The beautiful seaside town of Torquay is a picturesque spot with a Mediterranean feel right in the heart of England. It’s famously known as the English Riviera and is a popular haunt for locals to escape the harsher temperatures of the north. During the Napoleonic Wars, her majesty’s Royal Navy anchored in the bay and many of their families visited them in Torquay, turning it into a fashionable seaside town. Its fame was well renowned in the Victorian era and its charm can still be felt until now. There’s a magnitude of things to do here ranging from ancient castles, beautiful gardens, amazing beaches and so much more. To save you a headache, we’ve compiled the top 8 best things to do in Torquay, UK.
1. Kents Cavern
The Kents Cavern is a cave system in Torquay which is quite popular among visitors to this town. It’s not like any other normal cave. It is home to one of the most profound discoveries for humankind. A human jaw was discovered in 1927 and it’s thought to be over 40,000 years old. This marks one of the oldest Homo sapiens (modern human) remains in northwest Europe and the cave system is currently a site of special scientific interest. There are a lot of activities to do at the cave and due to its popularity with the tourists, it was awarded a prize for being Torquay’s Visitor Attraction of the year.
Address: 91 Ilsham Rd, Torquay TQ1 2JF, UK
Website: Kents Cavern
2. Living Coats
Hailing as the UK’s only coastal zoo, it is a registered charity which centres around coastal wildlife and seabirds. It opened in 2003 and the attraction now features many different exhibits such as the Discovery Zone, Magroves, The Roots of the Sea, and a huge aquarium tank where you can actually swim with the penguins – only if you’re a qualified diver of course. They even have an aviary which is a free flying enclosure with loads of mammals and birds residing inside. You can have a chance to be zookeeper for a day and feed the adorable penguins.
Address: Torquay Harbourside, Beacon Hill, Torquay TQ1 2BG, UK
Website: Living Coats
3. Oddicombe Beach
The beautiful sandy coast of Oddicombre Beach is located below the red sandstone cliffs. You can gather your friends and family and just hang out on the beach by the cafe, or simply laze around and catch the summer sun. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are a variety of water activities you can choose from such as kayaking or you can even hire a motor boat. You can also catch the Babacombe Cliff Railway and go to the top of the cliff to catch a magnificent view.
Address: Babbacombe Downs Rd, Torquay TQ1 3LS, UK
Website: Oddicombe Beach
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4. Compton Castle
Located just 8 kilometres (5 miles) west of Torquay is the beautiful Compton Castle. The estate was once home to many nobles such as Sir Maurice de la Pole and Sir Peter Compton. Its most famous inhabitant was Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the coloniser of Newfoundland. Currently, the whole estate is under the ownership of the National Trust but the descendants of the Gilbert family still lives there today. You can visit this castle and get a feel for how it was like being in a medieval castle. Even the portcullises are still intact and the fortifications are still in good condition.
Address: Gropers Ln, Compton TQ3 1TA, United Kingdom
Website: Compton Castle
5. South West Coast Path
The most breathtaking treasure in South England is perhaps the South West Coast Path. Passing through many towns, it is England’s longest marked long distance footpath and it also happens to be a National Trail. The whole path passes through the town of Torquay and you could have a stroll here to have a whiff of fresh air and soak in amazing scenery right by the coast.
South West Coast Path
Address: S W Coast Path, Torquay, UK
Website: South West Coast Path
6. Torquay Museum
Torquay Museum is set to be one of the best museums of southeast England. Its variety of exhibits draws many people to visit it. Discover the ancient coffin of a 2,500 year old mummified boy or simply walk through a reconstructed Devon farmhouse from the 19th century. There are loads of things here to explore. There are also temporary exhibits and programmes specially for children during the school holidays. This family-friendly museum is definitely a place to visit.
Address: 529 Babbacombe Rd, Torquay TQ1 1HG, UK
Website: Torquay Museum
7. Babbacome Model Village
Do you ever want to feel what it’s like to be a giant? Well, walking through this model village certainly comes close to it. This miniature village is one-of-a-kind in Torquay and it was opened in 1963. Since then, the village has been expanding and is now about 1.6 hectares (4 acres) wide. A 300 metre (1,000 feet) train track circles and goes through the village. Explore the different parts of the village as it portrays the typical English life and culture over the last 600 years. It currently has 413 unique miniature buildings with a population of 13,160 humanoid statues.
Babbacome Model Village
Address: Hampton Ave, Torquay TQ1 3LA, UK
Website: Babbacome Model Village
8. Tessier Gardens
The Tessier Gardens is perhaps an interesting garden to visit. It was given to the town in 1933 by Mrs H.A Tessier and was designated as an ‘adult only’ park. Basically, anyone under the age of 18 are not allowed to venture into the park without adult supervision. There is even a garden for the blind with the names of the plants etched in Brail. The Tessier Gardens is a popular escape for people to wind down and just enjoy the tranquility that envelopes this place. You can go there too and discover the beauties that lie within.
Address: Lindridge Rd, Torquay TQ1 3SD, UK
Website: Tessier Gardens
Prep up for Torquay
With a combination of natural escapades, alluring beaches and an amazing history, a visit to Torquay is a must for any who venture into southeast England. Be it the Tassier Gardens or the Oddicombe Beach, every twist and turn of Torquay will surely bring you to a magical place. Now pack your bags and fly away to new adventures in this modest seaside town.
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