If you’re looking for somewhere special to spend your next family break, a holiday in Torquay ticks all the boxes. A bustling seaside resort since Victorian times and informally known as The English Riviera, Torquay lies on the South Devon coast and promises much more than the average traditional seaside staycation with its stunning beaches, historic architecture, harbour, marina and family attractions.
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Of course Torquay vacations are all about the beach. But if you fancy a break from the sand, its many family-friendly attractions have plenty to keep you entertained.
Take a step back in time with a tour around the ancient caves at Kents Cavern or wander the beautiful grounds of the 12th Century Torre Abbey.
Children (and grown-ups) will love the Model Village in Babbacombe with its 4 acres of miniature villages and satirical scenes.
Holidays in Torquay are even better when the sun’s out, so pack a picnic and head to Cockington Country Park with its woodland walks and sprawling cricket lawn.
Did you know Torquay is also home to one of only 13 funiculars in Britain? The Cliff Railway in Babbacombe has been shuttling visitors from Babbacombe Downs to Oddicombe Beach since 1926 – a superb way to take in the spectacular views of the sea.
Atop the cliff, its cafe is a lovely spot to enjoy a light bite, and below on the Downs is the perfect place to capture some of those panoramic views.
Choosing to base yourself in Torquay means having the best of South Devon’s towns and coastline on the doorstep. Paignton’s beaches and Brixham’s fishing port are within easy reach by car or bus, and the historic naval town of Dartmouth is a short ferry hop over from Kingswear. Whether for sandcastle building or wild swimming, the beaches in Torquay are as varied as they are plentiful. Stretching along the seafront opposite a historic site, Torre Abbey Sands is arguably the most popular, with calm water making it ideal for families.Torquay self-catering with sea views
All that fresh sea air will build an appetite, so when looking for the best places to refuel you have plenty to choose from. No matter the time of day or the occasion, there are places to pop into for a quick bite with views over the marina, and ones to make an evening of it with swanky décor and a gourmet menu.
Our favourites include Pier Point next to the Princess Theatre on the promenade, The Michelin Star Elephant, Rockfish, No. 7 Fish Bistro & Wine Bar, Old Vienna, and Below Decks.
Torquay’s popularity dates back to the Victorians when it really came into its own as a desirable holiday destination.
TripAdvisor has officially recognized Torquay as the UK’s top seaside resort owing partly to its array of fabulous attractions – and bearing in mind that these awards are based on millions of reviews and ratings by holidaymakers themselves…it’s no mean feat!
Well, being crime writer Agatha Christie’s birthplace for one!
Many of her novels were centred around this part of the world and Christie fans can visit her holiday home at nearby Greenway, walk the Agatha Christie Mile, and follow the Agatha Christie Literary Trail.
Cockington Village with its chocolate box thatched cottages and fab tea rooms is also a must-see. You can stroll the grounds of the former Mallock Family residence at Cockington Court, and peek inside its historic chapel.
Torquay’s beautiful promenade is one of its best features, and weaves its way past beaches, gardens, the marina and the harbour. Great for a stroll (with or without an ice-cream), it offers some of the best sea views in the town.
Yes. About a half-hour drive from Torquay, the landscape shifts from coast to countryside and here you’ll find Dartmoor National Park.
This rugged and beautiful place is ideal for lovers of nature. There are tors to climb (the most famous of which is Hay Tor), where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views over the landscape, and pubs to hunker down in for a delicious lunch after windswept walks.
Picnic spots like Becky Falls and Bellever Forest are idyllic during the warmer months, and the route up to Avon Dam is excellent for those who enjoy a good walk.
Whether you’re a water baby or a landlubber, Torquay holidays can be packed with outdoor adventure. Hire a paddleboard or charter a cruise, and enjoy the bay from a different perspetive.
A UNESCO-recognised Global Geopark, the area surrounding Torquay has many stunning walks and coastal paths. There are clifftops to amble and rock pools to investigate, the South West Coast Path to hike and sandy beaches to stroll along.
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