The top things to do in Torbay

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Cockington Court is proud to be a member of the English Riviera Attractions partnership, a group of the very best visitor attractions across Torbay.

The partnership works together to promote Torbay, The English Riviera, as a quality destination, one filled with fun things to do all year round.

If you’re heading to South Devon for a day visit or an extended break here are some of the top things to do in Torbay.

Babbacombe Cliff Railway

Babbacombe Cliff Railway provides the perfect way to travel from the top of Babbacombe Downs to the delightful Oddicombe Beach. Oddicombe Beach is a hidden treasure and well worth a visit. A real family beach, it’s a safe and friendly environment with everything you could want for a great day out including water sports and plenty for the children to do. Add it to your ‘Things to do in Torbay’ list.

Babbacombe Model Village

Step into a world of miniature marvels. Visit this famous Torquay attraction to take time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and feel on top of the world as you see it recreated in miniature. Thousands of miniature buildings, people and vehicles, along with animated scenes and touches of English humour, capture the essence of England’s past, present and future. A daytime visit to the Model Village showcases the intricate details of the models and the beautiful gardens.

Babbacombe Theatre

A night at the theatre has to be one of the things to do in Torbay. Babbacombe Theatre is renowned for wowing audiences with their highly acclaimed family variety shows. The venue with its extended season running from February to October, as well as the visiting touring shows providing early and late dates, and the now regular Christmas Show, the Babbacombe Theatre has productions running virtually throughout the year.


Why not wander back in time to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and visit our authentic, life-size Victorian Street set in 1897? Look out for the forge, smell the treats in the sweetshop and listen to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of busy Victorian life. Imagine yourself in the nursery, kitchen or parlour as the maid or even the lady of the house. You might want to avoid the resident dentist at Bygones; he offers whisky but no anaesthetic!

Cockington Court Craft Centre

We may be biased, but it is known that Cockington Village and Cockington Court are amongst the top things to do for all visitors to Torbay. Set in an award-winning country park a mile away from the seafront, Cockington Court is an historic manor house with over twenty craft studios. Discover artists and craft makers at work in their studios where they sell their high quality crafts directly to visitors and commission work. Watch the glass blowers create amazing works of art, hear the blacksmith clinking at his forge, and smell the delightful aromas of the delicious chocolate being made by the chocolatier. With fine art, paintings and prints, slate gifts, traditional wooden toys, handmade leather bags, ceramics, mosaics and jewellery amongst the luxury handmade products, there is something for everyone.

English Riviera Sight Seeing Tours

Explore the English Riviera on the open-top bus sightseeing tour. The perfect way to relax: leave the driving to the local experts while you enjoy a trip around the bay. You’ll take in all the sights between Torquay and Paignton, including Babbacombe Downs and Meadfoot Beach, passing many of the things to do listed here.

Golden Hind Museum Ship

Come aboard and explore the Ship that was home to Drake and his crew of seventy men. The Golden Hind Museum Ship at Brixham is a full sized replica of one of the most iconic ships from the age of exploration. The Ship has been a feature of picturesque Brixham harbour for over fifty years, entertaining and educating thousands of visitors during this time – as well as being featured on many TV programmes and films.

Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves

Joining the Tribe is one of the most exciting things to do in Torbay! Kents Cavern is one of Europe’s top Stone Age caves, with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year. The entertaining guides will take you on an underground adventure in this award winning attraction and Stone Age home to Britain’s earliest humans and Ice Age beasts. Trips around the caves explore fascinating passageways and stunning chambers where you can get up close with thousands of year old cave formations.

Living Coasts

Living Coasts, Torquay’s award-winning coastal zoo and aquarium, is an all-weather attraction, located on Torquay seafront in South Devon and is open every day (except Christmas Day). Living Coasts is home to a magnificent array of marine life from around the world. Set in a state-of-the-art naturalistic environment, you can journey from the South African coastline to a mangrove forest and then onto a sunken wreck. Whatever the weather there is always plenty to do! Mingle with the playful African and macaroni penguins, get up close with the otters and come face to face with our family of fur seals.

National Trust – Coleton Fishacre and Greenway

There are two National Trust properties that are regarded as top of the things to do for many visitors to the Bay. A 1920s country retreat complete with luxuriant garden by the sea. At Coleton Fishacre, the country home of the D’Oyly Carte family you can travel back in time to the Jazz Age. This most evocative of country homes was built in the Arts & Crafts style, and is imbued with Art Deco elegance.

Greenway house and garden: ‘the loveliest place in the world’. At Greenway, the beloved holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family, you can take a glimpse into their lives. This relaxed and atmospheric house is set in the 1950s, when Agatha and her family would spend summers and Christmases here with friends, relaxing by the river, playing croquet and clock golf, and reading her latest mystery to their guests. The family were great collectors, and the house is filled with archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china and books.

Occombe Farm

A family fun day out exploring a local farm. Occombe Farm is a working organic farm in Paignton, South Devon, that is open to the public. There’s no charge to visit the farm and parking is free. Wander around the farm and gardens and explore our fantastic 2km nature trail, bustling with wildlife and with beautiful views of the surrounding woodland. You will find cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks to visit and an outdoor play area for the kids too.

Paignton Zoo

With over 2,500 animals across 80 acres of beautiful, spacious grounds, you are in for a really wild time at Paignton Zoo! Located in South Devon, Paignton Zoo is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions and one of Britain’s top zoos. It’s a place to roam, discover and get in touch with your inner animal. Discover all your favourite species, big and small, including gorillas, orang-utans, giraffes, lions, tigers, crocodiles, red pandas and rhinos, and be ready for a few surprises along the way too. Come rain or shine the Zoo is a fun filled day out for all of the family and you will need a whole day to explore everything it has to offer.

Splashdown Quaywest

Brilliantly combining 8 fantastic flume rides and some of the English Riviera’s most spectacular views; there’s something for everyone at Splashdown Quaywest, the UK’s largest outdoor waterpark. Take on the twisting and tumbling mat, ring and body rides that’ll have you hanging onto the edge of your tyre! But do you dare experience the heart-stopping plummet that is Devil’s Drop? 65ft of sheer excitement on the highest, fastest flume in England.

Torquay Museum

Travel back through 400 million years of time at Torquay Museum – a family-friendly visitor attraction, with lots to see and do for children and adults alike. Each summer the Museum hosts a blockbuster exhibition, and many smaller temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Previous fun and interactive exhibitions included Sci-Fi movie props and costumes, Star Wars toys, Ancient Egyptians, and more.

Torquay’s Dinosaur World

Torquay’s Dinosaur World is a fun interactive indoor exhibition that brings the world of dinosaurs to life! See amazing life-size and scaled dinosaurs, learn about their lives, uncover incredible fossils, enjoy our family explorer quiz, and even sit on a deadly dinosaur! Whether you are a little dinosaur fan, or even a big one, there’s something for everyone to get their teeth into!

Torre Abbey Museum

Torre Abbey Museum – where kids and teens go free! Established in 1196, Torre Abbey is a museum of history and art housed in an Ancient Scheduled Monument with beautiful and award winning gardens. The Abbey is a real hive of activity where world class exhibitions are shown side by side with creative work from local emerging talent. Specially curated exhibitions complement the museum’s permanent collection which includes regionally important art, with some nationally important works.

Waves Leisure Pool

No matter what the weather our Waves Leisure Pool offers great fun for all the family! Waves Leisure Pool is located within the Riviera Centre, situated just off the seafront in Torquay. The pool features a unique sloping floor, wave machine, flume and water activity centre. The sloping access makes it super safe so even the youngest children can enjoy the water and not feel out of their depth. Heated to a lovely 30 degrees the pool is warm and welcoming, one of the things to do in Torbay, any day of the week!

As you can see there are lots of things to do and see. With more attractions than any other seaside resort in the UK, there’s something for everyone! Whether you’re on holiday, a short break or visiting the English Riviera for a day, there’s a fantastic range of things to do and attractions for you to enjoy.

Things to do in Torbay – The English Riviera – Devon.

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