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For other places with the same name, see Torquay (disambiguation).

Torquay (pronounced "Tor-key") [15] is an English town on the coast of Devon in the West Country and, since the 19th century, a fashionable seaside resort in the English Riviera. The town is situated on the English Channel, on the southern edge of Torbay, an east facing bay that is part of the larger Lyme Bay.


Torquay Town Hall

Torquay's advantages as a seaside resort and destination are obvious, with no less than nine (9) sandy beaches and extremely high standards of water quality (holder of 3 European Blue Flags, more than any other English resort). Torbay enjoys a warm micro-climate that allows palm-like trees to grow readily, though these are not true palms but rather Cordyline australis - Cabbage Tree.

Torquay is (in)famous as the setting of Fawlty Towers, the hotel owned by Basil and Sybil Fawlty in the classic 1970s British television comedy.

Get in[edit]

By Train[edit]

Torquay has two railway stations. Torquay railway station is situated near the sea, close to Torre Abbey Sands. Torre railway station is situated a little inland adjacent to the road leading to Newton Abbot. Not all trains stop at Torre.

Services are provided by Great Western Railway The line from Exeter is very scenic and is worth the trip for this alone.

Passengers from Cornwall and Plymouth will need to change trains at Newton Abbot.

By Car[edit]

Torquay is connected to the UK motorway network by the A380, which traces the outskirts of the town as Hellevoetsluis Way and Hamelin Way, leading to the A38 and then on to the M5 at Exeter. The A3022 branches from the A380, leading into Torquay as Riviera Way, to the seafront as Newton Road and then Avenue Road, and then on to Paignton as Torquay Road. A new by-pass opened in 2016 between Newton Abbot and Torquay, removing one of the South West's most notorious traffic bottlenecks and considerably speeding up journey times.

The A379 runs past the harbour to the Babbacombe and St Marychurch areas of Torquay, and then north along the coast to Teignmouth. This is a very scenic road.

By Bus[edit]

National Express operate regular bus services from many parts of the UK. Tickets MUST be booked in advance.

Megabus Operate limited services to and from Torquay from Bristol and London. Tickets from £1 (if booked far enough in advance), it is NOT possible to buy tickets on the bus.

Stagecoach South West Offer regular direct services from Plymouth, Totnes and Paignton to Torquay. Services are also available from Exeter, Dawlish, Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth.

By Plane[edit]

The nearest Airport is Exeter International Airport [16], journey time approx 45 minutes by car.

Get around[edit]

Torquay is served by Stagecoach South West buses. Service that will be of most use to visitors are:

The 12, which serves Newton Abbot, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The 46 offers a limited service between Exeter and Torquay,

The 22 links Torquay with Paignton Zoo, Teignmouth, Dawlish and Dawlish Warren.

The Gold operates from Torquay to Paignton, Totnes and Plymouth

The 122 operates from St Marychurch to Torquay, Paignton and Paignton Zoo, using open top buses.

There are other routes operating within the town [17]

Torquay Land Train is a very different way to see Torquay. It operates a circular route linking many of Torquays tourist attractions.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Kents Cavern - which was home to early man for some 700,000 years and where tourists can visit this subterranean wonderland. The Caves have attracted many famous people, among them Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, King George V of the United Kingdom and Haile Selassie who was so impressed with his visit that he gave his guide, Leslie Powe a gold sovereign.
  • Living Coasts - a large coastal zoo (said to be the UK's only coastal zoo) and aquarium.
  • Babbacombe Model Village and gardens - it has attracted children and adults of all ages for generations and is considered one of the best examples of a model village in England. There is also a 4D theatre with regular performances. On certain evenings, the model village is also lit up with thousands of minature lights.
  • The Princess Theatre, located on Torquay Seafront. Offers a variety of shows and music.
  • Torre Abbey and Gardens - a Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1196. Now a museum and art gallery offering a variety of family friendly activities.
  • Babbacombe Cliff Railway Cliff Railway, operating since 1926, running to and from Oddicombe Beach. Due to be re-opening in March 2017 after extensive refurbishment.
  • Cockington Court and Country Park - Historic manor house with craft rooms, walled art garden, tudor rose garden and tea rooms. Cockington Village is also a picturesque village close to Cockington Court.
  • Bygones Museum with a reconstruction of a Victorian Street, a model railway, and a wide selection of British historical displays. Suitable for all ages.
  • Torquay Museum Museum with a variety of collections and various activities through the year.

Do[edit][add listing]

Torquay is also set along a coastline renowned for its beaches, having no fewer than nine popular beaches. The high standards of water quality and beach facilities mean that many carry coveted awards. The nine main beaches of Torquay, a string of nine beautiful beaches and coves stretched out along the palm lined coast, are as follows:

  • Maidencombe Beach
  • Watcombe Beach
  • Oddicombe Beach
  • Babbacombe Beach
  • Anstey's Cove
  • Meadfoot Beach
  • Torre Abbey Sands
  • Corbyn Sands
  • Round Robin Award winning tour involving bus, steam train and river cruise and visitin Paignton, Totnes and Dartmouth. Operates from March until approx October.
  • Western Lady Ferry Linking Torquay with Brixham. An excellent way to see Torbay from the sea!

There are variety of sea angling excursions operating from Torquay. Further details can be provided by English Riviera visitor information centre on 01803 211 211.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Union Street and Fleet Walk shopping centre, located near to the Harbour, offer a wide range of high street shops, ranging from independent boutiques to large chain stores. The Pavilion Shopping Centre is a few minutes walk from the seafront and provides a selection of interesting small independent retailers and gift shops in a beautiful 19th century building (currently closed for renovation).

The Willows, located a few miles from the centre offers a large Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's, Next and electronics stores.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Chefs in the area are spoilt for choice when it comes to locally sourced seafood and meat. The cuisine has a distinctive west country flavour. Adventurous diners can take a culinary journey around the world, sampling everything from French, Italian and Spanish, to Indian, Thai, Moroccan and Mexican.

Accolades like AA Rosettes, Michelin Stars and Les Routiers can be found, while even several of the fish and chip shops are award winning. From restaurants with stunning views across the emerald bay, to Country pubs offering hearty fare, Torquay has it covered.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are numerous pubs, clubs and bars close to the harbourside, ranging from traditional English pubs to classy wine bars.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Torquay is well supplied with bed and breakfast (B&B) and self catered accommodation. The Tourist information centre is a good source of quality information about accommodation and Torquay in general. [18]

  • The Meadfoot Bay Hotel, Meadfoot Sea Road (See website for detailed directions), +44 1803 294722 (, fax: 01803 214473), [1]. The Meadfoot Bay is an award-winning family run guest house situated in the area of Meadfoot, just a stroll from Meadfoot Beach and a short walk from Torquay harbour. From £36 per night.  edit
  • Braddon Hall Hotel, 70 Braddons Hill Road East, +44 1803 293908 (, fax: +44 1803 293908), [2]. The Braddon Hall Hotel is the perfect choice for a holiday on the English Riviera, being ideally located only 500 metres from the harbour, shops and beaches. From £155 weekly.  edit
  • The Hotel Balmoral (Hotels in Torquay), Meadfoot Sea Road Torquay S. Devon, +44 1803293381 (), [3]. The Hotel Balmoral with its fantastic ambience and friendly relaxed atmosphere runs a superb range of top quality and very popular dinner bed and breakfast and bed and breakfast breaks in Torquay throughout the year including: - our excellent value package weekends breaks, midweek breaks, all inclusive Christmas breaks & special new year breaks. We make our hotel in Torquay your ideal place for that relaxed and informal away from it all feeling. Enjoy a day or a week soaking up the sun in our beautifully landscaped gardens and terrace overlooking the sea and some of the best costal scenery on the English Riviera, taking in the unrivalled position we have in Torquay. Torquay town harbour & attractions are literally on your doorstep, spend the day at the blue flag awarded Meadfoot beach just two minutes' walk away and come evening enjoy a five course evening meal served by our friendly small team of staff & freshly prepared by our experienced chef - all part of a great value package which makes us your ideal place of hospitality & accommodation in Torquay. 4 nights £119 Special offer.  edit

  • Torcroft Hotel ([email protected]), 28-30 Croft Road, Torquay, Devon (see map on our website), 44 1803 298292, [4]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. The Torcroft Hotel offers stylish and friendly Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Torquay, the heart of the English Riviera. It is close to the beach, marina, harbour and town centre. There are 13 beautifully decorated en-suite rooms including 2 spectacular balcony suites. There is free private parking, free fast WiFi and really good breakfasts. dbl from£80.  edit

Self Catering[edit]

  • Appletorre Flats (Torquay Self Catering), Vansittart Road, 01803 296430 (), [5]. 3 star self catering apartments close to Torre and Tor Abbey Sands with self contained flats that can sleep 2 - 5 people.  edit
  • Astor Apartments (Torquay Self Catering), Astor House, Warren Road, +44 1803 782461 (), [6]. Astor House apartments are located in a prominent position in the heart of Torquay just above the beach with the Princess Theatre just below Rock Walk and the town centre a short walk past the marina. From £215.  edit
  • The Beulah Apartments (Torquay Self Catering), Meadfoot Road, +44 1803 297471 (), [7]. The 3 and 4 star Beulah Holiday Apartments are in a quiet and convenient position, set back from the road, only 250 meters from Torquay Harbour and centre. The 9 well-equipped apartments comfortably sleep from 1-5 people. From £199 to £705 per week.  edit
  • Blue Chip Holidays (Torquay Holiday Accommodation), Blue Chip Holidays Brixham Enterprise Estate Rea Barn Road Brixham Devon TQ5 9DF, 08447046518, [8]. Self Catering holiday accommodation from a company that has been established for over ten years. The best locations in Torquay Availible.  edit
  • St Christophers Holiday Home (Torquay Self Catering), Meadfoot Road, +44 1803 297471 (), [9]. St Christophers Holiday Home is situated in a quiet road only 225 metres from Torquay harbourside and town centre. The 5 star luxury detached house has 5 bedrooms sleeping up to 10 people. From £525 to £1995 per week.  edit
  • Trinity Mews (Torquay Self Catering), Trinity Mews, Trinity Hill, Torquay, TQ1 2AS, +44 1803 782461 (), [10]. Trinity Mews Self Catering Holiday Apartments is located in the very heart of Torquay, Devon. Situated just off the harbour and within a short walk of a wide selection of cafes, restaurants, shops and entertainment - yet based in a tranquil setting on a quiet no-through road. From £185.  edit
  • Torquay Holiday Homes (Torquay Self Catering), Meadfoot Beach and Corbyn Head (100 metres from beaches), 01803 213814 (), [11]. An exclusive collection of quality self catering apartments and Villas in Torquay, previously managed as The Preferred Apt Company/Torbay Apartments.  edit
  • Rowell House Holiday Home, 51 Meadfoot Lane (Just above torquay harbour), 07814 490699, [12]. 3 Bedroom holiday home in Meadfoot Area of Torquay. Period holiday home refurbished to a high standard. £400 - £800.  edit
  • Sovereign House Holiday Apartment (Torquay Self Catering), Apartment 1, 52 The Terrace, +44 1803 292871 (), [13]. Sovereign House is a self catering holiday apartment in Torquay. Recently rated 4 star by Visit Britain it also earned the gold award. This two bedroom apartment forms part of an exclusive high quality conversion of a Georgian period building on the well known "Terrace" in Torquay which boasts a fantastic location close to the marina and harbour side. From £349 per week.  edit
  • West Wing Cottage (Torquay Self-Catering), RockSide House, Headland Road, +44 1558 650399 ([email protected]), [14]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 10am. West Wing Cottage is an exclusive holiday home set in extensive landscaped gardens offering sweeping views of the calm waters of Tor Bay and the three major towns on its shore: Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Newly-renovated, very secluded and yet close to all the tourist amenities and attractions From £498 p/w.  edit

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