Brixham in Devon is a cute little seaside town with a very charming harbour. If you time your visit right, you can visit during its many festivals, such as when the streets and waters are full of pirates! Here’s what you need to know before your Brixham holidays.
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Basic Brixham Travel Tips
How to get there
You can easily reach Brixham via car or taxi. If you like to try a ride on a classic steam ride, you can hop on the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Kingswear. It can easily be combined with cruises and bus tickets in the Round Robin ticket.
When to visit
Brixham has mild climate but since it’s right by the coast, be prepared for quickly changing weather and strong breezes. So always check the weather and wear layers.
It’s a good idea to wear a wind- and waterproof jacket (like this one). Don’t forget your bobby pins, hair bands and hairspray to keep wild hair in check.
There are festivals and events in Brixham throughout the year. Check out the event calendar to see what is on in Brixham during your planned stay. Three special highlights in Brixham are the Pirate Festival on the Bank holiday weekend in May, the BrixFest in late May and the Torbay Steam Fair in August.
- In 2022, The Brixham Pirate Festival will be held on the 30th April to 2nd May.
Where to Stay in Brixham
There is a range of Brixham hotels, cottages and more options for accommodation in Brixham in case a day trip isn’t enough for you.
Click through on the map below to check out a location you like. When you click on one option, you will be redirected to Booking, where I usually do my hotel bookings as I can compare prices and set my exact requirements. It’s really helpful!
Top 10 Brixham Sights
1. Brixham Battery Heritage Centre
The battery itself was built in 1940. The Heritage Centre includes, for instance, the War Shelter, Ammunition Tunnels, Generator Rooms, Battery Observation Post (B.O.P.) and more.
It might be only a small museum but showcases a fascinating collection about WWII. It’s open on Monday, Friday and Sunday afternoons. Entry is free.
2. Berry Head National Nature Reserve
The very south of Tor Bay is marked by the coastal headland of Berry Head. It is a national nature reserve and features beautiful coastal walks and viewpoints. It’s a great place for spotting birds and occasionally whales and dolphins in summer.
Other special sights are the active, 5 metre high Berry Head Lighthouse from 1906 as well as Berry Head Fort and battery. For refreshments, there is the Guardhouse Cafe as well as a Visitor Centre for insider tips.
3. Brixham Heritage Museum
The recently re-opened Brixham Heritage Museum is free to visit and open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. It is run by volunteers and its archeology team is currently investigating for more findings near Berry Head Common.
It gives insights into what life was like during various stages in Brixham’s history, featuring findings from prehistoric and Napoleonic times. There are also first-hand accounts, original photography and more from WWI on display.
4. Golden Hind Museum Ship
A particular gem among Brixham’s boats is the Golden Hind. There are only two replica of Sir Francis Drake’s iconic ship: One is in London and then there’s the Golden Hind in Brixham. It sits right in the harbour of Brixham and you can’t miss it. The 16th century ship stands out.
During the Pirate Festival in Brixham, it is used in live reenactments. The ships is open for visits daily from mid February to early November. Entry is 5 GBP and a guided tour costs 7 GBP. Check current details here.
5. Brixham Beaches
Brixham has its own beaches. First, there is Breakwater Beach, which is a Blue Flag beach and one of the cleanest and safest beaches in South Devon. If you are keen on diving, this is the place to go as there are diving schools around.
A drive from Brixham Harbour takes less than 5 minutes. Or you can walk here for 15 minutes. There is a small parking lot and disabled access.
Then, there is the small Fishcombe Beach and Cove. This shingle beach is much quieter and on the other side of Brixham harbour. You can get somewhat close with your car by parking in Fishcombe Road. But then you have to walk anyway.
Last but not least, there is Scabbacombe Sands, which is an hour bus ride or a 15 minute drive south of Brixham. Bus 18 brings you to Scabbacombe Lane, which is as close as you can get to the beach. From there, you have to walk for roughly half an hour.
6. West Coast Path
Hiking around Brixham is totally possible. Apart from the Berry Head peninsula, you can try the South West Coast Path. Should you have plenty of time, you can do the entire stretch in one go as there are plenty of towns and villages along the way to stay the night in.
On average, hikers take 7-8 weeks for the 630 mile-long track. There is an annual guidebook, which you can download here. Check the official website in case you only want to tackle a part (at a time).
7. Shoalstone Pool
If you are not that keen on taking a dip right in the ocean or don’t want to drive to a beach, you can hop into Shoalstone Pool. This 53-metre long seawater lido is open from from May to September, 10am to 6pm. For up-to-date information, check here.
There is no entry fee, it operates on a donation-base. So you can give as much as you feel like. Typically guests leave 2GBP.
8. Greenway House
Agatha Christie’s very own former holiday home, Greenway House has been beautifully frozen in time. You can visit its collection and rooms as well as the stunning gardens. Technically, Agatha Christie didn’t write her famous works here but it is said that she read her manuscripts aloud.
A drive from Brixham to Greenway takes only 13 minutes. Alternatively, you can catch either bus 12 or 13 and then change into the Dartmouth Steam Railway. They sell combination tickets and the stretch is part of the Round Robin ticket, which includes cruises along the bay as well.
9. Brixham Harbour
One of the first things to see in Brixham upon your arrival is the harbour and marina. It’s part of Tor Bay and actually has one of the UK’s largest fishing fleets. Naturally, this is a great place to hop on a ferry, boat cruise or a yacht. (After all, there’s also the Brixham Yacht Club.)
Plus, if you love fresh fish and seafood, you will find restaurants along the harbour front to satisfy your craving for those. Some of the best seafood restaurants include Verna’s Pepper Shack, Old Market House and Rockfish (which is part of a chain).
10. Nearby Sights
You don’t need to stick around the streets of Brixham for fun adventures. South Devon has so much to offer. I’ve travelled the region quite a bit (all by public transport) and here are some of my favourite places. Click on them for more indepth travel information.
Are holidays in Brixham Worth it?
I totally would say yes. It’s a cute little place and well connected. Here are regular buses all over the region. You can reach Dartmoor National Park within 2 hours via bus and within an hour by car.
There are plenty of events all over Brixham in the UK, it’s beautiful no matter the time of the year (though chilly in winter but also without the tourist crowds.) You can explore nature, go on scenic train rides or cruises or explore nearby castles.
Plus, for literature fans, visiting Agatha Christie’s former summer home is a definite must. Sherlock Holmes fans, will love to explore Dartmoor, which inspired The Hound of the Baskervilles.
More from the Devon Blog
- Where to find bluebells in Devon
- Visiting quaint Teignmouth
- Have you heard of the ancient village Grimspound?
- Why Totnes is the cutest place in South Devon
- Visit Holne or Hembury Woods in Dartmoor