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Holidays in Torquay

A palm-lined promenade and seafront gardens nod to the Victorian seaside obsession with Torquay

UK | South West | Devon | South Devon | Torquay
Torquay harbour

In the heart of the English Riviera is the buzzing seaside town of Torquay. With a unique blend of old and new, traditional fish and chip shops, bars and independent shops line Torquay’s high street and promenade. Many will recognise Torquay as the inspiration for hit comedy series, Fawlty Towers, which was based on the local Gleneagles Hotel.

The town’s Victorian buildings remain a large part of its charm, as does the waterfront. Torquay’s panoramic vistas over the South Devon coast attract many holidaymakers. With the English Riviera stretching across 22 miles of coastline, cliffs, coves and beaches, it’s no wonder why people flock to the area for a break.

Torquay’s idyllic coastal position makes it a perfect base to explore South Devon’s beaches. Visit the beaches of Maidencombe, Barracombe, Paignton and St Mary’s for a day by the sea. You can also take the ferry from Torquay to Brixham.

Torquay seafront

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing break or a more active holiday, Torquay has it all. For families, pay a visit to Kents Cavern . As one of the most important Stone Age cave sites in Europe, Kents Cavern is a mysterious prehistoric cave. Take a step back in time as you wander through the labyrinth of caverns. For a peek into underwater life, visit Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium. Home to penguins, fur seals and other UK marine life, this is a fantastic family day out.

For avid walkers, Torquay’s position on the South West Coast Path will be most appealing. Try the Agatha Christie Mile, starting at Torquay Railway Station. The three-mile walk will lead you through some of the places associated with Agatha Christie’s life and work. To wander in the grounds of a stunning heritage site, pay a visit to Berry Pomeroy Castle. This romantic ruin has a colourful history and offers beautiful woodland walks nearby.

”Torquay’s idyllic coastal position makes it a perfect base to explore South Devon’s beaches.”

When it comes to dining out in Torquay, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The Old Vienna Restaurant is well-regarded among locals and visitors, serving dishes with an Austrian twist. Memories Bistro also offers a decadent menu, yet in an informal, quirky setting. Try the pan fried escalope of rose veal with peppercorn, wine, brandy and cream sauce or local Brill with lemon, parsley and butter sauce. If you’d rather dine al fresco, grab a portion of fish and chips and sit on the beach or promenade. Or, if Italian cuisine is more your style, check out Amici for delicious pizza.

Don’t forget to pop into Torquay’s oldest pub, The Hole in the Wall , for a pint of local ale or cider. If you're also looking for some evening entertainment, be sure to visit the Babbacombe Theatre, which offers a varied line-up of music, comedy and more.

While you’re there

Living Coasts

The highlight of this great coastal zoo is definitely Penguin Beach.

English Riviera Sightseeing Tours

The best way to see the beautiful sights and towns of the English Riviera.

Torquay's Dinosaur World

A great all weather day out where you can learn all about dinosaurs in lifelike zones.

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