Torbay is a large bay on Devon's south coast, also referred to as The English Riviera. Overlooking its clear blue waters from their vantage points along the bay are three towns: Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham. The bays ancient flood plain ends where it meets the steep hills of the South Hams. These hills act as a suntrap, allowing the bay to luxuriate in its own warm microclimate. It is the bays golden sands and rare propensity for fine weather that has led to the bay and its seaside towns being named the English Riviera.
Torquay is well known for its nine sandy beaches, seven green hills, palm lined promenade and grand Victorian villas. It is the largest and most northerly of the Torbay and English Riviera resorts.
Since it first become popular in the 19th Century, Torquay has grown into a cosmopolitan town with many modern attractions. Torquay has a bustling harbour side and marina with an array of pavement cafes, stylish boutiques, restaurants and bars.
Paignton is a popular family friendly holiday resort located midway between Torquay and Brixham. Paignton is well known for its beautiful sandy beaches which are safe for bathing and ideal for paddling - making Paignton and the neighbouring Goodrington Sands the perfect holiday destinations for young families.
Paignton's bustling seafront features its magnificent pier which dates back to 1878. The pier offers visitors an array of attractions on both its open deck and inside, plus fabulous views of Torbay. There is also an 18th century harbour, which dries at low tide. The harbour area is a hive of activity, especially during the summer season. Nearby Goodrington, offers many family attractions including fabulous waterslides at Quaywest, a boating lake and beaches.
Brixham is situated at the Southern end of the English Riviera and is Britain's busiest fishing port. The town features a central harbour surrounded by narrow lanes that lead up into the surrounding hillside. The bustling harbour is home to a fabulous replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship, the Golden Hind. You can also find many pleasure boats sailing between Brixham and Torquay on the opposite side of the Bay. Brixham also has a 500 berth yacht marina which is sheltered from the south-westerly winds by the cliffs of Berry Head, a National Nature Reserve with one of the largest guillemot colonies on England's south coast.
Torbay has lots of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. In addition you could try a little further afield and explore some of the smaller village pubs, beachside cafes, or just pack a picnic and venture out to the beach or moors.
There are lots of very high quality restaurants nearby which have very good reputations. If in doubt there are lots of people who will recommend some good places to visit.
Torbay is a vibrant local community
There are lots of activities available in the Bay and further afield. Large multiplex cinemas at Paignton, Plymouth, Exeter and some smaller ones as well in Torquay, and Dartington. Theatres in Torquay, Paignton, Plymouth and Exeter offer a range of shows and some larger west end productions.
Outdoor activities include sailing, windsurfing, golf, coasteering, hiking, walking, diving etc – too many to list, but you should find something that you enjoy. Plenty of gyms around to choose from if you prefer this, check out if they offer corporate memberships as you may be eligible for a discount working for Torbay Council.
You can find more information on leisure, sports and community in Torbay here.