Devon TQ5
Brixham completes the semi-circle of Devonshire coastline known as the English Riviera.
Brixham is a busy fishing port at the foot of a hill, picturesque and old. Many of its streets are narrow and composed of flights of steps such as King Street, the location of Ye Olde Coffin House.
There is an historic atmosphere about Brixham accentuated by the presence of a 16th century sailing ship moored at the old Fish Quay. This is a full sized replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde – see Golden Hind Ship Museum in this website.
Fishing was the main industry but smuggling paid better even though it was an offence punishable by hanging. There are a lot of local stories about smugglers and their haunts, particularly the Smugglers Haunt Hotel.
Cowtown Happ'nin
Although the town is all one now, it was originally two communities. Up on the hill was Cowtown occupied by the farmers, and a mile away at the bottom of the hill was the harbour and Fishtown. This ancient difference is celebrated every year in mid-July with the ‘Cowtown Happ’nin’. This is a music festival with local bands performing in St Mary’s Park.
The Anglican church of St Mary is the oldest ecclesiastical building in Brixham. It is the third church on the spot – the first was a Saxon wooden building which was demolished for a stone Norman structure. In about 1360 the current Perpendicular church was built.
Abide With Me
Brixham All Saints in Fishtown is known as the ‘Abide with Me’ church and at 20:00 hours each evening the bells play this hymn.
This historic town has a lot to offer the visitor – the fascinating harbour with its heritage sailing trawlers (see Brixham Heritage Fleet in this website) the RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Station, Brixham Heritage Museum, interesting walks, deep sea fishing excursions, and restaurants, cafes and street stalls selling delicious fresh seafood straight off the trawlers.
Throughout England’s history, Brixham has played a vital role both as a fishery and as a naval port. In the 11th century 39 people were recorded as living in Brixham. By the 13th century it was the largest fishing port in West England.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:     External Link
Berry Head
Berry Head provided an excellent spot to keep watch for shipping coming up the English Channel. There is now an interesting walking route over Berry Head – details are in Berry Head Walk in this website.
Brixham welcomed the Protestant Dutch Prince William of Orange and his army in 1688 when he landed in England on his way to take up the English throne. There is a statue of William on the quay and Overgang Road is the route they took up the hill from the harbour.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve, accessible by car or on foot from the town, boasts spectacular coastal scenery. Perched high on the cliff top, the Nature Reserve offers stunning views of the Riviera coast and well beyond. It is also the site of an imposing Napoleonic fort.
Naval men o’ war would shelter in Tor Bay, re-victualling with fresh food and vegetables from Cowtown. Even in the 20th century Brixham played an important part in World War II as a departure point for American troops engaged in the D-Day landings.
Battery Gardens & Brixham Battery Museum
Well preserved coastal defences can still be seen in Battery Gardens where there is an excellent little museum and memorials, refer to article titled Battery Gardens & Brixham Battery Museum in this website. Battery Gardens have a military history leading back to the Napoleonic wars and the time of the Spanish Armada.
The Battery Gardens provide stunning views across the bay.
Toll House
The first building seen when coming into Brixham from Paignton is the old white-boarded Toll House where all travellers had to pay a fee to keep the roads repaired.
Dartmouth Steam Railway
At nearby Churston is the heritage Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. This heritage railway runs from Kingswear in the south to Paignton on Tor Bay in the north. The line is owned and operated by Dart Valley Railway plc. This company also owns Dart Pleasure Craft Limited. This latter company operates the ferry service between Kingswear and Dartmouth, together with river and coastal cruises from Dartmouth, many of which connect with the railway.
Brixham Harbour
Social life in Brixham centers on its pretty harbour. It is here that the visitor finds stalls selling fresh seafood, cafes for that cup of coffee and bars selling the odd pint of ale and glass of wine. What a wonderful place to watch the fishermen unloading their daily catch or sample the freshly caught seafood at the local restaurants and cafes.
Also here on the harbour side you can book seats for boat rides around the calm waters of the bay or up the River Dart to Greenway (Agatha Christie’s home).
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
Start planning your visit to Brixham at the Brixham TIC, details in this website.
Brixham, Torquay & Paignton Parking
As you would expect, on street parking is limited. There are, however parking stations that will assist. Use the following official parking link:
Website   Parking in Torbay district    External Link
Google Maps - Brixham

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