The English Riviera is an exceptional area located on the south Devon coast and including the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The area sits on the magnificent and sheltered Tor Bay and is sometimes referred to as Torbay.
For hundreds of years the locals made their living from fishing, quarrying and smuggling amongst other things but it was the arrival of the railways in the Victorian times that opened the area up as a holiday destination and it was in fact the railway companies who first used "English Riviera" as a way of describing and marketing Torquay and the other towns.
Today, The English Riviera is still a vibrant and thriving holiday resort and in particular has successfully transformed into a place for short breaks throughout the year. With a large number of year round attractions, improved transport links, award winning restaurants and some of the best accommodation in the country, it is no surprise that it consistently ranks highly amongst UK destinations.
Set out below are some of the most popular attraction on the English Riviera which are easily reached from our self catering holiday apartments in Torquay.
These prehistoric caves enable visitors to go back in time to a period when humans had yet to become established and where bears, lions,mammoths and hyenas lived in the area. It also shows how the earliest humans in northern Europe then came to use the caves. This is an attraction not to be missed. It can be reached on foot in about 20 minutes from The Bedford House Apartments. Alternatively, for guests staying at Kinbrae and The Muntham Apartments and Townhouse, it is just a six or seven minute walk.
This attraction is laid out over 4 acres and contains more than 13,000 miniature figures. It is continually reinventing itself to reflect in miniature the full sized world beyond it. Quirky and witty it also has from a 4d cinema experience too. From Bedford House it can be reached by car in about ten minutes or else by bus. It can also be reached on foot by guests staying at The Muntham Apartments or the Kinbrae Apartment (about 25 minutes) and by bus from St Matthias Church in Wellswood
Bygones is a place to lose yourself for hours particularly on a wet afternoon. With a re-created of a Victorian street, a First World War trench and a large miniature railway plus a full sized steam locomotive from Plymouth Docks, this is a collection of incredible proportions.
This stretch of line runs between Paignton and Dartmouth and was axed from the mainline network by Dr Beeching in 1960s. It passes along beautiful coastal and countryside scenery and has the added benefit of a halt at Greenway for visitors to Agatha Christie's holiday home. The same company also operates Dartmouth River cruises including the steam paddle steamer Dartmouth Castle.
With big cats, giraffes, rhinos, elephants and monkeys and primates, Paignton Zoo is a great opportunity to get up close to animals you might never otherwise see at first hand. Visitors are also able to learn about the zoo's conservation work and breeding programme.
This marvelous example of Victorian engineering wasn't actually built until 1926 and has at times come close to shutting for good. Now in the safe hands of a trust it is thriving and taking more visitors than ever between Babbacombe Downs at the top and Oddicombe beach at the bottom. Parking can be a little difficult nearby particularly in the summer months although there are car parks and on street parking in and around Babbacombe. Alternatively, bus services 22 and 122 (seasonal) both pass close by.
The water park operates from the spring to the late autumn this waterpark on the seafront near Paignton has fantastic waterslides and offers lots of exciting fun. It can be reached by car or by buses en route to Brixham such as number 22.
This all weather and year round facilitiy is located within the English Riviera International Conference Centre. It has a pool heated to a tropical 29 degrees and has a wave machine and flume tubes amongst other things. There is parking at the centre but it is limited and expensive.
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