CHERRY STONES, Goodrington. Sleeps 10. A luxury home very close to South Sands, with Jacuzzi and log fire. Parking, private and close to shops.
As the editor of this site I thought a page or two about Goodrington may be good especially as the photos you see on these pages were taken on the 1st day of April! It has rekindled my memories of the place and brought back so many great times as a youngster in Paignton!
Goodrington is in my opinion the best location for a family beach/summer holiday in the UK. The whys are quite simple!
1. North Sands and South Sands beaches are as safe as houses if sea conditions are observed, but even in the roughest Easterly there are no rip tides or currents to speak of. The beaches are gently shelving with an excellent promenade at one end and rocks leading around to Saltern Cove at the other. The beach is split into two by a minor headland that has a bar and restaurants overlooking the bay. North Sands (the promenade end) is very tidal and the sea comes up to the sea wall and dogs are allowed all year around. South Sands has a much bigger expanse of sand (soft) and the sea seldom reaches over ½ up the beach and then only on Spring tides and in storms. Dogs are only allowed in the winter months.
2. The two sides to Goodrington are best described because of the split beaches (you can walk between them at low tide and go crabbing in the rocks that are exposed between them as well). The promenade runs right up the side of North Sands and is overlooked by the famous cliff walk, illuminated by coloured lights at night. This walk leads over Roundham Head, past the pitch and put and onto Paignton harbour. The promenade curves around the cliff and walks and is decorated with colourful beach huts. Many local people enjoy the sun here, go fishing or just sit and stare! In the summer youngsters can be seen enjoying themselves, jumping off the steps. We don’t agree with Tomb stoning, but this is more akin to a swimming pool springboard! The beach itself has compacted sand as it is covered every six hours, so camping out on it all day often isn’t an option. On many tides there is some beach left, but only a little. Saying this it is so gently sloping that the sand warms the incoming tide and it can be extremely enjoyable to just paddle around or splash your friends!
On the other side of the sea wall is Young’s Park. This area has a rich history and was originally or at least in printed history a wetland or large lagoon called May’s pool. Myth has it that the lagoon was very deep indeed and there was the odd reported drowning which enhanced its reputation. This was in the mid 1600’s though. Much later the area was reclaimed and May’s pool is now the boating pool (about 2-3 feet deep).
Goodrington Park was recognised as being consecrated ground and there is a single headstone to the side of the main path running through the park. This is the “Majors Grave” with a short inscription. In the Napoleonic wars there was a hospital established on the grounds and 300 French sailors were housed and many died here. The Major was however English and warranted a headstone! This later became a Nunnery and today forms part of the family pub and restaurant environment.
Young’s Park now houses a number of activities in a verdant open arena that allows for kids football, Frisbee throwing, kids cricket, small kite flying and more! Add to this the two boating lakes, one with rotary bumper boats and the other with giant swans and a third as a wetland for wildfowl.
There is a cafe “Redrock” which is a great suntrap and close to and behind the front’s ice-cream kiosk and a number of places to sit and enjoy the peace and scenery. There is a small children’s play park and a number of stationary animal models; Donkeys, Bears and more. At the far end on the connection to South Sands is a car park and crazy golf. The beauty is that there is space for all!
You can reach South Sands from North Sands by 3 routes! The first is to walk along the beach on mid to low tide. The second is take the path overlooking the beach in front of the pubs and restaurants and the fourth is to walk through Young’s park, turn left at the end (there is a large Water Park in front to you!), go past the sea life centre on your left and 100 yards ahead through a small car park is South Sands. This zone is more commercial with a few shops, an arcade, the restaurant and pub, joining onto the headland, a couple of ice-cream booths and a water activity centre where you can hire pedalos etc.
The beach again is very safe and endless hours of fun can be had here. At low tide you may spot the outflow pipe in the centre of the beach, but this is simply fresh water runoff from some small stream from the hills behind Paignton. Children endlessly try to dam this, but never succeed of course!
The promenade at South Sands runs parallel with the top of the beach and is adorned with beach huts and overlooked by the Kingswear to Paignton Steam Railway, which regularly chuffs by whilst everybody waves at each other!
At the far end of this part of the beach is a rocky headland and at low tide you can walk around to Saltern Cove (it’s slippery though and don’t do it on an incoming tide), or walk over the hill up to Oyster bend and the headland green overlooking the Cove! This coastal walk will eventually take you to Brixham, via Broadsands and Elberry Cove.
If you want everything in one place and have a family or enjoy fishing, water sports, a friendly ambience, a kick in the park, an ice cream on the beach, a paddle in the shallows, a brisk walk along the coast, crabbing, a sea-life park, crazy golf, food, wine or beer or maybe even a few wild rides in the water park, then go to Goodrington! It’s been around for 280 million years and I expect that even the dinosaurs had a good time!