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Torquay, Devon

Torquay is a thriving seaside town on South Devon’s English Riviera coast. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and offers a wide range of activities, from shopping and guided walks to boat trips and fishing. With so many fun-filled things to do in Torquay and the surrounding area, our local team have narrowed it down to our top 10 ways to spend a day here.

Top 10 things to do in Torquay

Looking for something in particular? Use our quick links below, or read on for our complete guide.

Looking for a holiday cottage in Torquay? Discover our collection of self-catering properties in the region.

South West Coast Path

South West Coast Path Torquay

The South West Coast Path is a popular hiking trail that stretches for over 600 miles along the coastline of the South West of England, from Minehead in Somerset towards North Cornwall, and continuing to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The path stretches along the entire length of the English Riviera, where you’ll find 22 miles of coast path through the spectacular Geopark landscape.

The path is well-maintained and signposted, making it easy to navigate for hikers of all levels of experience. Plus there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a picnic, admire the views, or simply relax on one of the many beaches.

We recommend a day exploring the path between Torquay Harbour and Daddyhole Plain. This 2.5 mile walk passes the beautiful Beacon Cove previously known as the Ladies Bathing Cove, and London Bridge Arch, a limestone natural sea arch that has developed over time. As the path climbs to 200ft above sea level, you reach Daddyhole Plain. This spot is one of only three limestone plateaux on the English Riviera – a fantastic vantage point with spectacular views across the town and out to sea.

Agatha Christie Mile

Agatha Christie Mile - Things to do in Torquay

Queen of Crime Agatha Christie was born and raised in Torquay, where she trained as a pharmacist and developed her knowledge for poisons, which proved very useful when writing her detective novels.

The Agatha Christie Mile invites you to take a tour past eleven significant locations associated with her life and works, along the busy harbour and stretching along the palm-lined seafront and promenades.

Kents Cavern  

Kents Cavern is the oldest known prehistoric home in Britain, occupied by Neanderthals and the first Britons. The caves offer guided tours through natural underground passages, showcasing amazing formations and remains of ancient animals like mammoths, woolly rhinos, and sabre-toothed cats.

Visitors can also enjoy an Ice Age woodland trail quest, a shop, and enjoy a bite to eat at the restaurant which offers beautiful views over the Ilsham Valley.

Babbacombe Model Village

Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay

The Babbacombe Model Village is the most visited and beloved attraction in Torquay. It presents a miniature representation of British life and culture over the past 50 years, featuring animated scenes and humorous touches that bring the exhibits to life.

The village takes visitors on an enjoyable, informative, and nostalgic journey from the 1960s to the present day, making it a great attraction for people of all ages. Its charming location in four acres of award-winning gardens is a highlight and can be enjoyed year-round.

Torquay Museum

The Torquay Museum takes visitors on a journey back 400 million years through interactive exhibits that cater to families and people of all ages. The museum hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including child-friendly summer blockbusters and fascinating exhibits about South Devon’s archaeology, geology, and people.

One of the highlights is the Agatha Christie gallery, which is the only one of its kind in Britain. Additionally, the museum showcases the incredible journeys made by Torquay’s famous explorers.

Torre Abbey

For more than eight centuries, Torre Abbey has welcomed visitors to explore this medieval monastery. Dating back to 1196 and situated within 18 acres of gardens and parkland, it is also home to the Abbey Park and Gardens, and is a delightful attraction to explore.

Visitors can explore the fascinating history of the building and its previous occupants that spans centuries. While it is a family-friendly museum, it is also an enjoyable activity for adults who can stroll hand-in-hand around the beautiful grounds and learn about Torquay’s past.

Torquay Beach

Top 7 Things to do in Torquay

Located just north of Torquay on the English Riviera, this sheltered shingle beach is a beloved spot for families, especially during the summer months. Visitors can rent deckchairs, kayaks, pedalos, and sunbeds. As a UNESCO Global Geopark Key Site, the beach boasts fascinating cliff formations and geology, with the limestone and red sandstone creating a particularly striking landscape. Landslides have also impacted the seaside scenery.

The nearest car parks to the beach are at St Marychurch and Princes Street, around half a mile away. Access to the beach is steep, but the Babbacombe Cliff Railway offers an alternative route to the promenade. From there, visitors can descend the steps to the beach or take advantage of the on-site cafe and shop.

Please note that dogs are not allowed on Oddicombe Beach from May 1st to September 30th, and there is no lifeguard service. However, the beach does have disabled toilet facilities available during the summer season. The beach holds a Blue Flag Award and is a popular spot for sailing and other water sports.

Gin Making Experience

If gin is your thing, then you will love this 2-hour gin making experience at The Gin Nest, Torquay, where you are invited to create your own craft gin using the traditional copper pot still. This 5* rated gin school has an experienced team of experts on hand to help you create a gin profile from a selection of botanicals, and will help direct you towards aromas and flavours which best compliment each other.

As if that wasn’t good enough, gin and tonics are also included for you to enjoy throughout the experience, and you will leave with your very own 50cl handmade craft gin to share with friends and family (or … keep to enjoy for yourself during the sunnier summer evenings).

Cockington Country Park

Cockington Country Park, Torquay

This beautiful and historic park covers over 450 acres of woodland, lakes and gardens which are home to a variety of flora and fauna. Cockington Country Park is known for its picturesque and tranquil setting, with paths that wind their way through tree-lined avenues and beautiful meadows. Along the way visitors to the park can stop to explore the park’s craft centre, gallery, tea room and working watermill.

In addition to its natural beauty and historic attractions, Cockington Country Park offers a range of activities including horse riding, cycling and fishing; and hosts a variety of concerts, festivals and seasonal celebrations throughout the year.

Torquay Dinosaur World

A family favourite for all ages, the Torquay Dinosaur World offers a fascinating insight into the world of dinosaurs and prehistoric life. It features a wide range of exhibits including life size dinosaur models, skeletons, fossils and interactive displays. Visitors can explore their evolution from the earliest life forms through to the Jurassic and Cretaceous period. One of the highlights of a trip to the museum is the life-size T-Rex skull and model of a Stegosaurus, not to forget the dinosaur sound booth and fossil excavation pit.

The museum offers educational programmes and events for all ages including guided tours, workshops and hands on activities. Knowledgeable and friendly experts are on hand to answer questions and provide insights into the life of dinosaurs. Whether you are a dinosaur enthusiast or simply curious about the world of prehistoric life, this museum is a must-visit attraction when visiting Torquay.

Where to stay in Torquay

18 Abbey Sands | Torquay

18 Abbey Sands is a contemporary second-floor apartment situated in an enviable position in the town centre, featuring stylish, open-plan living and unrivalled sea views. This two-bedroom property is a perfect base for two couples or a family of four looking for a coastal escape in Devon.

18 Abbey Sands, Torquay

Harbour Cottage | Torquay

Harbour Cottage is a charming two-bedroom single-storey cottage located in the heart of Torquay. The property offers an open-plan living space with integrated appliances, an electric fire, and dining area, which makes it a great functional living space for cooking, dining, and unwinding after a busy day.

Harbour Cottage, Torquay

Whether you’re looking for a traditional coastal cottage, a country escape or a sea view property so close to the waters edge you can smell the fresh sea air from your bedside, Coast & Country Cottages offers an exquisite collection of over 500 holiday cottages in Torquay and throughout South Devon.

Browse our handpicked holiday cottages, and start planning your next adventure today. Your perfect holiday awaits…

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