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Torre Abbey

The best-preserved medieval monastery in Devon and Cornwall is now a popular art gallery, with specialist exhibits exploring 19th-century paintings.

Learn about the history of Torre Abbey and the roles it has played throughout English history. See historic paintings by famous artists, with collections ranging from battle scenes and marine landscapes to images of the pre-industrial British countryside and historical portraits. Wander the beautiful gardens and admire a wide variety of exotic plants.

Discover the origins of this historic building. Founded in 1196, Torre Abbey began as a monastery for Canons of the Premonstratensian order. Imagine what life would have been like for one of these 12th-century canons, who led austere lives yet were supported by servants and generated extraordinary amounts of wealth.

See works of art by a number of widely admired artists, including William Blake and Pietro Calvi. Enjoy paintings which immortalized historic battles in the ages before photography and explored the nature of conflict through imagined settings. Admire scenes of rural Britain pre-industrialization, with paintings of picturesque cottages, horse-drawn plows and open fields. Examine collections exploring Britain’s maritime history, which include scenes from the local area. Other collections focus on Torquay’s history of tourism and portraits of historical figures.

Stroll through the gardens, which are nestled behind the main house. Relax in the beautiful setting, enjoy a picnic or read a book while surrounded by exotic and rare plants. See award-winning collections of herbaceous perennials, roses and dahlias, all within a formal 19th-century landscape around the abbey ruins. Visit the enclosed medieval collection, exploring plants of the age and their uses. Explore the Agatha Christie display, based entirely on the often-poisonous plants appearing in the crime author’s work.

Find Torre Abbey outside of Torquay, just 10 minutes away by car. Two parking lots are a few minutes’ walk from the abbey, with limited parking at the abbey itself for disabled visitors who obtain a permit beforehand. The abbey is open from Wednesday to Sunday most weeks, though it does close at certain times of the year. Check the website for up-to-date information. There is a charge to see the museum, with concessions available and cheaper tickets for gardens-only visits.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 427 Hotels near Torre Abbey
The Imperial Torquay
The Imperial Torquay

The Imperial Torquay

Park Hill Road, Torquay
     
    4.0
    of 5, from 859 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Torquay City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Living Coasts, Torquay Museum, and Princess Theatre. Meadfoot Beach and Torre Abbey Sands are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    The Southbank
    The Southbank

    The Southbank

    15-17 Belgrave Road, Torquay
       
      4.6
      of 5, from 71 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Torquay City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Riviera International Conference Centre, Torre Abbey and Torre Abbey Sands. Princess Theatre and Living Coasts are also within 1 mile (2 km).

      The Richmond Hotel £40
      The Richmond Hotel

      The Richmond Hotel

      27 Croft Road, Torquay
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 70 reviews
        2.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Torquay City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Torre Abbey Sands and Riviera International Conference Centre. Torre Abbey and Princess Theatre are also within 15 minutes.

        Cavendish Hotel
        Cavendish Hotel

        Cavendish Hotel

        Belgrave Road, Torquay
           
          3.0
          of 5, from 87 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Torquay City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Riviera International Conference Centre, Torre Abbey and Torre Abbey Sands. Princess Theatre and Living Coasts are also within 1 mile (2 km).

          Abbey View Holiday Flats
          Abbey View Holiday Flats

          Abbey View Holiday Flats

          Rathmore Road, Torquay
             
            4.8
            of 5, from 49 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Torquay City Centre, this apartment is within a 5-minute walk of Torre Abbey and Riviera International Conference Centre. Torre Abbey Sands and Princess Theatre are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA
            BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA

            BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA

            2 Belgrave Rd, Torquay
               
              4.7
              of 5, from 73 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Torquay City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Torre Abbey Sands, Riviera International Conference Centre and Princess Theatre. Torre Abbey and Living Coasts are also within 1 mile (2 km).

              The Wellsway
              The Wellsway

              The Wellsway

              56 Bampfylde Road, Torquay
                 
                4.9
                of 5, from 209 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Torquay City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Torre Abbey and Riviera International Conference Centre. Torre Abbey Sands and Princess Theatre are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                John Burton-Race Hotel and Restaurant
                John Burton-Race Hotel and Restaurant

                John Burton-Race Hotel and Restaurant

                Belgrave Road, Torquay
                   
                  3.9
                  of 5, from 349 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly Torquay hotel is located near the beach, within a 10-minute walk of Torre Abbey Sands, Princess Theatre and Torre Abbey. Living Coasts and Riviera International Conference Centre are also within 15 minutes.