The beautiful coastal town dubbed ‘the English Riviera’, where rich Londoners bring their second home

Have you ever been on vacation somewhere, and when you were lying on a beach licking sunshine, you thought to yourself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this every day?’

A place that seems to have that special charm is right here in the UK – just a few hours from London in southern Devon – and wealthy Londoners are in the process of buying second homes there in droves.

Paignton, in the Torbay area of ​​Devon close to Torquay and Brixham, is a popular British holiday destination thanks to its beautiful beaches, traditional pier, cute beach huts and useful town center, and because it is an ideal base for exploring the rest of Devon.

READ MORE: Beautiful coastal towns 4 hours from London christened ‘the English Riviera’

It’s easy to see why Londoners might visit Paignton and want to make it their (second) home – it has everything you could want for a peaceful break from the city with all the amenities you need.

“We’re certainly seeing a lot of people outside the local area buying homes, but it’s been brought to the forefront because of the pandemic,” said Debbie, a real estate agent at Bradley’s Estate Agents in Paignton.

“People are reassessing what’s important to them.”



Paignton Harbor and sea views are a major attraction for London buyers

Life in Paignton

For many Londoners, ‘re-evaluating what’s important’ has meant prioritizing family life, peace and quiet in the coastal countryside, which has drawn them to coastal towns like Paignton, where house prices are significantly lower than in the capital.

Of course, one of the main attractions of Paignton is its beautiful sandy beaches and stunning harbor.

Paignton and neighboring Torquay are part of the UNESCO-accredited English Riviera Global Geopark, an area full of natural beauty with an extraordinary history.



Paignton’s traditional pier is a major attraction for tourism, on which the city is heavily dependent

An ‘area of ​​geographical interest’, the Geopark is famous for its warm microclimate and subtropical environment, so it is an absolute must to take a stroll in one of the area’s many beautiful parks and gardens to enjoy unique tropical flowers and plants.

The English Riviera also stretches underwater to a nature reserve filled with corals and seahorses, while above the waves are some of the best sailing waters around the British coast.

Even if you want to keep your feet firmly on dry land, you can still enjoy the wonders of the Devon coast – keep an eye out for seals and dolphins that can be seen in the waters around Torbay.



Colorful beach huts at Broadsands Beach near Churston, Paignton, Devon

Paignton Harbor is part of England’s seafood coast ‘, a perfect place to sample some fantastic, super fresh fish in local restaurants.

One such restaurant that has been described as a must-visit, ranked number one in the city on TripAdvisor, is La Scala, a small Mediterranean restaurant that serves a variety of Italian-inspired dishes – including fresh fish – along with a selection of fine Italian wines.

Aside from the holiday-like attractions, Paignton also boasts plenty of reasons why people can stay on for the long term.



Paignton harbor – across the bay is Torquay – with plenty of sailboats

According to the Good Schools Guide, Paignton has some very good elementary schools, though secondary schools are better in neighboring Torquay.

There are three grammar schools in the area which are the highest performing: Torquay Boys ‘, Torquay Girls’ and Churston Ferrers, a co-ed grammar school.

Paignton Hotels



Paignton Beach, seen from the pier

Homes in Paignton tend to be about 15 per cent cheaper than similar properties in the nearby Torbay towns, which is probably due to the fact that it is the most disadvantaged town in the area and heavily dependent on tourism.

Londoners, however, are still drawn in by the size of available properties on budgets that would be unthinkable in the capital, with village townhouses on the market for around £ 250,000 and detached five-bedroom houses with sea views for under £ 500,000.

Real Estate Agent Debbie of Bradley’s Real Estate Agents says the kind of real estate on offer, combined with the fact that many high-flying Londoners can now work from home permanently, is what has attracted them to either turn up and move to Devon or get themselves . a summer bolt hole by the sea.



These colorful holiday apartments in Paignton are so cute
These colorful holiday apartments in Paignton are so cute

She said: “We live on the coast, so we’m lucky to have them, they can work from home, so they do not necessarily have to commute, so that’s why they come down to Torbay.

“Some of the small village houses are on the market for about 250,000 pounds.

“They need a lot of work, but people want to be in the village, down by the river, where you can take your kayak out, and it is very holiday village-like.



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“We also had a lady from London who bought a big house with five bedrooms because it had a pool, lovely sea views.

“Our coastal towns are so appealing to people outside the area because of the views, and how easily accessible it is now, there is a new road towards Exeter and beyond.”

One thing that should be remembered by potential property owners, however, is the ‘Devon rule’, according to which you must have lived and worked in Devon for the last three years if you want to buy some property.

However, this does not seem to get in the way of everyone if the recent influx of London buyers is something to go by.

Would you like to move to the Devon coast? Share your thoughts in the comments here.

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