Torquay, a traditional yet thriving seaside town set on Devon's English Riviera coast. With its iconic palm trees, busy harbour, international marina, sandy beach and wonderful array of continental style cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars, the scene is set for the perfect Devon seaside holiday or short break.
The Guardian in late 2016, being described us as one of "Britain's most booming seaside towns, undergoing a style revival with Michelin starred restaurants and swanky yachts". You only have to drive along the seafront or take a stroll along the promenade to know that this is true.
Torquay is also part of the English Riviera's designated UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Global Geopark, meaning it marks single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. With its spectacular coastline and outstanding natural beauty, you can see why it received such accreditation. Torquay is also a real Devon foodie town, part of England’s Seafood Coast with a delicious selection of the freshest fish and seafood on offer from the nearby fish market. There are eateries galore and even a top Michelin star restaurant, The Elephant. Live music brings the delightful harbourside to life on warm summer evenings where there are many places to eat and drink al fresco, but many a cosy pub and eatery to enjoy in the cooler months too.
Stylish New Hotels, Restaurants and Bars in Torquay
Torquay’s increasing popularity has seen a series of elegant and stylish new hotels, restaurants and bars being developed like the iconic Abbey Sands complex overlooking the town’s long sandy beach. Further substantial investment continues in the resorts top hotels, including the brand new Hampton Inn, The Imperial Hotel, and not forgetting Hotel Gleneagles. The aforementioned The Elephant made The Telegraph's Top restaurants in Devon, a well-earned accolade and adding to the growing quality of the resort. Torquay is also a great place for all the family, with a good selection of places to eat and drink if you have younger family members.
Sailing and Boat Trips in Torquay
This harbourside Devon town is also famous for its world-class sailing with national and international races regularly competing in the stunning horseshoe shaped bay. Yachts and super yachts nod gently on the marina and you can stroll across Torquay Harbour Bridge that spans the inner harbour, to admire the view and the boats. You can get afloat yourself with regular passenger ferries to Paignton, Brixham and Dartmouth, plus fishing and wildlife safari boat trips.
Strolling & Walking in Torquay
Enjoy long leisurely strolls along the historic pier and promenade and take in the relaxed atmosphere. Walkers will love Devon’s stunning South West Coast path with its jaw dropping views. You can take the beautiful coastal footpath right around the bay to Paignton and Brixham; this is renowned as one of Devon’s very finest waterside walks. The whole area is wonderfully dog friendly and your best friend will love it.
Enchanted Evenings in Torquay
Make time to walk up the steps of Royal Terrace Gardens and take in the amazing sea views across the bay, which are magnificent especially at night, with the lights reflecting onto the sea. And, on a warm summer's evening, why not enjoy a romantic paddle along the shoreline? Enjoy Torquay’s vibrant nightlife, which includes a variety of pubs, bars, cocktail venues and clubs. There’s also a choice of theatres in Devon’s Torquay with a huge variety of top shows, offering a great variety of early and late evening entertainment, whatever you enjoy.
Shopping in Torquay
There are some excellent shops and art galleries around the harbour area, from gift shops to well-known branded stores and indoor shopping centres, all within close proximity of the seafront and marina. Nearby is Cockington Village, here you’ll find a vibrant, working craft centre set within the 18th century manor house of Cockington Court. You can browse, buy and meet the makers with lots of art, glassblowing, a blacksmith, a chocolate maker and much more. There is also a beautiful country park to explore and lots of quaint and charming tearooms where you can enjoy a legendary Devon cream tea.
Some of Devon’s Best Attractions
Torquay has some of Devon’s best attractions including Living Coasts Marine Zoo & Aquarium, the spectacular underground caves at Kents Cavern, 800 year old Torre Abbey with its Agatha Christie-inspired Potent Plants Garden, Babbacombe Model Village, Bygones plus Open Top Sightseeing Buses, boat trips and much more.
Agatha Christie's Torquay
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and there’s a famous International Agatha Christie Festival every year. You can also walk the Agatha Christie mile and discover some of the murder scenes described in her novels. You can also take the picturesque steam train to Kingswear and jump aboard a riverboat up the Dart to visit her magnificent riverside residence at Greenway (now National Trust).
Devon’s Torquay is a very popular place to stay with choice of hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts and self-catering apartments and Devon cottages.