by Alice Parry
Day Out Guides
We have picked out 26 things to do in Torquay for you to enjoy on your English Riviera adventure!
Torquay is located on Devon’s English Riviera coast. It was the top trending UK holiday destination for 2021 and it’s not hard to see why.
The town is bursting with activities and attractions, set against stunning coastal seascapes.
Whether you’re seeking Torquay attractions to enjoy with your friends, or looking for places to visit in Torquay with dogs, there’s something for everyone.
Read on to find our extensive list of 26 of the best Torquay days out and attractions…
Use the handy quick links below to find attractions in the following categories:
Babbacombe Model Village is a charming Torquay attraction set over 4 acres, containing a world full of scenes, buildings and goings-on!
Why visit? It’s one of the most popular things to do in Torquay for a reason. Children (and adults!) love following the free spotter sheet to find various scenes and characters within the village. The village comprises of 413 miniature buildings which house 13,000 miniature people!
There’s a range of architectual styles, as well as all kinds of vehicles and some well-known landmarks.
Advice from Babbacombe Model Village is to take your time; plan at least 1.5 hours to really take in all the magical miniature fun here.
Discover the prehistoric past of these Stone Age old caves at Kents Cavern.
Why visit? Kents Cavern is an award-winning family attraction in Torquay, offering a perfect balance of exciting entertainment and fascinating education.
The caves make up an extensive labyrinth for you and your family to explore, with guides on hand to offer up interesting facts and information.
This local, independent museum is a must-visit in Torquay, created and run by three generations of one family!
Why visit? Travel back in time as you wander down a life-size Victorian street, home to 15 shops and 9 period rooms. Packed full of authentic artifacts and items, Bygones is a homage to the past.
Marvel at a real steam engine up close, watch the trains go round the miniature railway, and check out the many other fascinating exhibits from throughout British history.
Marvel at life-sized dinosaurs, real fossils and hands-on exhibitions at Torquay’s Dinosaur World.
Why visit? This is a must-visit for any families with dino-crazy kids! Enjoy your own Jurassic experience at Torquay’s Dinosaur World where children can learn and play.
Pose for a family photo with a Triceratops, or take a selfie with a Stegosaurus. Fill in the fun family quiz as you go round the exhibition and then pick up a special dinosuar souvenir from the gift shop.
Journey back in time on the Babbacombe Cliff Railway and take in breath-taking scenery whilst heading down to the beach!
Why visit? The Babbacombe Cliff Railway is a must-visit when exploring Torquay. If not for the spectacular views, then for the easy access down to the waterfront.
It was built in 1926 and is open every day, with the last car down at 4:40pm and the last up at 4:45pm.
Soar high over Torquay’s picturesque harbour on the English Riviera Wheel for views you won’t forget.
Why visit? Okay, so we know this is technically something you can do with kids! But we think the best way to enjoy this Torquay attraction is with your significant other. Picture beautiful views, a peaceful sunset and the love of your life by your side; it doesn’t get better than that!
The local Babbacombe Theatre is renowned throughout the industry and hosts a variety of shows throughout the year.
Why visit? One of the most popular theatres in the South West, Babbacombe Theatre has a long history of showcasing popular acts and new talent since 1986.
Book tickets for your favourite comedian, watch a musicial show, or pop in for Colin Matthews’ highly acclaimed variety shows in summer. The perfect holiday date night!
Soak up the dramatic cliff-top views from The Imperial Torquay as you indulge in some pampering.
Why visit? Whether you’re holidaying with your friends or enjoying a romantic break with your partner, a spa day is always a great idea! The Imperial Torquay Spa has a range of treatment options and packages to choose from.
Book their ‘Relax, Reset & Restore’ package and delight in a 60-minute treatment and a two course lunch overlooking the town’s iconic waterfront.
Perfect for avid historians and lovers of yester year, Torre Abbey is medieval monastery in the heart of Torquay.
Why visit? Torre Abbey dates back to 1196 and is set within 18 acres of gardens and parkland. It’s home to the Abbey Park and Gardens, and is a lovely attraction to explore.
The fascinating history of the building and its previous occupants will take you through the centuries. It’s a family-friendly museum, but it’s a great thing to do in Torquay for adults; stroll hand in hand around the pretty grounds and enjoy learning about Torquay’s past.
South Devon’s largest theatre sits on Torquay’s waterfront and offers a wide array of entertainment for all ages.
Why visit? The Princess Theatre first opened its doors in 1961 and had The Beatles grace its stage in 1963! Nowadays it’s a fantastic place to see the newest productions and musicals, ideal when the weather isn’t on your side.
Treat your family and little ones to a fun show like Sing-A-Long-A The Greateast Showman. Or why not enjoy a performance from the Moscow City Ballet?
Marvel at ancient artifacts and a wide variety of exhibitions at Torquay Museum, an ideal rainy day activity!
Why visit? Torquay Museum is home to some fantastic exhibits, including a homage to the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. You can take an up-close look at North West Europe’s oldest human fossil and the Ancient Egyptian coffin of a 2,500 year old mummified boy.
Torquay Museum is a great thing to do in the rain, with lots of child-friendly events and exhibitions on in summer too.
A local and independent museum with a penchant for true crime you say? Yes please!
Why visit? Ever had a hankering to see the largest collection of artwork by the famous criminal Charles Bronson? Or perhaps you want to know more about drug smuggling and serial killers? This is the place for you. The Real Crime Museum has some marvellous exhibits like you’ve never seen before.
Set in the old underground bunkers used in WWII, The Real Crime Museum is a must-visit for true crime fans.
No matter what the weather is doing, a trip to Waves Leisure Pool always promises a fun day out in Torquay!
Why visit? Located within the Riviera Centre, Waves Leisure Pool is home to a pool with a wave machine, a flime and a water activity centre. It’s got a sloping pool floor making it safe for younger children and the wave machine comes on every half hour!
Kids can enjoy the soft play area after a swim, while you tuck into a snack at the Aqua Lounge.
There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition! Challenge your loved ones to a bowling game or two at AMF Bowling Torquay.
Why visit? As AMF Bowling Torquay says on their website, ‘let the good times roll’! This bowling alley sits near the seaside and offers a great activity for any occasion. Whether it’s a treat for the kids, a couples actvitiy or just an excuse to be inside from the rain, you’ll have hours of fun here.
Enjoy a coastal walk with your canine companion out to the picture-perfect Thatcher Point.
Why visit? Thatcher Point is a popular spot to visit on a Torquay day out for its views to Thatcher Rock. The rock forms park of the English Riviera Geopark.
Incorporate this scenic viewpoint into a walk along the South West Coast Path. Begin near Kents Cavern, travel past Hope Cove to Hopes Nose and return via Thatcher Point.
Cockington Country Park is made up of 450 acres of open parkland, woodland and rural countryside.
Why visit? The park is home to three ornamental lakes, a manor house, a picturesque village, and an 11th century church. The manor house is home to a craft centre and studio too.
Whether you have a pet pooch or not, Cockington Country Park offers a great day out in Torquay.
If you do have dogs though, you have plenty of open areas to play and run around, and the dog does too!
Be mindful of any shire horses around though, and keep dogs on leads or under control in the rose garden, walled art garden, stable yard and Sea Change studio areas.
Explore the beautiful network of paths and enchanting woodland in Brunel Woods with your dog.
Why visit? The woods were originally supposed to be gardens to a house commissioned by a man named Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Unfortunately, he died before the house was built so the woodland is all that remained.
Visit Brunel Woods for a simple and scenic thing to do in Torquay with dogs. You can seek out the large totem pole that was erected following storms in 1990 when the woodland was badly damaged.
Retrace the steps of the ‘world’s best-selling fiction writer’, Agatha Christie, on Torquay’s seafront.
Why visit? The Agatha Christie Mile is a charming trail and provides a great way to see some of Torquay’s most popular sights.
Come across places like The Grand Hotel, Princess Pier, Princess Gardens and the Agatha Christie Bust, with your dog in tow.
Just a stone’s throw from Torre Abbey Sands, The Boulder Bunker is the perfect activity for active holidaymakers!
Why visit? If you’re seeking unique or unusual things to do in Torquay head here!
The Boulder Bunker welcomes any level of experience and is a challenging yet fun sport.
Harnesses are not used in bouldering; large foam mats are beneath you and it’s a low level form of climbing so it’s pretty accessible to most.
What’s a more unusual thing to do in Torquay than snowsports in the English Riviera?
Why visit? Enjoy the fun of skiing and other snowports at Torquay Alpine Ski Club.
Choose to have private or group lessons to brush up on your skills, or simply book a practice session if you’re already up to par.
See if you’ve got what it takes to escape the HQ Escape Rooms!
Why visit? Create some memorable moments with family or friends on holiday at HQ Escape Rooms in Torbay.
Choose from one of two escape rooms; Sherlocked or The Gun Powder Plot. This family run business will add something different to your holiday to Torquay. Work together and have fun!
Play a round on the green at this fun-filled jungle adventure golf course.
Why visit? Jungle Journey Adventure Golf is a fantastic activity for groups of various ages and tastes. Everyone likes a bit of healthy competition, and what better way than at a jungle themed crazy golf course?
Sunbathe in summer or watch the wild waves in winter; experience the beauty of Torquay’s beaches.
Why visit? Torquay and the English Riviera are home to a wonderful array of beaches and coves. Our two favourties are Oddicombe Beach and Meadfoot Beach.
Oddicombe Beach is a shingle beach and is a family favourite, especially in summer. You can take the Babbacombe Cliff Railway, which leads to the promenade, to avoid the steep approach to the beach. Then you can take the steps from the promenade down to the beach.
Meadfoot Beach is a unique setting as pictured above. It’s brightly coloured beach huts painted in shades of blue are very recognisable. The beach sits at the bottom of imposing cliffs and is a mixture of sand and shingle.
Explore the winding and scenic network of paths on the hillside overlooking Torquay’s seafront.
Why visit? The Royal Terrace Gardens, known locally as Rock Walk, sit beneath the towering cliff of Waldon Hill.
It’s one of the best things to do in Torquay outdoors; soak up stunning views of the English Riviera Wheel, Princess Pier and Torquay Harbour.
Take fun on the water to the extreme with Torquay Watersports!
Why visit? Fancy a thrilling ride on The Raptor, or want a unique wild swimming sea safari? Torquay Watersports is the place to go.
They can offer some amazing experiences on the water, taking you to all the wildlife hotspots and showing you the sights.
Head to the home of paddle boarding on Torquay Marina and experience adventure on the water.
Why visit? Wesup Torquay Marina offers an array of experiences and packages. Pick from a private, one on one stand up paddle boarding (SUP) lesson, a group beginners lesson, SUP hire, or kayak hire.
At Helpful Holidays, we have a range of holiday cottages in and around Torquay.
Ranging from the heart of the town, to the charming area of Babbacombe, and further along the coastline.
Browse and book Torquay accommodation here!
These fantastic things to do in Torquay should keep you busy on your Devon adventures.
For those who enjoy exploring via a scenic ramble, head off on a South West Coast Path walk in Devon.
Torquay also makes an appearance on our article on wild swimming in Devon.
Look forward to enjoying these Torquay attractions and secure your stay in Devon with Helpful Holidays.
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