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Paignton

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Devon  /  English Riviera  /  Paignton
(3.5/5 based on 9,500+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: zoos & aquariums, nature, sightseeing
Paignton is a seaside town on the coast of Tor Bay in Devon, England. Together with Torquay and Brixham it forms the unitary authority of Torbay which was created in 1998. The Torbay area is a holiday destination known as the English Riviera. Paignton's population in the United Kingdom Census of 2011 was 49,021. It has origins as a Celtic settlement and was first mentioned in 1086. It grew as a small fishing village and a new harbour was built in 1847. A railway line was opened to passengers in 1859 creating links to Torquay and London. As its population increased, it merged with the villages of Goodrington and Preston.HistoryPaignton is mentioned in the Domesday Book of AD 1086. Formerly written Peynton and Paington, the name is derived from Paega's town, the original Anglo-Saxon settlement. Paignton was given the status of a borough having a market and fair in 1294.Paignton was a small fishing village until the 19th century, when in 1837 the Paington Harbour Act led to the construction of a new harbour and the modern spelling, Paignton, first appeared. The historic part of Paignton is centred on Church Street, Winner Street and Palace Avenue which contain fine examples of Victorian architecture. Kirkham House is a late medieval stone house which is open to the public at certain times of year. The Coverdale Tower adjacent to Paignton Parish Church is named after Bishop Miles Coverdale, who published an English translation of the Bible in 1536. Coverdale was Bishop of Exeter between 1551 and 1553 and is reputed to have lived in the tower although this is doubted by modern historians.
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Where to stay

A room near the harbor provides a view over the water. However, a historical cottage outside the town center may be the ideal getaway. A cottage offers seclusion, within walking distance of the town's main attractions.
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