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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 415 Hotels near Torre Abbey
The Grand Hotel £56
The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel

Seafront, Torquay
     
    3.8
    of 5, from 721 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Offering direct access to the beach, this Torquay hotel is in the city centre and within a 10-minute walk of Torre Abbey Sands and Torre Abbey. Riviera International Conference Centre and Princess Theatre are also within 15 minutes.

    The Imperial Torquay £52
    The Imperial Torquay

    The Imperial Torquay

    Park Hill Road, Torquay
       
      4.0
      of 5, from 818 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Torquay hotel is located by the ocean, within a 15-minute walk of Living Coasts, Meadfoot Beach and Princess Theatre. Torre Abbey Sands and Torquay Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km).

      BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA £93
      BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA

      BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA

      2 Belgrave Rd, Torquay
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 63 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Torquay, 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).

        Abbey View Holiday Flats £38
        Abbey View Holiday Flats

        Abbey View Holiday Flats

        Rathmore Road, Torquay
           
          4.8
          of 5, from 46 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Torquay, 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).

          Grosvenor House
          Grosvenor House

          Grosvenor House

          Falkland Road, Torquay
             
            4.7
            of 5, from 18 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Situated by the sea, this bed & breakfast is steps away from Riviera International Conference Centre and Torre Abbey. Torre Abbey Sands and Princess Theatre are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            Haven House £42
            Haven House

            Haven House

            11 Scarborough Road, Torquay
               
              4.0
              of 5, from 1 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

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

              The Red House Hotel £64
              The Red House Hotel

              The Red House Hotel

              Rousdown Road, Torquay
                 
                3.7
                of 5, from 31 reviews
                2.5 out of 5.0

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

                The Wellsway £56
                The Wellsway

                The Wellsway

                56 Bampfylde Road, Torquay
                   
                  4.9
                  of 5, from 204 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Torquay, 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).