Ah, Torquay. Found in the heart of the English Riviera (in Devon, South West England), this thriving coastal town will make a great holiday destination for all your family and friends, especially now that we are well into the summer season. Fun fact: it’s also Agatha Christie‘s home town! So here’s our cheap as chips guide for things to do during your stay…
Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside…
On a hot day it’s almost like you’ve entered another country, but the local beaches still maintain that English seaside charm. While the beach by the promenade is fairly small, there are others close by in the Babbacombe and Oddicombe areas.
Walking along the promenade is by far one of the most beautiful areas in Torquay. Several attractions can be discovered along here, all within a few minutes of each other.
As you stroll, cycle or skate along the promenade, you probably won’t find a brass band playing like the song says, but may come across the occasional street performer and sometimes a few pop up market stalls. Surrounded by palm trees and relaxing grassy areas on one side, and a pier stretching out into the ocean on the other, you get to admire the best of both worlds. The promenade simply looks stunning at any time of the day – morning, noon, and night.
Interested in theatre? Look out for the Princess Theatre, situated in the middle of the promenade. Many high quality shows have performed here, and famous faces such as Dawn French and Milton Jones have also appeared on the stage.
Next to the Pavilion, it’s not hard to spot the English Riviera Wheel, which you could probably think of as Torquay’s miniature version of the London Eye!. Impressively, it stands at nearly 60 feet high, with several capsules overlooking the vibrant Princess Gardens, town and harbourside. At its highest point, you can take a breathtaking 360 degree view at Torquay, spreading far and wide into the distance. This is definitely something to cross off your ‘to do’ list during your visit (summer months only), and it’s a reasonable price for a 12 minutes worth of rotating while finding out about the local area’s history through a voiceover.
Glistening Marina / Harbourside
Very nearby is the harbour, a sign that you’ve truly arrived at a coastal town. The marina features a vast variety of small fishing boats, and even a few luxury yachts. With a glistening ocean to take advantage of, use the opportunity to go on a boat ride that you are much more likely to afford! Adrenaline lovers will enjoy speed boat rides, but if you have a bit more time to spare, you’ll appreciate a ferry ride.
Experience the Food & Drink
Everywhere you turn in the centre of Torquay, you’re bound to find a restaurant, café, or a bar/pub filled with people socialising and having a drink, often while listening to live music. Of course there are several beautifully decorated independent and chain restaurants to choose from, so you’re guaranteed to find somewhere you love to eat.
When by the sea, something you must absolutely do is eat at a fish and chip shop; you’re never far from one, and it’s one of the most British meals around! If you feel like having a sugar rush, then head over to one of the many ice cream stands scattered around and indulge in a Mr Whippy with a flake. And when in Devon, have a cream tea! But beware – it’s not a trip to the beach without a pesky seagull stealing food from you!
- If you feel like being more of a tourist, you might like to experience the town in its best form on the land train, or a sightseeing tour bus.
- Kids will also adore seeing the marine animals at Living Coasts, or a trip to nearby Paignton Zoo – one of the best zoos around!
- Torquay’s high street is also great for shopping, and buying a souvenir too!
Enjoy your trip!