sight-seeing tour, catch a ferry, or even charter a fishing boat. You can easily get to Torquay and Paignton from Brixham by boat, so take to the waters instead of your car and embark on a wonderful day out by sea.
Ferries and Pleasure Cruises
With nearly 70 years in service, the Western Lady Ferry Service operates from the New Pier in Brixham, and runs boats between the town and Torquay. Also available are a selection of wildlife cruises, evening voyages, special events and chartered fishing trips.
Paignton Pleasure Cruises (PPC) offers much of the same except these guys operate from Brixham harbour. Look out for their mackerel and wreck fishing trips. As the latter is based in Paignton you can also pick up a day-long tour up the River Dart and around Dartmouth. This relaxed 30-mile day trip follows the beautiful coastal and riverside scenery. See Agatha Christieʼs house, Greenway, and the Royal Naval College. Look out for colourful yachts, crabbers and trawlers or the odd Royal Navy vessel alongside the Sandquay.
PPC have several boats that cover many of the routes across Torbay, that can also double up as pleasure boats to be hired out for private parties. A good way to avoid gridlock when a major event is on, such as the Torbay Air Show or the Dartmouth Regatta, is to catch a ferry. Boats can be chartered to watch the annual firework displays too.
For a romantic evening on the ocean waves take a sunset cruise. Cameras at the ready in case you see any dolphins or other cetaceans. Cruise out to the edge of Torbay, around the coves and inlets, pass ʻLondon Bridgeʼ and sail into Torquay. Be mindful that departure times vary according to sunset times, so always check the website before venturing out.
Charter a fishing boat with some friends to see if you can land yourself a gigantic denizen of the ocean for your tea. Visit the Torbay Fishing site for a list of boats that you could book for a day or a half-day including a spot of wreck fishing too. Some boats take large groups, whilst others will take a small number.
You can also head to a local dive site by boat. Torbay is a wonderful spot to learn how to scuba dive; the Torbay BSAC is one of the main organisations that takes out beginners, as well as established diving groups and individuals. One particular wreck, the SS Maine, is a popular dive spot with club members.