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A free show that fills the skies over Paignton with noise and colour across two days. The Bay provides a stunning natural amphitheatre for the airshow with lots of areas to watch the entertainment from.
Thankfully the initial teething problems of the first 2016 airshow are well ironed out now for this its third year and the airshow seems to me, to run a lot smoother with no obvious hiccups.
The 3 hour long flying display kicks off at 2pm. This year the event is starting an hour earlier at 1pm. Program times for the aircraft differ slightly on both days, except for two. 3pm on the dot, the RAF Red Arrows arrive to do their thing and at 4:45pm the badass Typhoon shows up. As usual they never disappoint in wowing the crowds or me.
After the show finishes at 5pm, most plan their escape and it gets very busy. I suggest if your not in a rush, enjoy a meal and a beer somewhere. You’ll likely only be stood in a queue or sat in traffic anyway. Though my friend travelling back to Newton Abbot by train said she managed to get on the first train that arrived no problem, it was very well organised. They had a queuing system in place with 3 queues, one heading for Torquay, one for Newton or Exeter & one for Plymouth or Totnes. They even gave out free GWR branded bottled water, so if you are in a rush you should be ok if your travelling by train.
If you don’t mind being amongst crowds, the best place to experience the show is down on the seafront and on the esplanade itself. From here you can hear the announcer and you will understand what’s going on and what aircraft are coming next. If you choose to view it from a less crowded area then its best to keep your eye on www.torbayairshow.com for the latest updates.
I have to say the display line can be rather distant, but I think this is most likely down to the geography of the bay and the pier. It was still a great two days and I look forward to next year’s event.
Free to attend, with parking available to purchase in advance at torbayairshow.com prices are from £10 plus a booking fee. They sell out fast though, so be quick. The Two day event usually takes place over the first weekend of June on Paignton Green offering free entertainment for all the family. Entertainment starts at 11am on the green with the airshow starting at 1pm and finishing at 5pm.
Saturday 2nd June 2018
- 1pm – 2pm: Team Raven, Ov-10 Bronco, Spitfire MKIX
- 2pm – 3pm: The Blades, Grob Tutor, Autogyro, Pitts Special S1-S
- 3pm – 4pm: The Red Arrows, Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers, Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team
- 4pm – 5pm: Strikemaster, Bristol Blenheim Mk1, Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster & Dakota), Raf Typhoon Display Team
Sunday 3rd June 2018
- 1pm – 2pm: Team Raven, Ov-10 Bronco
- 2pm – 3pm: Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster & Dakota),Grob Tutor, Autogyro, Pitts Special S1-S
- 3pm – 4pm: The Red Arrows, Tigers FFT, Bristol Blenheim Mk1
- 4pm – 5pm: Strikemaster, Chinook, The Blades, Spitfire MKIX, Raf Typhoon Display Team
- Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers.
- Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster & Dakota).
- The Blades.
- Bristol Blenheim Mk1.
- Grob Tutor.
- Ov-10 Bronco.
- Pitts Special S1-S.
- RAF Typhoon Display Team.
- The Red Arrows.
- Spitfire MKIX.
- Team Raven.
- Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team.
- BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, No Lancaster)
- Belgian F-16
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- Piston Provost
- Pitts Special
- Red Arrows
- Team Raven
- Tigers Parachute Display Team
- Xtreme XA41
- BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, No Lancaster)
- The Blades
- Breitling Wingwalkers
- King Air B200
- Piston Provost & Waco YMF-5
- RAF Typhoon
- Red Arrows
- Sea Vixen
- The Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team
- Twister Aerobatic Team
- Yakovlevs Display Team
The event village and virtually the whole promenade has food stalls if you don’t want to leave the vicinity. The Melted Cheese Hut with gourmet toasties was one of my favourites, i found this on the promenade at the harbour end. A beer on the green is £4, Strongbow, Brains Smooth or Fosters. There are plenty of local pubs and restaurants you can also choose. Some of which you will still be able to see the action while you eat:
- Spinning Wheel (Would be my personal choice)
- Inn On The Green
- Hyde Dendy
With no parking on many roads around Paignton or Preston over the weekend and a number of roads close to the seafront will be closed altogether. You can view the road closures and parking suspensions map here. Public transport will be the best option, If I was coming from further a field I would come by train.
- Car, Sat Nav TQ4 6AG. Many roads are closed and restrictions apply across the entire town centre. Free parking is available on some side roads just out of the town centre, Palace Ave, New Street, Littlegate Rd, Lower Polsham Rd etc. but not a great deal and fill up very quickly. Paid parking behind the library for all day is £10, you’ll also miss most of the queuing to get out of the closest car park in the nearby Victoria car park which is for advanced bookings only and costs £10 for the day plus booking fee. Access is via Sands Rd through Queens Park Rd with the one way system changed to allow two way traffic for the event. With only one road in & out to Dartmouth Rd, you will be stuck in a queue if you leave at 5pm with everyone else.
- Park and ride, service from Quaywest
& Broadsands car parkthroughout the weekend. (Broadsands Park & Ride is closed for 2018)
- Bus, There will be additional capacity on the bus services in and out of Paignton across the event weekend. The station is only a 5 minute walk to the seafront.
- Train, Extra carriages are put on to help with the number of people and the station is only a 5 minute walk to the seafront. When you leave they have a queuing system in place with 3 queues, one heading for Torquay, one for Newton or Exeter & one for Plymouth or Totnes. They were even giving out free GWR branded bottled water last year. This is a great option for those coming from further afield.
- Ferry, From Paignton harbour will be running to and from Brixham and Torquay every 30 minutes throughout the festival weekend. This a great way to arrive if you like the scenic route and for only £3 (one way).
- The airshow starts at 1pm and finishes at 5pm.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen, I saw many tomato faced beings wandering the green.
- Take a pack lunch with you to save yourself some money.
- Bring a folding chair or blanket, so your not stood for hours on end or sat on concrete.
- If you choose to view it from a less crowded area then its best to keep your eye on www.torbayairshow.com for the latest updates.
- Disabled parking is available from www.torbayairshow.com, prices from £10 plus a booking fee.