Brixham’s history is filled with tales of pirates and smugglers

Rigging from crows nest

The annual Pirate Festival is highly popular with adults and kids alike dressing up and partaking in lots of “ooh arr me hearties”, etc!). Seek out the Old Fish Market for something a bit out of the ordinary (the brand new hi-tech fish market opened recently but the old market is still open in the spring and summer months).

There is a thriving fishing industry in Brixham so where else should you try the fresh catch of the day than at one of the town’s many fish restaurants dotted around the harbour? They source their fish from the world-famous Brixham Fish Market. Take a guided tour which ends with a very hearty English breakfast.

The historic Western Lady ferry takes you across the Bay to Torquay. A wonderful way to avoid the traffic on the roads with stunning views across the water - with the possibility of spotting dolphins quite possible.

Berry Head National Nature Reserve protects the southern half of Torbay. Part of the English Riviera Global Geopark, it is an internationally admired heritage site that is home to a huge variety of wildlife and history. Enjoy the stunning views both east to Torbay and west to Start Point and beyond.  There are recently-restored Napoleonic War fortifications and you are able to walk the ramparts as the soldiers did 200 years ago. For the more adventurous, it's also a great spot for rock climbing and kayaking.

A short drive (or bus journey) away is the stunning Coleton Fishacre house and gardens. There are 30 magical acres of lush gardens with countless places to view inviting glimpses out to sea and paths wind through woodland, glades, past peaceful ponds and is home to tender plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand fully at home in the moist, sheltered valley location. The South West Coast Path runs along the bottom of the garden! The house is built in the Arts & Crafts style, is imbued with 1920s' elegance. The house was spotted from the sea by Rupert D'Oyly Carte (of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company - a professional light opera company that staged Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy operas).

What to do in Brixham

From pirate festivals to trawler racing and from the fish market to nature reserves, Brixham has a great amount to offer.

On the water, take a trip to Torquay on the historic Western Lady Ferry or a day trip to Dartmouth taking in the stunning South Devon coastline (and with commentary). You could even try both!

The famous Battery Gardens is a great spot to spend a few hours – there is a beach at the foot of the steep hill. Make sure you grab yourself a coffee before the hike back up! There is also the interesting Battery Heritage Centre to visit too.

Brixham is first and foremost a fishing port. Catches include crab, lobster and monkfish. This fascinating industry can be viewed by visitors via a viewing deck in the new fish market. In New Road, past the Scala Hall you can see for yourself the rich history of the port at the Heritage Centre.

The natural beauty of Berry Head and of St Mary's Bay is nearby too. On the southern tip of Torbay, the imposing limestone headland of Berry Head has 60 metre (200 feet) cliffs which offer shelter and protection to wildlife - and have done so for centuries. From the delicate, rare plant and insect life of the grassland areas to the enormous guillemot colony (the most southerly in the UK) plus many sea caves, Berry Head has unique and outstanding wildlife. Special rarities include the small blue butterfly, cirl bunting, white rock rose, several orchid species and the Devonshire cup coral. 400 million year old limestone is at the heart of the headland and was once a reef in a shallow tropical sea south of the equator!

How to get here

Parking at Brixham

Brixham Central car park is within easy walking distance of Brixham harbour.  This car park is owned by Torbay Council so charges apply.

Brixham Marina car park is also nearby. This car park is privately run and charges apply.

What's on in Brixham

Torbay Steam Fair

Torbay Steam Fair

Torbay Steam Fair is a working steam and country fair with vintage fairground, classic and vintage vehicles. A great and interesting family day out!

2nd August 2024
To: 4th August 2024



  • Highly recommend. - From boarding in Paignton, to alighting the ferry in Dartmouth, this journey has to be the best you can take on the English Riviera. It all goes by too quick. Highly recommend.
  • Brilliant day - Very pleasant day out, VERY well organised and friendly teams (train and ferry, especially in social distancing times). Would do it again and add the boat cruise.
  • Great!! - We all had such a fantastic day out. From the wonderful, helpful and friendly staff at Paignton to the quick and easy ferry crossing and the brilliant steamboat trip. Our captain on the steamboat was just amazing, so funny and full of brilliant facts and local knowledge.

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