Brixham is a bustling fishing port nestled in the rugged cliffs at the southern end of Torbay. Made up of an array of colourful cottages clinging to the hillsides at the base of which you will find one of Britain's most beautiful harbours.
Day to day life in Brixham is very much focussed
around the hustle and bustle of the harbour which is one of Britain's
busiest fishing ports. Together with the hard working fishing trawlers
you will also find an array of pleasure boats offering various trips around
the Bay area as well as a regular ferry service across to Torquay. For
those keen to fish there are also various angling trips available.
Brixham has warmth and character all of its own. Set amongst the rugged coastline at the southern end of Torbay, this picturesque port is a fabulous holiday destination. During the summer season the harbour comes to life with the sound of laughter and holiday fun.
Brixham is a laid back holiday destination and the perfect place for those looking to unwind. You can relax in a bar or restaurant and watch life go by, sample the freshly caught seafood on the quayside or simply stroll around the town and take in some of the English Riviera's breath-taking scenery.
Sandy beaches and secluded coves give way to the towering cliffs at Berry Head, offering breathtaking views of Torbay and the starting point of the stretch of dramatic coast path that winds its way round to the village of Kingswear.
Brixham has an intriguing maritime history dating back thousands of years. The ancient Britons may have launched their coracles from the sheltered beaches and the Romans are thought to have had a watch-tower on Berry Head overlooking the sea route from Lyme Bay to the Southwest.
Since medieval times fishing has been the lifeblood of the town and Brixham fishermen supplied the London markets in the 18th century. Brixham also has a fascinating history of smuggling with evidence as early as 1645 when the Customs House Officer reported a find of tobacco. In the 1850s Brixham's enterprising smugglers took advantage of a cholera epidemic to smuggle out a booty of tobacco and brandy in coffins.
In 1688, Brixham was the cradle of the Bloodless Revolution. Prince William of Orange landed at the port and went on to claim the throne as King William III. The 300th Anniversary was celebrated in July 1988 with a week of festivities. H.M. The Queen and H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh joined in the celebrations and stayed in the Bay overnight onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. A commemorative statue of Prince William of Orange overlooks the harbour in Brixham.
The Golden Hind Replica
This fabulous replica of Francis Drake's famous ship stands
proudly in the harbour and welcomes visitors onboard. Located in Brixham
harbour since 1963 during which time it has enthralled many thousands
of visitors both young and old alike.
Brixham's Heritage Fleet
Brixham's fascinating maritime heritage is evident all around the town, from the new and old fish markets to the Fishermen's Mission and Battery gardens overlooking the Bay. Today the port remains one of England's biggest fishing ports with the daily catch sold at the busy market in the early hours. The large fleet of beamers and day boats land fresh Dover sole, plaice, lemon sole, lobster, crab, scallops & black mussels from Elberry Cove.
In the port's early days of course the fleet was under sail and the design of Brixham's Sailing Trawlers became famous all around Europe. Today some of the original vessels have been restored and can bee see sailing around the Bay or moored in the Harbour on the Town Pontoon. Pilgrim, Vigilance, Provident, Keywadin, Golden Vanity and Regard are based in the port and offer training trips and charters including short day and evening cruises.
Part of the Brixham Heritage Festival, sailing trawler races have taken place in Torbay since 1851 and are always fiercely contested. This distinctive Brixham celebration brings the town to life, thanks to a group of dedicated enthusiasts and restoration trusts getting together in 1997 and making the race one of the highlights of the traditional sailing calendar.
Today, traditional vessels of all shapes and sizes make their way to Brixham for the event and compete in a variety of classes. The blue riband event sees the sailing trawlers of over 40 tons competing for the King's Cup, originally presented to Brixham by King George V in 1914.
Berry Head Country Park
Berry Head Country Park is Torbay's most important heritage and wildlife site. It is the main recreation area for the town of Brixham. Certain areas of the site are kept wild and remote so that wildlife can exist undisturbed. Programmes of walks and interpretation are organised to let people know about the conservation importance of the site.
Live pictures of the guillemots are relayed to the Visitor Centre and staff can zoom in on individual birds to see them feeding their young, or to record their first leap into the sea. A greater horseshoe bat colony is based in the old quarry. This species of bat is declining at an alarming rate across the country and so each colony is carefully monitored. Greater horseshoes depend on traditional farmland and especially cattle-grazed pasture - because they love to eat dung-beetles, and dung-beetles love cow-pats!
Even without all the wildlife a visit to Berry Head should be on everyone's list. It has the atmospheric remains of three Napoleonic forts built to guard this strategic Headland, some interesting navigation kit (any airline pilot will tell you that Berry Head is a key international flight navigation point) and absolutely stunning views across Tor Bay to the north and Start Bay to the Southwest. It's lighthouse is something of a record breaker as it is said to be the highest - over 200 feet above sea level, the lowest - the light is only 6 feet over the ground, and the smallest in Britain but with a beam that can be seen twenty miles away.
Brixham Marina is right on the harbour quayside of this delightful little town. It is particularly sheltered from the south-westerly gales and offers safe access in all weather conditions and at all states of the tide. The Marina is now well established as a favourite cruising centre both for novices and for experienced yachtsmen from home and abroad.