Brixham is the least commercial and possibly most historic of the Torbay resorts.
The name is possibly derived from an amalgam of the old English / Brythonic (the local language before English) name Brioc and ham which is a village or hamlet.
Brixham was also the port where Prince William of Orange landed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and there is a statue on the quay to commemorate it. There were also guns and a fort placed at Berry Head during the Napoleonic wars and Napoleon was reputedly anchored off Brixham as a prisoner as he was waiting to be exiled.
Brixham as a fishing port was at one time one of the largest fishing ports in the country. As with other fishing ports, smuggling was also fairly common.
Other nearby industries included the quarrying of limestone and ochre. The limestone was used in for construction and fertiliser. The ochre is used for protecting iron from rust and was also used to protect sails and gave them a red colour which was used in the sailors song “Red Sails at Sunset” The fascinating history of the area is told in the Brixham Museum.
There is a good beach at St Mary’s Bay which is sandy, but most of the others are shingle. The town itself has an array of interesting shops and other attractions including the coffin house and the South Devon Railway.
Other places of interest include the Coffin house which was built by a young man after being refused permission to marry the woman he loved as her father had said he would be living in a coffin before it would happen. He subsequently chnged his mind after the young man had shown his determination.
The Brixham theatre also hosts some good productions.
Obviously with the development of Torquay as a resort, the whole of Torbay is now very popular. Brixham manages to combine that tourist appeal with its own special character.