I always travel with my husband and our two children, both eight years old, and with so many wonderful places to go in the UK and fantastic things to see everywhere, we're not going to run out of travel destinations in this country any time soon.
Our most recent trip was to Torquay in Devon - what a lovely town, and the area in around it is, with very good reason, also known as The English Riviera.
In the centre of Torquay, you can immerse yourself in a town centre of shops, cafes, restaurants and a beautiful marina. On the outskirts of town there is an abundance of lovely beaches and super attractions not to miss. Here are seven super places to go in Torquay.
Torquay Harbour and Marina
As you step on to the pedestrian footbridge - the Millennium Bridge - you will understand why the marina is one of Torquay's tourist hotspots for boat trips and watersports... it's breathtaking! Torquay Harbour is protected by two stunning piers, Princess Pier and Haldon Pier. At the Princess Pier you can enjoy an afternoon lunch while you relax on the seaside seating. Additionally, Beacon Quay (on the harbour-side) is laced with retail outlets and chandlers that are quite eclectic. If you are in the mood for more hustle and bustle, the inner harbour has a lot of super cafes, pubs, and restaurants.
Now, some towns may claim they are "the most picturesque town", take it from me, Cockington is the real deal. Just a couple of miles from the centre of Torquay, this unbelievably charming village invites you to take a step back in history with its 16th century cottages, rural vistas, old watermill, and walking/hiking trails ready for exploring.
After walking the narrow lanes or scenic trails, you WILL get hungry, so take rest and have lunch at the pub or indulge in a sweet cream tea in one of the tea rooms, all of which have amazing views of the village. And you like arts and crafts, Cockington Court is a hub for modern homemade creations.
Babbacombe Model Village
If you love comedy and every miniature like we do, Babbacombe Model Village is the perfect attraction for you--it is even a tad bit famous, having appeared on TV several times! You are transported to a world full of thousands of miniature buildings, people, vehicles, and the village is sprinkled with scenes of English humour. The model village is open until evening when little, tiny lights showcase England's past, present and future in a beautiful miniature way.
Okay, if you do nothing else in Torquay, you have to visit Kents Cavern, it's amazing and has a huge variety of activities, you can even get married in the cave! Of course we didn't do that (Mr P was not game on a cheeky 'cave marriage renewal'!), but we did enjoy the café, the shop, the displays and take the hour-long tour of the cave, a tour that was an incredible experience, for us and for the kids, and made even better by David, super knowledgeable and super funny cave tour-guide.
Oddicombe Beach Torquay
What's a seaside getaway without hitting the beach? Soaking up rays is one of my favourite things to do anywhere, and Oddicombe Beach in Torquay is a super place for it. We found a spot on the sandy beach, which is backed by cliffs, and took full advantage of activities available, paddling for the kids and watersports for the brave (okay, we didn't really do that, but we did watch others do it and it looked like excellent fun). There are beach huts available for rent, a plentiful beach shop just in case you forgot your bathing suit, and a delicious café to satisfy hungry bellies after fun in the sun!
So, I am a huge fan of animals, I love visiting zoos and aquariums, and Living Coasts on the harbour in Torquay, was lovely. This place is home to hundreds of mammals, birds and marine life, educational programs and conservation lessons really drive home the importance of animals in our world and eco systems, so we left having learnt a lot too. Living Coasts is great place to appreciate and love these animals for what they are and how they enhance our planet.
Agatha Christie at Torquay Museum
Hickory Dickory Dock--this is just one of Agatha Christie's books that is featured in the Agatha Christie Gallery at the Torquay Museum. We felt like we were inside Poirot's (Agatha's famous detective character.. but you knew that, of course!) study and lounge as we stepped inside the exhibit. We saw Agatha Christie's books lining the walls and her life story from a small little girl to talented woman was ever so present. Her works were truly entertaining for her readers, whether you're a fan of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or some of her lesser known works, you'll love getting to know the woman behind the characters like we did.. and if you look closely, you will find the beautiful walking stick that actor David Suchet carried as he portrayed Poirot.
Whether you travel with kids, on your own, with a partner or in a larger group, Torquay is fabulous.. we had such a wonderful time there and you will too, we just know it!