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Things to do in Torquay, Devon

Torquay has been a favourite holiday resort for generations, superbly situated in beautiful Torbay, at the heart of the English Riviera in the county of Devon.

Torquay © Harri - stock.adobe.com

The gentle climate, stunning views, delightful parks and gardens make Torquay a place where all the family can relax and be entertained.

Explore the 22 miles of coastline with its many beaches and coves, switch off the stress and enjoy soaking up Torquay’s unique atmosphere.

Torquay Inner Harbour
Torquay Inner Harbour © Fotomicar - stock.adobe.com

The transformation of Torquay from a fishing village to the most glamorous of the west country’s resorts began in the early 18th century.

The Royal Navy used Torquay for an anchorage during the Napoleonic wars; it was home to the wives of officers from the warships anchored in the bay.

Torquay Harbour
Torquay Harbour © Josh - stock.adobe.com

In the early 1800s Sir Laurence Palk had town plans drawn up, incorporating ideas inspired by Italian architecture.

Some of the original Regency buildings can still be seen, at Hesketh Crescent and Lisburne Crescent.

Torquay Harbour
Torquay Harbour © Ian Woolcock - stock.adobe.com

In 1848 the South Devon Railway came to the area, enabling many more people to visit Torquay.

Some came for health reasons, one of those was Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who spent three years in the town.

Torquay Pavilion
Torquay Pavilion © johndavidphoto - stock.adobe.com

By the mid-nineteenth century, Torquay was becoming established as a fashionable resort, separate beaches were designated for ladies and gentleman’s bathing, and it was not until 1899 that mixed bathing was permitted.

In the early days, many people came to see Kent’s Cavern, Torquay's Historic Archeological Site.

Torre Abbey, Torquay
Torre Abbey, Torquay © Jenny Thompson - stock.adobe.com

Both humans and animals used the cave, around half a million years ago.

Today you can take a tour of discovery of this fascinating Ancient Monument.

Abbey Park and Garden, Torquay
Abbey Park and Garden, Torquay © Maciej Olszewski - stock.adobe.com

Torre Abbey, situated in open parkland on Torquay seafront was founded in 1196.

Visitors to Torre Abbey can trace its history by touring the historic rooms, enjoy the Art Galleries and visit the 'Spanish Barn' of Armada fame.

Torquay © Maciej Olszewski - stock.adobe.com

In the Agatha Christie Memorial Room, you can discover the history behind the famous crime writer, who was born and lived for many years in Torquay.

Torre Abbey Gardens
Torre Abbey Gardens © Trevor Smith - stock.adobe.com

Nearby is the Riviera Centre, a great place to spend the day if it rains. This is Torquay’s indoor play centre with the Waves indoor pool, a soft play area, a fully equipped gym, a health spa, restaurants and bars.

Torquay has a superb marina and is a great place to enjoy watersports, sailing, jet-skiing and windsurfing.

Fountain in a park in Torquay
Fountain in a park in Torquay © Zsuzsanna Bird - stock.adobe.com

Walk along the coastal path, or search for a souvenir of your holiday from Torquay’s interesting variety of shops.

You will find a variety of superb Hotels and a wide choice of places to eat, from pavement cafes and pubs, to high class restaurants offering delicious evening meals, and Torquay’s theatres offer great evening entertainment all year round.

Torquay Sunset
Torquay Sunset © Mrs Colette Bettis

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By Road

From the M6, M4 or A303 take the M5 to Exeter. Then the A380 to the centre of the town.

By Rail

Torquay is linked to the Intercity and Regional Railway network. There are regular services from the North, Wales, Midlands and London.

By Air

Airports at Exeter and Plymouth are served by flights from other regions of the UK and the Channel Islands and some European cities.

Self Catering

more self catering near Torquay...

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