The first place you’ll probably associate with the English Riviera is Torbay. This sheltered bay stretches for 22 miles along the South Devon Coast and takes in some of the best coastline in the county. Sandy beaches and rocky coves, picturesque harbours and mild weather make this part of South Devon a perennially popular holiday destination, with elegant seaside resorts and a range of fun things to do and explore.
Torbay gained a reputation for its pleasant environment and romantic qualities in the late 18th Century. With the coming of the railways, more visitors were attracted to the Mediterranean feel of the resort towns, with the principal towns of Torbay – Paignton, Torquay, and Brixham – becoming increasingly popular as holiday destinations. Today generations of holidaymakers continue to flock to Torbay for a real seaside break.
Things to do
No matter what you’re looking for, each area of Torbay enjoys its own distinct feel, with Brixham popular for arts and culture, Paignton a beach lover’s paradise and Torquay renowned for its shops and nightlife. Torbay is ideal if you’re into your water sports, there are festivals and events throughout the year and its parks and gardens hark back to the golden age of English resorts.
Food and drink
You’ll find the local cuisine diverse and award winning. Torbay’s chefs have one of the UK’s best producing areas right on their doorstep with fresh fish, farm produce and speciality meats giving a West Country flavour to everything from Italian cuisine to Thai and Moroccan dishes. From traditional fish and chips to fine dining, you’ll find Torbay’s food and drink comes with great service and great quality.
Something a little different
For an exciting day out and a journey into the age of steam, try the romantic Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat trip. Combining a preserved steam railway with a river cruise up the beautiful Dart valley, you can take in the glorious South Devon coast and countryside in real style and comfort. It’s been voted as the best day out in the UK, according to the Sunday Times.