As a popular seaside resort on the English Channel in Devon, Torquay is a paradise for tourists on the hunt for stunning coastal views, fresh seafood and family-friendly attractions. There’s loads of things to do in Torquay for all ages, so let’s take a look at some must-see sites.
Activities in Torquay are often beach-based, with Oddicombe Beach being a top spot for kayaking or hiring a pedalo. Located at the bottom of lofty red breccia cliffs and accessible via a serpentine road or the Babbacombe Cliff Railway, this really is an extra special place to spend the day. Gentle waters lap the pebble-flecked, reddish sand and in the summer you can rent deck chairs for the ultimate seaside experience. There’s also a café and a beach shop, so whether you forget your bucket and spade or fancy an ice cream, your every need will be met.
When you’re done playing in the sea, building sandcastles or simply catching some rays, why not make your way to Babbacombe Downs, located high above Oddicombe Beach? Edged by a lawn with picturesque cherry trees, the scenic promenade here offers spectacular coastal views that can be admired from a bench or magnified by one of the telescopes provided.
Torquay’s Inner Harbour is one of the most idyllic places to watch the world go by. With benches dotted under swaying palms, you can quite literally sit back, relax and soak up the beauty of this waterside location which is a haven for expensive yachts. Interestingly, the Inner Harbour lies behind a cill and bridge which help to keep the water level low. It’s also home to 200 pontoon finger berths for boats up to 9.14-metre long. Access to the Inner Harbour is subject to tides.
The Inner Harbour is lined with tea rooms, galleries and souvenir shops as well as pretty little restaurants with outdoor seating. There’s something to suit every budget, from locally sourced fish and chips to Michelin starred dining. Walk into the town which is just a stone’s throw away and you’ll also discover a wealth of other eateries as well as high street shops.
Princess Gardens and Theatre
To the west of the Inner Harbour lies Princess Gardens. This is the perfect place for a walk, offering great views of the yachts in the marina. The promenade here is lined by colourful flower beds, perfectly manicured lawns and a dainty water fountain and the gardens are named after Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. In the centre lies the Princess Theatre, Torquay’s top performing arts venue. This June, it’s playing host to Dinosaur World Live, an epic stage event that uses puppetry to bring to life all your favourite prehistoric reptiles, from Triceratops to T-rex himself.
Torquay attractions don’t get much better than Meadfoot Beach. Facing southeast at the top of Tor Bay, this photogenic spot lies at the foot of cliffs alive with natural vegetation. The shingle beach is decorated with quaint little beach chalets and a long platform that you can walk around. And the beach points away from strong currents, making it as safe as possible for small children and non-swimmers, although jelly shoes are recommended due to the shingle. If you’ve an afternoon spare, grab a drink at the cafe terrace and soak in the sensational views which include the craggy islet, Thatcher’s Rock at the north end of Tor Bay and the unmistakable outline of Berry Head in the distance to the south.
Torquay is a beautiful part of the world, so why not grab some tickets to Dinosaur World Live and make the most of the beaches and local scenery while you’re there?