Heart of England
South of England
Torquay, located on the stunning English Riviera, is a thriving seaside resort and is part of UNESCO’s Global Geopark. This is a dynamic and Mediterranean-like town waiting to be discovered and enjoyed by all.
Torquay is the perfect destination for any traveller. There are plenty of beaches, with Torquay Beach and Torre Abbey Sands being located on the town’s doorstep. A 20-minute walk away is Meadfoot Beach, a shingle beach perfect for rock-pooling with children. Lunch with a glorious sea-view is available at Meadfoot Beach Café. For the full seaside experience, hire deckchairs at Oddicombe Beach.
A trip to Kents Cavern is exciting for any visitor. A guided tour through the prehistoric caverns allows you to immerse yourself in Torquay’s geographic history. There are plenty of child-friendly activities, including the Woodland Trail featuring models of prehistoric animals. For older children, Tribal Code Breakers is an intriguing puzzle through the caverns, in which they must solve clues and break codes.
The history of Torquay is discoverable at several fascinating properties. At the Torquay Museum, visitors can see artefacts from the past, and be transported to Poirot’s study in the Agatha Christie gallery. This features furniture and props from the TV adaptation of the classic books. The Torre Abbey is a beautifully rustic and historic building displaying a diverse art collection. Cockington Court, an idyllic manor house surrounded by green space, is a 10-minute drive from the centre. This property has a Tudor rose garden, and visitors can watch glassblowing as well as work done by blacksmiths and chocolatiers.
The award-winning Babbacombe Model Village is located north of the town centre, so is accessible by car or on foot. This attraction is a must-see, as it has been featured on TV and commended for its unique experience. You can feel like a giant when walking through the intricately crafted village, but full-size cakes are available at the tearoom! If you’re visiting Babbacombe, visit the Babbacombe Theatre for a show in this renovated historic venue.
Torquay is renowned as being a town for foodies, where eateries range from French Cuisine at Bistrot Pierre, to traditional English fish and chips at Rockfish Torquay. Being part of England’s Seafood Coast makes Torquay the ultimate place to enjoy a seafood dish. No.7 Fish Bistro is a family-owned business offering locally sourced seafood. Below Decks serves seafood alfresco with its seating on the harbour, immersing customers in marina life.
For a cosy and family-friendly dinner, there is an assortment of pubs in town. The Wighton serves pub classics where a meal can be enjoyed in their secluded pub garden, and similarly, The Kents serves high-quality food in a homely environment. Travel to the outskirts of Torquay to Maidencombe to the picture-perfect Thatched Tavern for a traditional British pub lunch.
Dinner with live entertainment is available at Rock Garden, which serves American-style grill meals for those wanting something substantial. The Blue Walnut also hosts live events, ranging from poetry readings to live music. This café-bar has its own small cinema, as well as a private garden to enjoy drinks.
For a sophisticated and bespoke afternoon tea, visit The Imperial, a four-star Victorian hotel situated on the clifftops. Its position creates an incredible vista of the whole coastline, which pairs perfectly with a cup of tea and a scone.
There is a plethora of places in close proximity that tourists should make time for. Shaldon is a 20-minute drive away, where the beach overlooks a tidal sandbank where birdlife is abundant. Shaldon Wildlife Trust is an exciting day out for nature enthusiasts, where endangered animals are being conserved. Shaldon Castle, situated in the Botanical Gardens, is a beautiful property and makes for an interesting walk through history. A rustic meal in a refurbished stable at Café ODE is also recommended.
Being a seaside town, multiple locations are accessible by boat, which is a fantastic way to travel around the coast. A Geopark sightseeing cruise is a leisurely way of traversing the coastline and seeing the iconic Rock Wall’s vertical limestone cliff. Travellers can experience the rich diversity of the wildlife on the cliffs and beaches.
A boat trip to Brixham, or alternatively a half-an-hour drive, is an excellent day out. This fishing town has some amazing walks along coves overlooking the sea. Walking through Berry Head National Reserve to Berry Head headland takes you to a magnificent view of the sea, where there is a population of guillemots. Brixham’s Harbour has a bustling fish market, and fresh produce can be enjoyed at one of the many fish restaurants in town. Don’t miss out on visiting the Golden Hind Museum in the harbour, which offers an impressive experience of a boat belonging to Sir Francis Drake.