Having lived for 25 years in Torquay, devon, when my husband died in 2015 I had to downsize and buy a house in Paignton, which is considered by some as the poor relation of Torquay! Certainly I have to visit Torquay for larger, better shops from time to time but Paignton does make for a very comfortable existence. For a start it is on the level with fewer steep climbs. In fact, the main shopping centre is small, one road of main shops providing usual every day shopping facilities leading down to the train level crossing – and over the other side the ‘tourist’ shops, cafe’s and arcades which lead on to the seafront, the promenade and the lovely pier. Families seem to adore Paignton, plenty of places to buy buckets an spades, penny machines and cheap eateries. The beach is in my opinion by far the best for families with beautiful views across the bay to Torquay and Brixham. Of course Brixham is different again, an interesting working fishing port and a great place for fish and chips! The good thing about Torbay is the fact it is almost a year round resort – as soon as summer is over it’s time for ‘Turkey and Tinsel’ when coach loads of older visitors descend and have a great time. There’s plenty to do in the bay – Paignton has a smaller theatre but very family friendly and well supported, there is a cinema right on the seafront, lots of pubs along the front with live music, a larger theatre in Torquay with good acts from all over the country. Lots of fetes and events are held on Paignton Green which has a free children’s play area. If you want more shopping there’s Exeter and Plymouth for a huge variety of places to shop with famous brand names; if you like villages there are many quaint, picturesque villages inland to visit to – and Newton Abbot is very up and coming with new schemes planned. Fir me, at this time of my life, I feel so blessed that a gentle stroll, just two blocks from my house, Paignton seafront is just a gentle stroll away. I often sit in the seafront cafe’s in the Spring and Summer, watching the activity at sea and listening to the children laughing and enjoying themselves and I think to myself how grateful I am to be spending my retirement years in such a wonderful place!