Torquay is comprised of rocky coastline dotted with beaches bordered by red cliffs. The town has a mild microclimate, with semitropical plants throughout its parks and gardens. Relax on sandy beaches, learn about the town’s interesting literary connections and enjoy lively concerts and evening theatrical productions.
Visit one of the town’s most famous attractions, 12th-century Torre Abbey. The abbey was transformed into a country home by the wealthy Cary family and now houses a museum and art gallery. Check out the impressive drawings by William Blake. Wander around the surrounding gardens, which include a special Potent Plant plot of species used to make poisons featured in author Agatha Christie’s crime novels.
The town’s quite popular main beach, Torre Abbey Sands, takes its name from the nearby abbey. Explore some of the 20 other beaches along the town’s 22 miles (35 kilometers) of coastline. Don’t miss tranquil Beacon Cove, said to be Agatha Christie’s favorite bathing spot.
Visit the mysterious Kents Cavern, a subterranean network of caves. Touted as the oldest recognizable human dwelling in Britain, the underground maze of rock galleries and chambers can be explored on a guided tour. Look for the bear-like skull of ursus deningeri embedded in the rock of the cave’s Water Gallery.
Be sure to visit Cockington, a charming village of thatched cottages just outside Torquay. Check out the village’s picturesque church as well as its archetypal English pub designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. On the outskirts of town is Cockington Court Craft Centre, a 17th-century manor where you can watch craftspeople at work. The manor is surrounded by a beautiful 460-acre (186-hectare) country park, where walking trails meander through lush fields and woods.
To reach Torquay, drive about 20 minutes from Newton Abbot. The town is well connected to cities throughout the U.K. by National Express coach. Alternatively, take the train with direct service from Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol or London.
Sea, Friendly People and Small Town
See a stand-up show, musical or other live production at this much-loved coastal theater, located close to many of Torquay’s most popular attractions.
This unspoiled cove was once the home of fishermen and smugglers. Now it’s a popular beach on the English Riviera coastline.
Enjoy an outing to Living Coasts during your stay in Torquay. Amble around this quaint area's beautiful beaches and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.
Visit this miniature world, which has been growing since 1963. See buildings, people and animals recreated with a touch of British humor.
Walk along a scenic coastal path from Torquay Harbour to reach this well-maintained beach, a favorite with water sports fans.
On a clear day, catch glimpses of Portland Bill while practicing your drive on this old-fashioned parkland course that is sheltered from sea breezes.