With so much on offer in Torquay and the surrounding areas, fitting it all in can be a challenge! We’ve listed 20 of our favourite things to do in Torquay including days out, places of historical interest and local food and drink.
Great attractions in Torquay
1. Paignton Zoo – Listed as one of Britain’s top zoos, it is home to some of the planet’s rarest and most wonderful creatures including gorillas and orang-utans, giraffes, lions, tigers and rhinos. There is also a wide variety of plants with hundreds of rare and beautiful specimens around the 80-acre site.
2. Babbacombe Model Village – Babbacombe Model Village is famous for its miniature landscaped gardens and is branded as one of Europe’s Premier Model Villages. Open all year, it has an incredible 4-acres of marvellously miniature gardens and offers great value with 1 ticket entitling you to two visits within any 7 days.
3. Kents Cavern – This award-winning home of ancient humans, this is one of the top prehistoric Stone Age caves in Europe. With an extensive labyrinth of spectacular caves, they really are an iconic site well worth a visit.
4. Bygones – Located in St. Marychurch and spread over 3 floors, Bygones offers pure nostalgia for all ages. You can visit an authentic, life-size Victorian street including a forge, sweet shop & apothecary plus a nursery, kitchen, parlour or the dentist! There is also 28ft model railway and magical fantasyland. You can visit the 1940s and 1950s shopping arcade and go even further back to a World War I trench. Weather isn’t an issue as the whole exhibit is located indoors.
5. Palace Theatre – Constructed back in 1890, the Palace Theatre is owned and operated by Torbay Council. It is the oldest working Theatre in Torbay and has recently undergone major refurbishment. With performances from local theatre groups and travelling entertainers, this quaint, intimate theatre really is a great place to see a show or watch a fantastic performance.
Learn the History of Torquay and the English Riviera
6. Torre Abbey – Within walking distance of TLH Leisure Resort, the Abbey was founded in 1196 and provided the medieval Premonstratensian monks with everything they needed to establish their monastery. Today, as a museum, you will find beautifully presented heritage rooms, galleries, art exhibitions, interactive displays, talking portraits and videos which bring the colourful history and art to life. Learn more about the rise and the fall of the Georgian Cary Family, who resided there for hundreds of years.
7. Cockington Court and Park – No visit to Torquay is complete without a visit to the thatched village of Cockington. Whatever time of year, it is the perfect setting for a walk. With its picture-postcard cottages, horse and carriage rides, a historic forge, a court and church, tea rooms, thatched pub and the lakes and woods, this really is a lovely place to visit and is so very quintessentially English.
8. Brixham Battery Heritage Centre – Most significantly used as a World War II Coastal Defence Battery, many of the structures and emplacements from this period are still in existence. Although not a cultivated park, it is full of natural landscape including trees, shrubs and grass plus wild orchids and bluebells. Known as the ‘Grandstand of Torbay’, there are fantastic views across the Bay. Entry to the park is free and it is open daily all year round. The gardens are accessible by public transport, but wheelchair access is limited.
9. Torquay Museum – You can travel 400 million years into the past in this hands-on visitor attraction. There are fascinating exhibitions about South Devon and it includes Britain’s only Agatha Christie gallery where you step inside Poirot’s study and lounge and includes furniture, books, pictures and even fireplaces from his beautiful London Art Deco apartment. Geological artefacts are in abundance with North-West Europe’s oldest human fossil and the sabre-toothed tigers he shared his Torquay home with 44,000 years ago.
10. Golden Hind Museum Ship – One of the most iconic ships from the age of exploration, you can visit the full-sized replica of The Golden Hind at Brixham. It has has been a feature of picturesque Brixham harbour for over fifty years both entertaining and educating thousands of visitors.
Get Out and About and See our Beautiful Coastline
11. South West Coast Path – The South West Coast Path is the UK’s longest National Trail and measures 630 miles in its entirety. Part of the route is the 2.5 miles from Torquay Harbour to Daddyhole Plain. It passes landmarks including Beacon Cove and the naturally-sculpted cliff arch known as ‘London Bridge’. Climb to 200ft above sea level and you’ll reach Daddyhole Plain, a wonderful vantage point allowing you to gaze across the town and out to sea.
12. Torquay Harbour & Marina – No visit to Torquay would be complete without a walk along the promenade, marina and along to the harbourside. Just 5 minutes’ walk from TLH, the recently developed Abbey Sands area of the town is the perfect starting point for a leisurely stroll along the seafront. If you’re feeling energetic, a walk on the new cliff path for some stunning views across Torbay.
13. Agatha Christie Mile – Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 in Torquay, Devon. In the English Riviera, you can retrace the steps of the world’s best-selling author along Torquay’s seafront beginning just a few minutes walk from TLH Leisure Resort. The Agatha Christie Mile takes you to some of the places that were inspirational in her life and works and includes seven unique plaques to find along way.
14. Cliff Railway & Babbacombe – Built in 1926, the Babbacombe Cliff Railway has shuttled hundreds of thousands of people to and from Oddicombe Beach in over 84 years of service. Surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found in the UK, the Cliff Railway provides a vital and non-exhausting way for everyone to soak up the peaceful atmosphere and take in the amazing views as they travel to and from the waters edge. This may not be something you would consider as one of your must-do activities but it does offer some fantastic coastal views.
15. Round Robin – There is no better way to explore our wonderful part of the world than on the steam train, river boat and bus which visits the quaint towns of Paignton, Dartmouth and Totnes. The journey on the steam train is approximately 30 minutes then jump on the river boat for just over 90 minutes. During the trip on the water, listen to the commentary with interesting facts about the wonderful coastal areas as well as lots of local history. Finish off the day with a bus trip for around half an hour. Sit back and enjoy the scenery with their award-winning ticket which is a favourite with both young and old.
Try our Local Food and Drink
16. Brixham Fish Market Tour – This is a great chance to see behind the scenes and the hustle and bustle of the world famous Brixham Fish Market, culminating in a delicious fish breakfast at Rockfish. If your fish eating experience extends to just cod, haddock, salmon and mackerel then the Brixham Fish Market tour is for you, where you could see over 40 different types of fish at the auctions. Read about our Head Chef Lee Johnston’s visit to the market.
17. Aztec Bistro at TLH Leisure Resort – There is always a great selection of light lunches and main meals available in the Aztec Bistro. Open daily for coffees, snacks, wines, beers and cocktails, there’s also a fantastic south-facing pool terrace for al fresco drinking & dining when the weather is fine.
18. Occombe Farm – This South Devon working organic farm in is open to the public and visits to the farm are free. Explore the gardens plus their fantastic 2km nature trail, bustling with wildlife and with beautiful views of the surrounding woodland. The Farm Shop at Occombe Farm is run by Gribbles Butchers; a family-run, local business which aims to provide top quality, traceable meats using traditional butchery methods whilst supporting the local farming community and West Country suppliers.
19. Newton Abbot Farmers’ and Produce Market – Launched in December 2000, the Farmers’ and Produce Market gained a reputation for product quality and the variety continues to add to the existing retail offer within Newton Abbot markets and town centre in general. The indoor market also hosts stalls including health food, herbal and homeopathic remedies, organic and gluten free products, homebrew drinks, delicatessens and local produce.
20. Sharpham Wine and Cheese – Take a tour around Sharpham Vineyard which is set in one of Devon’s most magical locations. The beautiful 550 acre estate is set on the bank of the River Dart, with 12,000 vines basking in the sun on the south facing slopes. Sharpham Vineyard offers a range of tours, which include a scenic walk around the vineyard and along the river bank followed by a tasting of a selection of the wines and cheese. Large groups by arrangement only. The vineyard shop sells the range of wine and cheese.
There are a huge range of things to do in nearby and our Torquay hotels are the ideal base to visit these great places. We often have special offers to make your visit even more affordable, so why not visit our special offers page and see if we can tempt you to come and stay with us in Torquay.