Inside the beautiful seaside town with golden sands dubbed the ‘English Riviera’ – and it’s just 3 hours from London

This is the surprisingly beautiful seaside city just three hours from London and a return ticket will set you back less than £50.

With summer fast approaching, Brits are looking for a sun-kissed destination on a budget, and this Devon beach could be the perfect answer.

The clear blue water invites every visitor


The clear blue water invites every visitorCredit: GETTY
Beautiful lights illuminate the sea after dark


Beautiful lights illuminate the sea after darkCredit: Alamy

Paignton offers beautiful beaches with historic sites just a stone’s throw away.

Dubbed the British Riviera, the stunning sea views offer golden sandy beaches and shops along the shore.

The Paignton Sands won the UK Seaside Award in 2018 for its family-friendly shores and activities for children of all ages.

Broadsands Beach looks like it’s straight out of the catalogue, and one visitor gave a rave review about it.

They said: “The beach is beautiful with beautiful scenery and a view of the steam train that passes many times a day.

“There are several ice cream parlors and food stalls here, as well as restrooms and a picnic area.”

If you’re looking for a smaller cove beach, Fairy Cove offers spectacular views of Roundham Gardens.

One visitor remarked: “It’s great for swimming, has little wind, there’s shade on the cliffs when it’s too hot.

“Great rock pools for the kids when the tide is out and you can run around the cliff. Such a beautiful and safe bay!”

And the city has a beautiful entertainment center on Paignton Pier when it rains.

It is also home to the UK’s largest outdoor water park – Splashdown Quay West.

The park also has a cafe, ice cream and lots of fun for everyone involved.

One parent said: “The kids loved it here, the 3 hour pass was enough to experience all the slides a few times!”

They also mentioned that the food was filling and not overpriced, which is a welcome bonus for those of us struggling with the cost of living crisis.

If a night out is more your style, Paignton has a beautiful theater in town that offers new shows each season.

The Palace Theater has a coffee bar and function rooms and is a short walk from bus and train stations.

If Paignton doesn’t sound like the perfect short break to you, then this is the UK city voted best short break this year.

Topping the charts for the third year running was Northumberland’s Bamburgh, who secured an impressive target score of 88 per cent.

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Steeped in history, Bamburgh is known for its stunning sandy coastline surrounded by the imposing ruins of its ancient castle.

Not surprisingly, given its unique location, visitors have awarded it a full five stars for its scenery, as well as for the quality of its beach and coastline.

Even at low tide the boats are a sight to behold


Even at low tide the boats are a sight to beholdCredit: Alamy
Great pubs and accommodation can be found by the sea


Great pubs and accommodation can be found by the seaCredit: Alamy
The pier is also a great option for family fun


The pier is also a great option for family funCredit: Alamy

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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