Is it possible to go to a beach or even plan a visit to the sea without having The Kooks – ‘Seaside’ playing in your head? The answer is no, it’s not.
We decided to make the most of the last bank holiday of the year and give the summer (or what we’ve had of it) a proper send off. I’ve just got back from 3 beautiful days on the Devonshire coast and I NEED to write about it, asap.
Paignton Sea Front
On Friday 26th I packed up my desk – snack draw and half of the stationary cupboard included – into a cardboard box and said an emotional goodbye to colleagues who’ve become best friends over the past 2 years. And what better way to celebrate the start of a new chapter than heading to the beach!
If you’ve never been to Torbay then I’d highly recommend a visit. We stayed in Paignton, in a stuffy little room on the top floor of the kind of guesthouse you see in films, the kind of films where those staying in the room don’t come out alive… It was hot and noisy and cramped and dated and everything that a British guesthouse should be, and the breakfast was to die for (death by food is okay, death by creepy hotel room – not so much).
Paignton is as typical a seaside town as you can get. Charmingly, garish pier, noisy penny arcades and more fish and chips than anyone can eat. I lost count of the number of times that we walked the length of the beach (a great walk for any Pokémon Go players!) and if you’re peckish then the Pelican cafe is the place to go. In my eyes what separates Paignton from other seaside towns is the fact that perched on top of a hill, roughly an 8 minute drive from the seafront is Paignton Zoo. I don’t care what your age, the zoo is a great day out and for the price, Paignton is fab. More types of monkey than you can shake a stick at and you can see the sea from the Giraffe enclosure…sold? You should be.
Breakwater Beach – Brixham
And then there’s Brixham *heart eyes*…I’ll be honest, I got sunstroke in my Geography GCSE exam and since then have never looked at a map and so I thought that Brixham was Brixton… How wrong could I be – but how glad about it I am! Gigantic pasties, pastel coloured houses, beautiful gardens, quirky little shops, crystal clear waters and a seal if you’re lucky! If you’re in this part of the UK and you don’t go to Brixham, you’ve missed out, big style. Grab yourself a crabbing set and a good perch on the sea wall and you’re good for the day but if you need refreshing Liberty tea parlour and cocktail bar is the place to go.
Finally, before we accepted that our summer was over and we had no choice but to head home and wait for the dark nights to draw in, we visited Torquay. Typically, the weather was the best it had been all weekend and so we sat on the harbour wall for hours with 2 (very expensive) scoops of ice cream and debated how sensible it would be to buy a jet-ski when we live in the very, very, landlocked West Midlands. Torquay is a millionaires playground, boat-envy included.
I’m sorry that this is a bit of a long one, I could have gone on for hours, I have that many beautiful photos and fabulous memories to share. It turns out you really can’t top a proper, British summer holiday, no all-inclusive buffets, no fancy air-conditioned rooms, no exotic palm tree surrounded pool can beat a sandy, fish and chip supper with goose-bump covered limbs and scared-of-nothing seagulls.
“I’m not trying to say that everybody wants to go, I fell in love at the seaside…”