The warmest of welcomes awaits you on the English Riviera, South Devon’s Beautiful Bay. Surrounded by stunning coast and countryside, the towns of Torquay, Babbacombe, Paignton and Brixham offer fantastic all year round activities and things to do for couples and families alike.
The English Riviera may be most famous for its award winning beaches and exotic palm trees, but it has much more to offer than just seaside holidays with more attractions than any other resort in the UK and is also a Global Geopark. Getting out on the water is what our visitors love to do, and there is a great selection of boat trips and tasty local food and fresh fish to enjoy. Torquay is the birthplace of crime writer Agatha Christie, and the whole resort is the location for a packed programme of all year events and festivals including the annual Agatha Christie Festival.
The official South Devon tourism information site: www.englishriviera.co.uk
Along the 22 miles of the English Riviera coastline there are 20 beaches from wide sandy stretches to hidden rocky coves. So whether you're after a place to lay out your towel, build sandcastles, have a gentle paddle, ramble through a rockpool or just a quiet place to sit and watch the surf, you're sure to find a beach to suit.
Breakwater Beach - Breakwater is a small shingle beach next to the picturesque Brixham Harbour and the long breakwater.
Meadfoot Beach - Meadfoot is a shingle beach nestled below an array of spectacular cliffs which provides a perfect setting for those who prefer a quieter environment in which to relax. From the beach you can see Thatcher Rock and Brixham on the opposite side of the Bay.
Oddicombe Beach & Cliff Railway - Nestled at the bottom of red sandstone cliffs Oddicombe beach is a sheltered haven for those looking for a relaxing day out. Away from the beach, a steep walk to the cliff top is well rewarded with magnificent views across the bay. For those who want the breathtaking views without losing breath, there’s access to the cliff top via the Babbacombe Cliff Railway.
Broadsands Beach - Broadsands is a beautiful long sandy beach in an idyllic rural setting. It's gently sloping gradient makes it a popular choice for families with children or those wishing to distance themselves from amusement arcades. At low tide interesting rock pools are exposed at the southern end of the beach and there is a large area of parkland directly behind the beach, the perfect spot for a game of football or cricket.
Goodrington Beach - This mainly sandy beach with clean, calm waters represents an unusual combination of attractive scenery, the Quaywest Water Park and Goodrington and Youngs Park, which is an area of established park land. It is therefore a major attraction in the area, capable of supporting a very large number of visitors.
If it’s a trip of exploring you are looking for then head out to some of the local villages and towns. Each one unique but equally as charming, definitely worth the visit. Each town and village is packed full of history and fascinating facts, there are plenty of independent shops and beautiful scenery which will keep you amused for hours.
Torquay - Torquay is a seaside resort town on the English Channel in Devon, South West England. Known for beaches such as Babbacombe and cliffside Oddicombe, its coastline is nicknamed the English Riviera. Torquay Harbour near the town centre offers shops, cafés and a marina. Torre Abbey, a monastery founded in 1196, has art galleries and extensive gardens featuring plants from local native Agatha Christie's novels.
Paignton - For a family day out, why not head for one of the many Paignton attractions, like Paignton Zoo? Kids and adults alike will have a great time exploring the Savannah or the Wetland, and the zoo is also home to some of the rarest species on the planet. Fancy something a bit more active? No problem - Paignton is home to some fantastic beaches where you can water ski, paddleboard and even go skim boarding. Alternatively, why not hire a boat and simply mess about on the water?
Brixham - Life in the busy fishing town of Brixham has always centred around the harbour, where yachts and heritage trawlers jostle for space with dayboats heading out to sea for the day’s catch. There’s plenty to see and do here, whether you’re looking for a romantic trip or family-friendly day out, and the fun starts at sea!
Exeter - Exeter is the capital city of Devon and provides the county with a central base for education, medicine, religion, commerce and culture. The city is also home to the magnificent Exeter Cathedral, which dates back to Norman times. Full of character and ancient history, Exeter is still able to offer all the amenities and comforts that would be expected of a modern day city.
Totnes - Totnes is a charming Devon town with a bustling main street and a regular market. Totnes has regular outdoor markets on Fridays and Saturdays. During the main season, between May and September, there is an Elizabethan market each Tuesday morning, where local people and traders go about their daily business dressed in Elizabethan costume. Alongside is an all-day craft market.
Immerse yourself in the history of Devon at one of the many museums, castles, great historic houses, or just walk through the streets and down the back lanes within the beautiful Devonshire towns and villages.
Torre Abbey, Torquay - Step through the ancient doors of Torre Abbey and uncover the story of one of the south west’s most fascinating restoration projects.
Kents Cavern, Torquay - Kents Cavern is one of Europe’s top prehistoric Stone Age caves with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year. This iconic heritage attraction has many quality tourism awards.
Greenway House & Gardens, Kingswear - At the beloved holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family you can take a glimpse into their lives. This relaxed and atmospheric house is set in the 1950s, when Agatha and her family would spend summers and Christmases here with friends, relaxing by the river, playing croquet and clock golf, and reading her latest mystery to their guests. The family were great collectors, and the house is filled with archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china and books.
Bygones, Torquay - Find the unexpected at Bygones with three floors of pure nostalgia for all the family. Wander back in time, visit an authentic, life-size Victorian street including forge, sweet shop & apothecary.
Totnes Castle - A classic Norman motte and bailey castle, founded soon after the Conquest to overawe the Saxon town. A later stone shell-keep crowns its steep mound, giving sweeping views across the town rooftops to the River Dart.Climb to the top of the keep to enjoy stunning views over the town of Totnes and across to the River Dart. Or enjoy a picnic in the peaceful grounds under the shelter of age old trees.
Head out for a day of family fun! You will find so much to do and there is something suitable for all ages. Enjoy the outdoors and visit Cockington Village & Country Park, don’t forget to stop by a pet’s corner to enjoy some of the favourite furry friends at Paignton Zoo. Or feel like a giant whilst discovering the miniature world of Babbacombe Model Village!
Living Costs, Torquay - Living Coasts, Torquay's award-winning coastal zoo and aquarium, is home to a magnificent array of marine life from around the world. Set in a state-of-the-art naturalistic environment, you can journey from the South African coast to a mangrove forest and then onto a sunken wreck.
Paignton Zoo - With more animals than anyone else in the South West, you're in for a really wild day out in Devon for all the family!With over two thousand creatures to get close to, indoor and outdoor play areas, the Jungle Express train, keeper talks, animal feeding sessions and six amazing animal habitats.
Torquay Dinosaur World - Torquay's Dinosaur World is an fun interactive indoor exhibition that brings dinosaurs and their worlds to life! There are a host of scaled and full size models set in realistic scenes accompanied by exciting information. There are excavation sites where you can uncover fascinating fossils, dinosaurs that you can sit with if you are brave enough, a fun family quiz and many other interactive exhibits.
Babbacombe Model Village - Visit this famous Torquay attraction to take time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and feel on top of the world as you see it recreated in miniature.
Cockington Village & Country Park - Just a mile from Torquay seafront, you'll discover the beautiful thatched village of Cockington, and at its heart 460 acres of beautiful country park.Step back in time in the Church of St George and Saint Mary (c1069), take a walk around the ornamental lakes, woodlands and formal gardens or, for the adventurous, follow the Murder Mystery Trail.
If it’s a trip of exploring you are looking for then head out to sea on one of the local boat trips and enjoy a day of sight-seeing, or if you're feeling alot more energetic and adventurous then Reach Outdoors is the place to be to really feel at one with nature! Or if that's not your cup of tea, how about a relaxing game of golf, whilst taking in the stunning South West scenery? There is something for everyone around Torquay!
Outdoor Adventure at 'Reach Outdoors' - Explore the Geopark’s spectacular coastline with an adventure to remember. Reach Outdoors are the South West’s Adventure Specialists. Providing Coasteering, Kayak Tours, Climbing and Abseiling; with the flexibility to deliver across the Torbay area and beyond. With prices starting from just £20pp, their quality guides create an adventure accessible for all.
Dartmouth Rail & Riverboat Company - Operating from North Quay Steps on Torquay Harbour. Run the Sea Train Adventure from Torquay to Dartmouth by boat, returning by steam train to Paignton and Number 12 bus to Torquay. Also the Dartmouth Day Cruise from Torquay to Dartmouth, and the Round Robin trip - bus between Torquay and Totnes, boat up the River Dart, and steam train.
Boat Trips - There are a wide range of boat trips running across Tor Bay, from ferries between Torquay and Brixham to wildlife cruises and special events boats. Whether you're looking for a sight-seeing trip, fishing excursion or simply to cross the bay on a ferry, you'll find what you're looking for here.
Golf - Whether you’re dedicating an entire trip to improving your handicap, or you’re simply keen to get stuck into a healthy but relaxing holiday activity, the English Riviera has plenty to offer golf fans.
Situated just three miles from Torquay’s centre, Torquay Golf Club offers a first class parkland layout that offers a challenging yet rewarding test of golf in beautiful natural surroundings. Extensive views from the course encompass Lyme Bay in the east across the water to as far afield as Portland Bill, and to the rugged tors of Dartmoor to the west. Our tree lined fairways and high quality greens present an interesting challenge on each hole.
Walking - Meadfoot & London Bridge - A walk starting from the strand next to Torquay harbour, with splendid views out across Tor Bay, this walk is a circular 4 mile route with lots of points of interest and fantastic views to enjoy along your way. There are plenty of other great walking options in the area, if you enquire with our Reception team, they will be happy to assist with maps and directions.