There’s so much to do on a family holiday in and around Brixham. For kids, the choice of places to go and activities to get involved with is so large you’d need ten holidays to do each of them justice! From the open-air rock swimming pool at Shoalstone Beach, to a tour of the Golden Hind Museum Ship (for Pirates’ Day), Babbacombe Model Village, the Geoplay Centre in Paignton and Wizz Kidz – the local indoor soft play and scrambling, climbing areas. Further up the coast in Torquay is Kents Cavern, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, and the laser tag variant, Battlefield LIVE, for youngsters over nine years of age. This is just a sample of places to go just to whet the appetite.
Number one on Trip Advisor for ‘things to do’ on the English Riviera is this 60-year-old model village. Always in a state of flux, each year brings new features and buildings. 2017 saw the addition of a canal and narrow boat scene. Celebrity mansions, palaces, zoos, railway tracks, and a host of street scenes jostle for attention. There’s even a tribute to Albert Square, home to the TV show Eastenders. Some of the model village is found indoors nowadays so don’t let a rainy day spoil your plans.
A replica of Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship The Golden Hind stands in Brixham Harbour. It is a museum ship that is a great place for kids to explore, especially fans of films like Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists, or the Pirates of the Caribbean saga – not that the original Golden Fleece was a pirate ship. Far from it! The Golden Hind was the first ship to circumnavigate the globe; it is a life-size replica, five decks tall stuffed to the gunnels with exhibits and displays both indoors and on-deck. The Golden Hind will educate and bewitch children of all ages, whilst adults are also bound to find much to keep them interested on a visit too. A host of events takes place aboard the ship; in 2017, most Thursdays throughout the summer holidays held a Pirate day!
If you’re keen for your children to get comfortable with playing in the sea, the outside tidal swimming pool along the front at Brixham is a great place to play in safer confines. The pool lets in sea water so for those unaccustomed to swimming in salt water this is a wonderful spot. One of the last surviving examples of a Victorian-era rock pool, the edges and bottom have been rebuilt to resemble a traditional pool with straight edges. There are changing facilities, toilets, deckchairs and seasonal lifeguard cover as well. The pool is very close to the beach, as you’d expect.
The Geoplay park is a magnet for all those wanting to learn about the Riviera’s geological history, with different periods represented by a play area. For instance, the Permian Period is a sand and water play area, designed to evoke the flash floods and violent storms of the age. Elsewhere, the Carboniferous Period, which was when the continents collided creating a huge mountain range, is represented by a gigantic mountain shaped climbing net. Young visitors are invited to engage with their surroundings on the zip wires, towers, climbing trees and so much more. The Geoplay Centre is a brilliant choice for those looking for a child-friendly destination which is as fun as it’s educational.
Just a few miles up the road from Brixham is the UK’s largest waterpark, Splashdown Quaywest. With eight tyre, mat and body rides with names like Wild Kamikaze, Devil’s Drop, Raging Rapids and more, you’re not going to go home the least bit dry. There are a few more rides for small children too. Tickets can be calibrated depending on which sessions you are booking and when in the season your visit happens to be. There are other facilities on site to give you a ‘full day out’ experience at the park.
For even more ideas visit some of our other blogs – giving you some suggestions for places to visit and dine throughout the English Riviera.