There’s so much to do in and around Brixham, and even we keep finding new places to visit and see evry time we go down ourselves!
The rule of thumb is to try and walk – we hardly ever take the car down into Brixham, we just walk down the hill, although there is a Pay and Display short term car park in the middle of town if you want. Brixham is known for its many sets of steps, and there are almost half a dozen different ways to get down from The Captains Cottage into town. The less steep ones are Temperane Steps, just turn left out the front door and walk almost to the end of North View Road (oppposite #15) and Temperance Steps will be on your right leading down the hill.
It’s always nice to walk around Brixham harbour and marina, and to take the measured half-mile walk to the end of the Brixham Breakwater to the lighthouse (just past the marina) – often you can see seals in the marina too on your way.
If you follow the harbourside path in either direction from town there are some fairly straightforward 2-4 hour walks that just follow the South West Coast Path.
Towards Paignton If you head out past the fishing port to the left (as you look out of the harbour) on the South West Coast Path it takes you mostly along the coast (and through some woods) to both Fishcombe and Churston coves, and then round to Elberry Cove and (eventually) Broadsands beach. Fishcombe Cove has a small cafe which is open in the summer only (when it occasionally does evening events too – check out their Facebook page for details!). All of the coves are ideal seal-spotting places.
After reaching Broadsands (or just giving up at Elberry!) we tend to cut back inland and follow Elberry Lane into Churston for a drink at Churston Manor, which is about as medieval a pub and hotel as you’ll find anywhere. From there you can either walk back along Copythorne Road into town, catch a bus along the A3022 at the top of Churston Road, or just as behind the bar for them to order you a cab back (which is only a few quid).
Towards Berry Head Going the other way past the marina, breakwater and lido along the Coast path takes you to the Berry Head Hotel, from where you can carry on to the gate on your left into Berry Head Nature Reserve – is a huge headland with a Napoleonic fort and a (much more interesting we think!) café called The Guardhouse, which is very hard to walk past without stopping for a slice of cake or a blockbuster doorstop sandwich. If you stand on the Berry Head headland and look carefully down to the sea below you can often see dolphins and porpoises going back and forth in the waves way down below.
If you keep going on the South West Coast Path there are plenty of places where you can cut back into Brixham. The first is to leave Berry Head through the car park and walk back along Gillard Road, otherwise you can carry on to the large, quiet and unspoilt sandy beach at St Marys Bay and then cut back into town along St Marys Road back towards Brixham.
If you carry on quite a long way further you will come to Man Sands – an amazing “hidden gem” of a beach (which is “just about” accessible by car as well), from where Southdown Road takes you quickly back into Higher Brixham.
The ferry to Torquay is a nice boat trip in its own right, going several times a day from the harbour. You usually need to book tickets from one of the kiosks you’ll see on the harbourside opposite the house – booking early will allow you to be sure of a place on the boats coming back later in the day.
Torquay itself is a bit of a bustling town, but further round the coast it’s a fairly easy walk to the quiet “locals favourite” of Meadfoot Beach, and even further to the stunning views and equally stunning beaches at Babbacombe and Oddicombe.
Further afield, Salcombe is a lovely town in a beautiful setting, but it can get very packed in summer. Totnes is a quirky town on the river with some equally quirky shops, Dartmouth is also very picturesque with some nice places to eat, shop and drink and as well as being a terminus for both river and sea cruises to Brixham and Totnes, and across the river Dart by ferry (our tip is walk onto the car ferry – it’s much more fun and you’ll have a shorter wait!) in Kingswear, the steam railway that goes through Churston all the way to the traditional English seaside charms of Paignton.
Right on the doorstep of Brixham, Agatha Christie’s summer residence at Greenway is also certainly worth a visit. It’s a fantastic National Trust property with a lovely country house and amazing gardens overlooking the River Dart, so would be worth a visit in it’s own right – but it has also been preserved just as it was when the worlds most prolific and well known author lived there, right down to the typewriters and notebooks she used, so you can get a real sense of being close to history when you are visiting as well.
There are loads more small, scenic beaches, villages and country walks that we’ve not even begun to discover yet, so as well as all of these ideas hopefully you may well find many more interesting places than we have even managed ourselves so far!