Holidays need not break the bank, there are plenty of places and activities to take part in for free. Factoring in a packed lunch and a few pounds for parking in some cases, the world’s your oyster. Brixham and its surrounding area is packed with free walks, trails, beaches, galleries and museums. This list may not be exhaustive but it includes some great historic places of interest and some views to remember.
Shoalstone Pool is a wonderful 53m sea water swimming pool, situated on Brixham sea front. It is one of the only surviving examples of a Victorian-era natural rock pool. The water inside is tidal so is always renewed with the turn of the tide; many of the rocks were removed and a smooth, sloping bottom installed so it’s a little bit more like conventional pools like Lidos or the indoor chlorinated equivalents.The pool is very accessible with level areas all around the pool. It is very close to a shingle beach so you can also enjoy a sea swim. There is a programme of events at the pool as well, that are community run and they welcome everybody.
The pool has seasonal lifeguards, warning flags, lifebuoys, seasonal toilets, deckchair hire, café, and disabled access via a ramp to pool level. Dogs are not permitted at the pool, however they may be taken onto the beach.
The infinitely famous and well-respected queen of crime fiction Agatha Christie lived and concocted her brilliant canon of novels in and around Brixham. Pick up a free leaflet from the tourist information, library or any café with a pamphlet display for local attractions; you can also download a copy here. Discover enticing tit-bits about her legendary sleuths; Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot. Towns like Torquay and Dartmouth were thinly veiled with names such as Hollowquay and Drymouth. Such paraphernalia as the Greenway quay bell will set Christie aficionados into a rapture, as it features heavily in Christie’s novel Ordeal by Innocence. Participants on the trail will enjoy the fun facts you can gather about her life in the area. You can visit the place where she was proposed to, her childhood home, and where she was christened. All the sites except for Greenway are open all year round. Greenway is open between March and October.
For a breath of fresh air and a wander, visit the Berry Head Nature Reserve on the north side of Brixham, within walking distance of the town centre. Found at the southern end of Torbay, this is one of the English Riviera’s most beautiful heritage sites. If you love the great outdoors see if you can identify any of the wildlife that makes Berry Head home. Also spend time together discovering the recently restored Napoleonic War-era forts. It’s a great place to go with all the family and your dog in tow as the views of the bay are outstanding.
This is a great free-entry destination close to Brixham. Geoplay Park is a magnet for those wanting to learn all about the Riviera’s geological history – with different periods represented by a play area. For instance, the Carboniferous Period, when the continents collided creating a huge mountain range, is represented by a gigantic mountain shaped climbing net. Elsewhere, the Permian Period is a sand and water play area, designed to evoke the flash floods and violent storms of the age. Young visitors are invited to engage with their surroundings on the zip wires, towers, climbing trees and so much more. It’s a great example of a place where education and outdoor play meet successfully on a collision course.
The House of Marbles is a great pick for a day out for visitors of any age. As the name suggests, this is a glassworks with a large focus on the manufacture of glass marbles. At the centre, you will find a great collection of marble runs, animated animals (including a snoring bear), fairground mirrors, and so much more. There are tours of the Teign Valley glassworks too; see the craftsmen shape molten glass into amazing works of art. The marble runs were all designed and constructed by a genius called Alex Schmid; the Snooki 2000 is arguably the largest on display in the UK. Elsewhere on the complex is a restaurant, and a games museum with exhibits dating back as far as the 1600s. There’s an opportunity to buy some crafted glassware on site too. A truly great free day out for all the family.
If you are interested in visiting Brixham, visit some of our other blogs for ideas on places to visit.