Torquay is a vibrant town on the English Riviera, attracting beachgoers with its seaside promenades and summertime activities. Crime novel fans may recognise Torquay as the birthplace of celebrated 19th-century author Agatha Christie. One of the most popular activities here is to walk along the Torquay seafront to visit landmarks that inspired some of her best-sellers.

Torquay also has impressive archaeological sites, one of which is the Kents Cavern. A 5-minute drive from central Torquay, the prehistoric caves are home to some of Britain’s earliest evidence of civilisation. Read on for our guide on things to do in Torquay in a day.

What are the best things to do in Torquay?

  • 1

    Torquay Harbour

    Enjoy views of the ocean on Millennium Bridge

    Torquay Harbour
    • Couples
    • Photo

    Torquay Harbour is flanked by 2 piers, called Princess Pier and Haldon Pier. The tourist-friendly promenade is lined with sea-facing cafés, restaurants, and bars, as well as souvenir shops and boutiques. Water sports and boat excursions are popular summer activities around Torquay Harbour, and the Millennium Bridge (which connects the piers) offers beautiful views of the ocean.

    Location: Beacon Hill, Torquay TQ1 2BG, UK

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm (hours may vary)

    Phone: +44 (0)1803 292429

    Map
  • 2

    Agatha Christie Mile

    Retrace the steps of the renowned author along Torquay's seafront

    Agatha Christie Mile
    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    The Agatha Christie Mile consists of 10 landmarks along the seafront promenade on Torbay Road, 8 of which contain clues that spell out the name of a book character. The English Riviera Visitor Information Centre is where you can pick up a booklet detailing all the locales to visit during your walk, such as The Grand Hotel, Princess Pier and Gardens, and Imperial Hotel. Look out for the bronze bust of the late author, which was sculpted by Carol Van Den Boom-Cairns in 1990.

    Location: The Grand Hotel, Torbay Rd, Torquay TQ2 6NT, UK

    Map

    photo by Chris Sampson (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 3

    Torquay Museum

    Check out Britain's only Agatha Christie exhibition

    Torquay Museum
    • History

    Torquay Museum was founded in 1844, making it one of the oldest museums in Devon. Exhibits here include natural history, ancient Egypt, prominent explorers, and world culture. One of its most popular display is the mummified remains of a young boy, which date back to 600BC. Britain’s only exhibit devoted to Torquay-born author Agatha Christie is found within Torquay Museum. Here, you can see many photographs, handwritten notes, clothes, and first editions of her novels. Tickets to Torquay Museum costs about £6.70 for adults and £4.10 for children, but you can enjoy unlimited entry for the whole year on 1 ticket.

    Location: 529 Babbacombe Rd, Torquay TQ1 1HG, UK

    Open: Monday - Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1803 293975

    Map
  • 4

    Beacon Cove

    Get a tan on this city beach

    Beacon Cove
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    Beacon Cove is a quiet pebble beach at the base of Beacon Hill. Consider the accommodation in Living Coasts for one night. It’s widely known as one of the 10 landmarks of the Agatha Christie Mile. Unlike other beaches in Torquay, Beacon Cove has a sheltered promenade that offers plenty of beachside activities throughout the year. If you’re travelling with little ones, the Living Coasts Torquay Aquarium is less than 5 minutes away on foot. 

    Location: 12 Beacon Hill, Torquay TQ1 2EP, UK

    Map

    photo by Derek Harper (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • 5

    Kents Cavern

    Explore the winding labyrinths of this prehistoric site

    Kents Cavern
    • History
    • Unusual

    Kents Cavern is a well-preserved grotto system located 1.3 miles northeast of Torquay Harbour. Here you can see impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations that are over 400 million years old, as well as prehistoric tools and fossilised remains of animals dating back to the last ice age. Guided tours are available every day between 10.30 am and 4 pm.

    If you’re a fan of horror, Kents Cavern has an evening ghost tour which runs for about 45 minutes on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Note that this tour is only offered during the summer. It is recommended to choose your hotel accommodation situated close-by to Kents Cavern, if you're interested in taking the night tour.

    Location: 91 Ilsham Rd, Torquay TQ1 2JF, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1803 215136

    Map

    photo by TomGough (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • 6

    Fleet Walk

    Shop for high street brands at this modern shopping mall

    Fleet Walk
    • Shoppers

    The Fleet Walk Shopping Centre, located in central Torquay, is one of the city’s largest shopping venue. There are over 50 retail outlets ranging from fashion and beauty to sports equipment and toys, as well as fast food and coffee chains such as Starbucks and Dominos. The mall features a spacious walkway leading you to Torquay Harbour, where you can find more places to shop and dine during your visit.

    Location: Fleet Walk, Fleet St, Torquay TQ2 5EB, UK

    Open: Monday - Saturday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1803 200508

    Map

    photo by Chris Sampson (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 7

    English Riviera Wheel

    A local landmark with stunning ocean views

    English Riviera Wheel
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    The English Riviera Wheel is located right on Torquay’s famous harbour and offers some of the best views of the area. Totally silent, this striking structure rises over 100 ft above the town’s lush Princess Gardens.

    Riding the wheel offers a unique perspective on Torquay and its surroundings, while those with less of a head for heights can enjoy a delicious hot drink in the adjacent cafe. For children and adults alike, this 12-minute ride on the English Riviera Wheel provides an unforgettable, quintessential Torquay experience – especially around sunset.

    Location: Torquay Pavilion Torquay Sea Front, Torquay TQ2 5EQ, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)115 967 9991

    Map
  • 8

    Babbacombe Model Village

    Babbacombe Model Village
    • Families

    The eccentric Model Village in Babbacombe is a star attraction of the area and should bring out the inner child in even the most serious grown-up. One of Torquay's star attractions, this miniature village is built with flair, imagination, and a lot of humour. Little ones will feel like giants while exploring tiny streets, and afterwards they can enjoy a round of miniature golf.

    Location: Hampton Avenue, Babbacombe, Torquay TQ1 3LA, UK

    Open: Hours vary by season, the shortest opening hours are from 10.30 am to 3 pm in the winter

    Phone: +44 (0)1803 315315

    Map

    photo by Kolforn (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

  • 9

    Princess Theatre

    Catch musicals and comedy acts at Torquay's largest events venue

    Princess Theatre
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Luxury
    • Nightlife

    The Princess Theatre is a 1960s concert hall where musicals, pantomimes, concerts, and dance performances take place throughout the year. Among the many internationally-acclaimed productions that have taken place here are Chicago, Starlight Express, Rocky Horror, and Cats. It’s also known for offering stand-up comedy shows by Jasper Carrott, Jim Davidson, Joe Pasquale, Roy Chubby Brown, and others. Located along Torquay Seafront, Princess Theatre is a 5-minute walk of Fleet Walk Shopping Centre.

    Location: Torbay Road, Torquay TQ2 5EZ, UK

    Open: Box office: Monday - Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)844 871 3023

    Map

    photo by Chris Sampson (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 10

    The Foundry

    Dance to some of the UK's top music acts at this nightclub

    The Foundry
    • Nightlife

    The Foundry Nightclub occupies a multi-venue building along the Torquay Seafront. It's one of the town’s busiest nightclubs and has one of the best audio and lighting setups. The music varies depending on the DJ for the night, but usually focuses on bass-heavy EDM, Drum'n'Bass and house. Expect the dance floor to be packed with people who come to let loose, but there's a 2nd floor if you'd rather chill out with a drink and enjoy the music.

    Location: 11 Torwood St, Torquay TQ1 1ED, UK

    Open: Monday - Saturday from 11.30 am to late (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1803 214 446

    Map
Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller