About Torquay

Bask in this classic seaside resort in the English Riviera. Torquay is known for its sandy beaches, bustling harbour and homages to the town’s most famous daughter, crime queen Agatha Christie. 

The palm trees, mild weather and calm waters dotted with fishing boats and luxury yachts give this South Devon town a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Such is its natural beauty that the whole Torbay coastline has been designated UNESCO Global Geopark status. Yet you’re never too far away from traditional seafront attractions that make Torquay a firm favourite with families. 

The sheltered bay is a haven for water sport enthusiasts too, with sea kayaking, swimming and sailing popular pastimes. Add to that an array of continental-style cafes and restaurants, and you’ve got everything you need for a fun-filled holiday or short break. The only difficulty is knowing where to start – so let us point you in the right direction with our handy guide to attractions and hotels in Torquay.

Things To Do In Torquay

Things To Do In Torquay

Tour the labyrinth of prehistoric Stone Age caves that make Kents Cavern one of Devon’s top attractions. Marvel at the stalagmites and stalactites that have formed over hundreds of years – and finally discover which grow up and which grow down!

See the world in miniature as you tower above the fabulous Babbacombe Model Village, set in landscaped gardens just outside Torquay. From Stonehenge to a drive-thru takeaway, thousands of tiny buildings, people and vehicles capture British life and culture over the past 60 years. The perfect day out to capture imaginations big and small.

A walk along the promenade, marina and harbourside is a must-do on a visit to Torquay. The Torre Abbey Sands area is an ideal starting point for a leisurely stroll along the seafront. If you want to venture across the water, regular passenger ferries run from Torquay Harbour to Paignton, Brixham and Dartmouth. There’s also fishing and wildlife safari boat trips if you’re in the mood for something more interactive.

Tucked away in a hidden valley around a mile from Torquay seafront is the chocolate-box village of Cockington. Here you’ll find a working craft centre set within the 18th-century manor house of Cockington Court and surrounding country park. Meet the artists, glassblowers, blacksmiths and other crafters who ply their trade here, before enjoying a traditional Devon cream tea in one of the village’s tea rooms.

Eating And Drinking In Torquay

Eating And Drinking In Torquay

This popular restaurant, in the town centre, serves delicious tapas and sharing plates – taking inspiration from all around the world, not just Spain. The friendly, knowledgeable staff make the Small World Tapas experience all the more enjoyable.

Overlooking the harbour, this family-run restaurant serves fresh seafood from local fishing boats. Savour dishes such as lemon sole, garlic scallops and lobster, or try the signature battered fish of the day with hand-cut chips.  No.7 Fish Bistro is a must stop on any Torquay tour. 

For a little slice of Austria, this quirky restaurant – complete with yodelling host – offers a unique continental dining experience in the heart of Torquay. The homecooked food is not only extremely tasty but beautiful to look at too.

A warm welcome and good honest pub grub are on the menu at Torquay’s oldest pub. With cobbled floors and beamed ceilings, it’s got bags of character to enjoy a pint of real ale. Listen to live music while devouring a burger or homemade pie.

Shopping  In Torquay

Shopping  In Torquay

Home to more than 50 high-street names and independent retailers, Fleet Walk is conveniently located in the heart of the town, with the harbour providing a scenic backdrop. You’ll find everything from women’s fashion and beauty to homeware, toys and stationery.

As a fashionable Victorian resort, Torquay has long had a reputation for style. Hoopers department store on The Strand builds on that reputation, selling a range of luxury brands including Dior, Prada and Jimmy Choo.

Culture And History In Torquay

Culture And History In Torquay

Spread over three floors, Bygones offers a nostalgic journey back in time for all ages. A highlight is walking down a life-size Victorian street complete with authentic forge, sweet shop, apothecary and dentist. There’s also a model railway, immersive First World War trench and shopping arcades through the decades. Perfect entertainment for a rainy day.

Discover fascinating hands-on exhibits from different eras at Torquay Museum. You can experience country life while walking through a reconstructed Devon farmhouse and come face to face with an ancient human fossil and sabre-toothed tiger skulls. In the Agatha Christie gallery, uncover the real-life story behind the world-famous crime writer who was born in the town.

Torbay’s most historic building was founded in 1196 by a group of medieval monks. Today, it’s a top visitor attraction, with beautiful heritage rooms, art galleries, interactive displays and videos bringing the abbey’s colourful past to life. And in another nod to Agatha Christie, there’s an intriguing potent plants garden.

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