Goodrington was another village, like Preston,
that was swallowed up by Paignton, and covers the coastal area between Roundham Head
and Broadsands, but just like its counterpart across the other side of town, it has grown inland as well.
It has to be said that there’s not much for the ardent historian to seek out here because Goodrington primarily attracts families who just want to enjoy the beach, park and water flumes. That said, it also manages to juggle the appeal of family fun with some important conservation as well.
As I pointed out in Old Paignton this used to be a wet, marshy area, and it’s not difficult to see why it was looked upon in years gone by as an area that needed to be tamed, but these days we treat nature with a bit more respect (sometimes) and work with nature rather than against it.
As Paignton (and Torbay in general) began to expand, then it was only a matter of time before other small adjacent villages were added to the urban area’s population. For Paignton, it included the villages of Goodrington
to the south, and Preston to the north.
Preston sits between Old Paignton and the boundary with Torquay at Hollicombe, and over the years has expanded up the hill inland, but from a visitor’s perspective the main points of interest are the beach, known as Preston Sands, and Oldway Mansion.
At low tide Preston Sands are a continuation of Paignton Beach, but is generally regarded as the shoreline between the Redcliffe Hotel and Hollicombe Head. It’s a safe beach ideal for sunbathing and swimming, as well as rock-pooling at Hollicombe Head.
I’m not somebody who likes to lie around on the beach much these days, but for families, Paignton seafront has all the ingredients to make a perfect holiday.
The sunny, south facing beach has sand that’s perfect for making sandcastles, and its Blue Flag status makes the sea perfectly safe for even the tiniest of tots to paddle and swim in.
If the youngsters get tired of playing on the beach, then there’s always the 780 ft long Pier to wander along. It first opened in 1879 and was initially used as a place for music and dancing, but those days have long gone, and instead there are now traditional slot machines, the latest video games, and a children’s play park with ‘rides and slides’ including a helter skelter. Since the 1980s the pier has been constantly upgraded and is as popular as ever.