Things to do in Torquay
Situated a pleasant 30-mile drive from our Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, Torquay has been a seaside resort since the 18th century and was home to the thriller writer Agatha Christie. From cavernous mysteries to balmy beaches, Torquay is the jewel of the English Riviera.
If you're looking for the top places to visit in Torquay, we’ve got it covered with some delightful highlights to explore.
1. Babbacombe Model Village
Feel like a giant in this stunning display of the modelmaker’s art. You’ll find tiny architectural icons aplenty here, including Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, Bath’s Georgian Crescent, thatched villages, a celebrity mansion, and a tiny working railway, complete with suspension bridges.
The scenes are beautifully detailed and perfect for those Instagram moments. There’s a new animated mythical kingdom too, plus crazy golf and picturesque gardens to wander. Well-behaved dogs on the lead are welcome in the outdoor displays.
2. Torquay's Dinosaur World
Step back into the Jurassic era, meet life-sized dinos, and even unearth some fossils at this family-friendly interactive exhibit.
See life-sized replicas of plant-eating Triceratops and the fearsome Dimetrodon. Dare you stick your head into the fossil T-Rex skull? Kids can take an explorer quiz, check out the massive prehistoric spiders, or pick up a fantastic souvenir in the gift shop.
3. Kents Cavern
Did you know Torquay has its own prehistoric cavern? Remarkably, stone age remnants have been unearthed in this network of fascinating caverns just a mile from the city centre. Excavated in the Victorian era, Kents Cavern transports you to chilly havens created by geological processes 2.5 million years ago.
With a cave of inscriptions, exhibits of stone age tools, a water gallery and plenty of stalagmites and stalactites, this is an atmospheric must-see for the curious of all ages.
4. Torquay Museum
With 400-million years of history to uncover, it’s no surprise that Torquay Museum has plenty to experience. The museum is unusually hands-on, a firm favourite with junior explorers, and regularly hosts touring exhibits ranging from Egyptology to insect life.
There’s an Agatha Christie gallery too, which offers a fascinating insight into the town’s most famous writer and her inspiration. There are rare books, movie and TV memorabilia and there are regular talks and film screenings about the crime writer and her creations.
5. Cockington Country Park
This beautiful oasis, not far from Torquay, offers more than the usual country house and grounds attraction. Perfect for picnics, strolls, and horse-drawn carriage rides, Cockington includes a wonderful gallery of local arts and crafts, plus artists’ studios and workshops on site.
Watch glassblowers in action, enjoy the rose garden, take a carriage ride, and have a Devon cream tea in the charming cafe. Whether you’re into nature, history or art, there’s lots to explore at Cockington and you could easily devote a day to this attraction.
6. Babbacombe Theatre
This 1930s concert hall once hosted the legends of variety, and now programmes a range of popular shows including musicals, comedy, magicians, and concerts.
From Pink Floyd tributes to Christmas pantos, there’s plenty going on throughout the year, but do book ahead to avoid disappointment.
7. Torquay Harbour & Beacon Cove
Iconic and idyllic, Torquay Harbour is perfect for a morning or sunset stroll. Watch boats bobbing, enjoy waterfront dining, or just soak in the serene views of this bustling harbour and marina.
Window shop for yachts or wander down to the nearby Beacon Cove for a quiet place to read your book, paddle in the surf or catch some rays. The self-guided Agatha Christie mile starts at Beacon Cove too, and plaques along the route explain aspects of her life and work.
Time travel Torquay-style! Bygones recreates a Victorian street, with wartime memorabilia, period shops, and even a classic British pub (don’t expect a penny pint, however!) There’s also a full-sized 27-ton steam engine and a period station café at which to refuel in 1940s style.
Bygones manages to be educational, entertaining, and a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
9. Torre Abbey
After the bustle of a seaside town, you might want to escape to something a little bit more tranquil. Torre Abbey is perfect in that respect. Established in 1196, it is one of the oldest buildings in Torquay and is set in 18 acres of peaceful parkland.
There’s more to the abbey than its history, however. There’s an impressive fine art collection including Pre-Raphaelite treasures, an interactive exhibit of the abbey’s 800-year-old story and heated glasshouses containing exotic tropical plants.
You’ll need half a day to see everything that the abbey and its surroundings have to offer.
10. Princess Pier
A trip to an English seaside town isn’t complete without a walk along the pier, and Torquay’s Princess Pier doesn’t disappoint. Built in 1890, it’s an unspoilt gem. Unlike many modern piers, you won't find any lively attractions here, so it's a great spot for quiet exploration.
An evening stroll here promises golden sunsets and the soft murmur of waves. Whether you come for a romantic rendezvous or a spot of contemplation, the pier is a lovely place to wander.