Torquay tourist attractions

Best Torquay attractions

Torquay is situated on the south Devon coast, wedged between Exmouth and Brixham. It is a wonderful seaside resort town, with sandy beaches, colourful beach huts and plenty of fun activities on offer. It also makes up part of the elusive South West Coast Path, where you can enjoy a number of breathtaking walks along grassy headlands and deep coves which look out across the English Channel. Torquay’s other claim to fame is being the home town of literary legend Agatha Christie, where there are many opportunities to find out more about the crime writer’s life – and check out the different spots that made it into her books.

  1. South West Coast Path
  2. English Riviera Wheel
  3. Princess Gardens
  4. Torquay Museum
  5. Meadfoot Beach
  6. Kents Cavern Torquay
  7. Agatha Christie Literary Trail

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path spans 630 miles from Somerset’s Minehead all the way along to Cornwall’s Penzance and Dorset’s Poole, but part of the path also covers Torquay. One of the most pleasant and accessible walks to take is a 2.5 mile route from Torquay Harbour to Daddyhole Plain, which sees walkers take in the likes of Beacon Cove and a cliff arch, similar to Dorset’s Durdle Door, which is nicknamed as London Bridge.

Best for: Day walks.

While you’re there: There are plenty of shorter and longer walks to take around Torquay, depending on what you want to focus on.

2. English Riviera Wheel

One of the most popular Torquay tourist attractions has to be the English Riviera Wheel, a 100ft-tall, white ferris wheel which is positioned in the Princess Gardens. During the 12 minute ride, you’ll soar over the harbour and town, which provides great views from a great height.

Best for: Great views.

While you’re there: Stroll around the Princess Gardens afterwards.

3. Princess Gardens

These well-clipped gardens are named after Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise, who opened the pleasure gardens in 1890. Positioned close to the waterfront and marina, the gardens feature pretty flowerbeds, a trickling water fountain and views across to the English Riviera Wheel. You can enjoy the views of the garden as you stroll along the palm tree-lined promenade.

Best for: Greenscapes.

While you’re there: If you fancy a longer walk, the Gardens are included in two Agatha Christie themed walks.

4. Torquay Museum

Enjoy Torquay sightseeing under one roof at the Torquay Museum, spread over four floors with themed rooms and exhibitions, such as Egyptomania, Agatha Christie and the Old Devon Farmhouse. There’s a mixture of natural history, local legacies and kid-friendly activities to choose from, making it an entertaining and educational way to find out more about all things Torquay.

Best for: Rainy days.

While you’re there: In the entrance hall, take in the bronze statue of the Roman messenger god Mercury, who once sat atop of Torquay Pavilion.

5. Meadfoot Beach

Stroll along the beach hut-lined promenade or pull out a deckchair on Meadfoot Beach, set in a wide bay with a beachfront cafe and watersports shop to choose between. Its main claim to fame was being the spot where crime writer Agatha Christie used to frequent for a dip. Dreaming of Torquay holidays? Whatever you get up to, make sure you flock to the beach at least once during your stay.

Best for: Kayaking and sunbathing.

While you’re there: Stretch your legs with the Agatha Christie mile, whose route passes nearby along the seafront.

6. Kents Cavern Torquay

Torquay attractions don’t come more weather-friendly than Kents Cavern. It’s a great way to explore the town’s ancient past, which dates as far back as the Stone Age. Kents Cavern is a very prominent Stone Age site in all of Europe, and during a guided tour you’ll discover how ancient humans lived here, and what Ice Age animals roamed above. The rocks are around 400 million years old, and feature stalactites and stalagmites, which makes the experience even more atmospheric.

Best for: Ancient Torquay history.

While you’re there: Also included in the ticket price is the woodland trail, where you can find out more – first hand – about life during the Stone Age and Ice Age.

7. Agatha Christie Literary Trail

You’ll hear a lot about Agatha Christie while you’re in Torquay, whether you’re a fan of the crime writer or not. Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and spent most of her life here; throughout her successful career many Torquay references made their way into her books. It goes without saying, then, that one of the best things to do in Torquay is to take the Agatha Christie Literary Trail, which takes in numerous landmarks associated with the writer, from the Grand Hotel where she spent her honeymoon to Princess Pier where she liked to rollerskate as a young girl.

Best for: Historic landmarks for literary legends.

While you’re there: As well as plentiful other stop-offs and blue plaques, swing by the Torquay Museum for the UK’s only gallery dedicated to Agatha Christie.

Find your perfect destination