Torbay also known as the English Riviera is a perfect location to visit to explore the stunning coast and countryside, towns and top attractions!
Find the best things to do and places to visit on the English Riviera
Torbay is the large bay nestled on Devon’s south coast overlooking clear blue waters with plenty of vantage points along the South West Coast Path, don’t forget to pack your camera and binoculars! The Bay is made up of three towns; Paignton, Torquay and Brixham which conclude when the vast hills and estuaries of the South Hams stretch down to the sea creating its very own microclimate to explore. It is the golden sands and blue waters of Torbay which has led to the bay and its seaside towns named the The English Riviera. Home also to some of Devon’s top attractions! The English Riviera is a designated UNESCO Global Geopark – one of only 8 in the UK (a geographical area where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development).
Each coastal town has its own particular charm and the bay is popular with both families and couples due to its fantastic variety of entertainment – hidden coves, woodland walks perfect for memorable dog walks, wildlife parks, play areas, theatres and cinemas. Plenty to do whatever the weather with a choice of theatres, museums, restaurants, and cafes as well as big name brands and small independent shops. A fantastic day out in Devon is guaranteed when you spend a day in Torbay!
Enjoy a stroll along the promenade in Torquay which leads on to the pretty harbour and marina at the foot of the town centre. Cockington village and country park is well worth a visit with its historic water mill, forge, alms-houses and a Norman church standing since 1069. There are more than 20 craft studios as well as a walled art garden, contemporary art gallery, tea room and a kids’ play area. You are spoilt for choice for family attractions including Bygones, Kents Cavern and Babbacombe Model Village so the kids will be kept thoroughly entertained. Torquay caters for all ages and there is a host of water sports on offer as well as sandy beaches and a range of bars and nightclubs.
Paignton is popular with tourists also for its beaches where you can rent a deckchair or a beach hut just for a day and there are some fabulous rock pools to investigate at Goodrington Sands once the tide goes out. Family attractions include the world famous Paignton Zoo, Victorian Pier and harbour where you can take a fishing trip or boat tour.
Brixham is a bustling fishing town with one of the busiest fishing fleets in the UK. The sea is a big influence on the town with its maritime history of smuggling and pirates and it has plenty of wonderful seafood restaurants and eateries as well as the popular fish market. Just outside the town you can visit Berry Head National Nature Reserve which is home to a fascinating variety of wildlife and history and see the recently-restored Napoleonic War fortifications. Enjoy the stunning views, pop into the Visitor Centre and watch the bird life on the cliffs from the hide and don’t miss out on a snack in the Guardhouse Cafe.
3 top attractions to visit in Torbay and the English Riviera!
Step into the Stone age at Kents Cavern , Torquay. A great idea for things to do with kids in Devon.
Is one of Europe’s top prehistoric Stone Age caves with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns. Step into the Stone Age! An all-weather attraction and the warmest cave in Britain. Plenty to explore for all ages its not all about the caves there is woodland trail also where you can become an Ice Age hunter and search for signs of life from the Stone Age. But before this a guided tour of the caves will fill allow you to go back in time when the cave was home to ancient humans, sheltering from extreme weather, making fires and hunting animals…
Head to Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay for a winning Devon family day out.
A big day out at Britain’s largest model village! Take time out of the busyness and face pace of life and, lose yourself in the world of thousands of miniature buildings, people and vehicles in a wide variety of scenes some of which are animated with a touch of English humour. You are bound to recognise a couple of familiar well-known sites and there will be plenty for the whole family to talk about. This village really has a life of its own, which is set in 4.5 acres of gardens and constantly maintained to an immaculate condition.
For a Devon day out full of nostalgia, then a visit to Bygones, Torquay is highly recommended.
Wander back in time, starting towards the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. Visit the authentic life size Victorian Street overflowing with original items. Smell the treats of the Sweetshop which would have been made fresh every day! See the Blacksmith hard at work making horseshoes and listen to the hustle and bustle of everyday living whilst immersing yourself in Victorian life. Three floors of history in one magnificent building; go on to peer at the kitchen in the servant quarters you may or may not want to visit the dentist with his foot operated drill! So much to see and this is just a starter for ten.
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