Discover Torquay

Torquay is a perfect example of a traditional English seaside town and is the perfect place to experience British culture and learn English.

Play video of Torquay and Cockington

Things to do in Torquay

Torquay is known as the ‘The English Riviera’, famous for its beaches, palm trees and warm climate. In September 2007 the English Riviera received international UNESCO recognition for its rich geological, historical and cultural heritage and was welcomed into both the European and Global Geopark Networks.

Torquay has more attractions than any other seaside town in the UK, numerous exciting events throughout the year and plenty of opportunities for sports, particularly water sports.

Restaurants & Bars

Torquay offers some of the finest dining experiences in the South West, and is home to numerous premium hotels, restaurants and bars.

Enjoy fine French dining at Le Bistrot Pierre, sip a refreshing cocktail at Visto Lounge, or tuck into an irresistible Latin American appetiser at Las Iguanas, all of which share stunning views across the Bay from Torquay’s stylish new Abbey Sands beach-side development.

Or if seafood is more your thing, you can savour the freshest local fish and chips at Rockfish or enjoy a truly unforgettable seafood dining experience at Number 7 Bistro, both located beside Torquay’s charming harbour.

Boating & Water-sports

Torquay is a world-renowned sailing destination, regularly welcoming international events such as the Transatlantic Rendez-Vous Tall Ships Regatta.

With its glamorous marina, breathtaking coastline and idyllic horse-shoe shaped bay, Torquay has something for every visitor, no matter what type of water-based activity floats your particular boat.

You can choose between coasteering, wake-boarding, private boat charters, day and evening cruises, waterskiing, paddle-boarding, and sea-fishing, to name just a few of the many water-bound activities on offer. For more information, talk to our Social Events team in TIS Student Lounge.

Shopping

You can find all the biggest UK high-street retailers on Union Street, Torquay’s main shopping concourse (which becomes Fleet Street as you descend to Torquay Harbour). Big names such as Primark, TK Maxx, H&M, River Island, Debenhams, Sports Direct and Waterstones are all just a few minutes’ walk from TIS.

If you’re looking for something a little more special, head for Hoopers on the Strand by Torquay’s picturesque harbour, where an elegant four-storey department store stocking all the latest top designer labels awaits you.

Set back from the seafront and surrounded by woodland and wildlife is the rustic country village of Cockington. Here you will find a traditional craft centre where you can watch exquisite and unique souvenirs take shape before your very eyes. Even if you haven’t come to buy, you can enjoy glassblowing, metalwork, woodcraft, jewellery-making and mosaics all being busily brought to life in vibrant workshops set inside the grounds of Cockington Court, an opulent eighteenth-century manor house and park.

Theatre & Shows

Torquay is home to three very special theatres: the largest – with 1,500 seats – is the Princess Theatre, a popular venue for touring West End musicals, ballets, operas, and concerts, and much celebrated for its stunning views out to sea from the scenic theatre bar.

Equally well-located, Babbacombe Theatre on Torquay’s north coast has been hosting top musical variety shows since the 1930s and is open year-round with 600 recently refurbished seats.

Finally, The Little Theatre, just a few minutes’ walk from beautiful Meadfoot Beach, hosts Torquay’s local amateur dramatics company, who regularly stage a wide range of plays from Agatha Christie thrillers to contemporary comedy, drama and satire.

Even better, throughout the summer months you can enjoy open air theatre in a range of locations around the Bay that offer truly stunning scenery, from the gently rolling meadows of Cockington Court to the dramatic clifftops of Berry Head.

Some of Torquay’s year-round events:

Whatever the time of year, there is always something to do or see in or around Torquay. Please have a look to the right at some of the most popular events each month.