Torquay has been a popular holiday spot in the English Riviera since the 19th century, and it's popularity is steadily growing. Located at the southern edge of Torbay, it offers a number of award-winning beaches with some of Britain's cleanest waters. In addition to many historical and cultural attractions, Torquay is the perfect starting point to discover the lush countryside of South Devon and enjoy some of the area's best shopping (including the big modern Pavillion Shopping Centre) and several Michelin-star restaurants.
Culture & attractions in Torquay
You don't need to know about the awards Torquay's beaches have won (there are many!) to realise that this is a little paradise just a few hours drive from home.
For those less inclined to get wet, Greenway Ferry and many other companies offer cruises along the bay. If you're looking little more action, jump aboard the Seafari Cruise and look for dolphins, seals and other creatures of the ocean ‐ a great excursion not only for kids!
A daily ferry service also brings you to Greenway at the serene River Dart, where Agatha Christie's house stands on top of a romantic hill. Yet another Agatha Christie inspired attraction is the Potent Plants Garden where you can learn everything about the dark world of poisons, antidotes and remedies.
If you don't mind a slightly bumpy ride, the Babbacombe Cliff Railway, a funicular railway opened in 1926, runs from Babbacombe Downs to Oddicombe Beach. A ride on the train offers breathtaking views over the bay and ocean.
Along the coast, you'll find the Living Coast Zoo where you can meet penguins, seals, octopi and many other exotic creatures of the sea. The zoo regularly organises special events for children and adults which make the ocean come even more alive.
Must-do highlights in Torquay
Without doubt, the highlight of Torquay is Kents Cavern. It's home to the oldest remains of the human species that have been found in Europe to this day. You too will marvel at the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites and the many mysteries surrounding the caves that have been attracting curious visitors and scientist for almost 500 years.
All that action, culture and history sounds like a bit too much work for a holiday? Then you definitely should pay a visit to Cockington Court and Country Park which offers many walks around the Devonshire countryside. The park also offers regular demonstrations of traditional crafts, like glassblowing or forging and has a romantic rose garden as well as an organic kitchen garden. Maybe the best way to explore the park is the way people did 150 years ago ‐ hire a carriage or mount a horse to explore the country trails!
Eating & drinking in Torquay
A real Devon tradition not to be missed is classic tea with fluffy scones or a picnic in the countryside ‐ Cockington Court has great tea deals available each day.
The Marina Restaurant is the best place in Torquay for a proper Sunday Roast ‐ all the staff are master carvers in their own right!
Memories Bistro will leave you with for delicious memories of your holiday. Pop into this quirky little restaurant that would fit right into a trendy part of London and enjoy the attentive, personal service and creative menu.
Accommodation in Torquay
Torquay is full of historical houses, so why shouldn't you enjoy your very own slice of the good country life during your time here?
Cotehayes for example is a spacious detached country house that is over 200 years old. It's been updated to a modern standard while retaining the romantic features of the old house such as period furniture and french doors leading to the garden. With space for up to 8 visitors, it is the perfect holiday home for a fun family holiday or an action-filled week with friends.
If you are looking for something more intimate, Hesketh Treetops is a one bedrooms luxury apartment overlooking the award-winning Meadfoot Beach. The apartment offers access to a health club, gym and pool and even room service by the Osborne Hotel Brasserie.
Lifebuoy Cottage is a charming 2 bedroom cottage with courtyard patio and BBQ facilities. It's ideal for an active holiday, as the stunning South West Coast Path runs just a 5 minute walk away from the cottage.
So that's our round up of things to do on a weekend in Torquay. Have you ever been there? What would you recommend doing if someone went there for the weekend? Please share you experience with us…