A relatively new addition to the Stagecoach bus company's services is the Gold bus which runs between Torquay (Strand) and Plymouth (Royal Parade) with main stops at Paignton (bus station), Totnes (opposite Seven Stars) and Ivybridge (Town Hall). As well as the main stops the bus also stops on request at any other designated bus stop on its route. The journey takes in total about 1 hour 50 minutes and the company claims that 95% of the buses run to schedule.
Tickets are standard prices and the various day-ticket options such as the Southwest Explorer can be used - ideal if you fancy a cross-county pub crawl!
Monday to Saturday the service runs in both directions every 30 minutes with the first departure from Torquay at 0600 and the last departure from Plymouth at 2230. On Sundays, and bank holidays, the service is hourly with the first service leaving Torquay at 0705 and the last leaving Plymouth at 2105.
Even though this is a double decker it is fitted out like a coach with comfortable leather seats with extra legroom and has free Wi-Fi. Having used it a couple of times recently (Feb 2016) I can attest that it is indeed more comfortable than a standard bus and that the Wi-Fi, although slightly patchy, works for the basics such as checking and writing email and general browsing.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Paignton is the terminus of the branch line from Newton Abbot passing through Torre and Torquay. Direct trains, operated by First Great Western, run regularly from Exeter, with a peak frequency of two per hour and a journey time of about fifty minutes.
This is a superbly scenic scenic journey especially the section where the track runs alongside the Exe Estuary and the English Channel between Starcross and Teignmouth.
The station is in the town centre, across the road from the bus station and about ten minutes walk from the seafront.
The bus station is opposite the railway station and places to get to directly from here include Torquay, Brixham, Newton Abbot, Exeter, Totnes, Kingswear, Stoke Gabriel, Dartmouth and Plymouth.
Follow this link for a map and timetables of buses around Paignton and Torbay - http://www.torbaybusroutes.co.uk/
The best way to arrive in Paignton is by train. If your'e arriving from up country, as most people will, the journey will be special after leaving Exeter. Make sure you get a window seat on the left hand side of the carriage and watch the fantastic bird life of the Exe Estuary (particularly in the winter months). At Dawlish Warren the main line continues around the corner and along the South Devon coastline to Teignmouth where it then cuts up alongside the Teign Estuary towards Newton Abbot. At Newton Abbot the main line continues on down through Devon and Cornwall to Penzance but to get to Paignton you need to take the branch line through Torre and Torquay to Paignton. Depending on what ticket you've got you may have needed to have changed at Exeter or Newton Abbot to catch a local train but quite a few inter- city trains do travel directly to Paignton. If possible it's much better to get a straight through train.
At Torquay the sea comes into view again and within minutes you arrive at the end of the line - Paignton Station.
Paignton is easily accessible from elsewhere around the South West with the Stagecoach Bus Company providing direct services from Exeter, Newton Abbot, Totnes and several other locations. A particularly useful service is the #12 "Bayline" from Newton Abbot which runs every ten minutes at peak times with its final destination just down the coast at Brixham.
There are a variety of ticket options but if you need to change buses the local "Dayrider" or the network-wide "Explorer" tickets allow unlimited travel within their zones of validity. These are also useful if staying in the town for days out.
The bus station is located in the town centre, opposite the train station, and is about ten minutes walk from the seafront. This is a simple-to-use bus station with the buses arriving and departing from clearly marked bays.
- Budget Travel
There is a mainline railway running through Paignton, in fact it does actually run through the town centre. It divides the town into two parts, there is a level crossing on the main street joining the town with the sea front. The station is right next to the crossing. The railway runs along alot of the south devon coast in that area making for a very picturesque journey, however, I`m not to sure what happens if the weather is bad and the sea too high.