Torquay Mini Guide
Is Torquay all sun hats, buckets and spades?
No, in fact the town has a lot of very interesting attractions that don’t involve the beach at all. The town is part of what’s called the English Riviera, a name that harks back to its genteel Victorian days as a popular beach resort. Famous residents here included Isadora Duncan, the tragic ballet dancer and Isambard Brunel, the engineer. The town mixes modern busy urban areas with quiet country and coastal rurality so there’s something for all tastes.
How do I get there?
If you’re flying here, you can get flights to Exeter
and hire a car or take the train which stops at Torquay’s main station near the seafront. National Express coaches also operate to the town.
What’s there to see in Torquay?
Begin at the Torquay Natural History Museum which has a lot of varied displays, many based around collections given to the museum by wealthy residents. The key exhibits here are the items found in Kents Cavern which should be top of your list of things to see. Here, a wooden door leads you into a kilometre long series of caves once inhabited by Torquay’s earliest residents and shared with some very hungry wildlife. Continuing the wildlife theme, head down to the harbour to see the sea life centre with its star attractions – the penguins.
How can I spend a quiet morning?
Take a stroll in the ancient part of Torquay called Cockington. Here you can walk through beautiful gardens, past tranquil lakes and an old, photogenic church with links to Sir Walter Raleigh and then take a Devon cream tea in the manor house, Cockington Court.
What can I buy to take home from Torquay?
There are sticks of rock, Devon clotted cream, fudge and toffee plus brass lucky horseshoes from Cockington.
What should I eat there?
It’s got to be Devon clotted cream, very bad for the heart but too delicious to turn down. Fresh fish caught across the bay in Brixham and Rocombe Farm ice cream whose thousands of flavours can be made to order.
Torquay is a genteel holiday resort with the largest number of Blue Flag beaches of any UK resort. The beaches are complemented by a range of attractions which appeal to all members of the family including the caves of Kents Cavern or the miniature detail of Babbacombe Model Village.
Hiring a car will get you to Daddyhole Plain from where you can walk the cliff path known as Rock Walk down to the harbour. There’s a site of special scientific interest too on the open land called Wall’s Hill which overlooks Torbay.