Torre Abbey Museum in Torquay, Devon

Travelling to The English Riviera couldn’t be easier with excellent road and rail transport links. If you only have 24 hours to explore Devon’s Beautiful Bay take a look at our guide to some of the cultural highlights to look out for. The English Riviera has a vibrant arts and cultural scene with an all year-round calendar of creative events and festivals, award-winning museums and top visitor attractions.

Morning

Meet the Makers at Cockington Craft Centre

Meet the Makers at Cockington, Torquay

The stunning English Riviera landscape, a designated UNESCO Global Geopark has always inspired creativity.  Cockington Craft Centre is home to artisan workshops where highly skilled glassblowers, blacksmiths, chocolatiers, jewellers, wood turners and leather crafters create unique, reasonably priced arts and crafts which are available to purchase from the Cockington Court gift shop.

The Agatha Christie Mile

The Agatha Christie Mile, Torquay, Devon

Take the Agatha Christie Mile, a self-led one-mile walking trail that celebrates Torquay’s most famous resident and 12 of the places that the ‘Queen of Crime’ visited during her childhood and were inspirational in her life and works.  Begin with a mid-morning coffee and take in the fabulous sea views from The Grand Hotel, where Agatha spent her honeymoon night with her first husband, Archie on Christmas Eve 1914. Look out for the seven unique plaques along the route.

Afternoon

Visit an 800-year old Ancient Monument

A trip to Torre Abbey Museum is a must. Housed within an 800-year old ancient scheduled monument the museum has an impressive permanent art collection, interactive historical displays, a seasonal programme of temporary exhibitions by local established artists and emerging talent, live events and activities for all ages. Look out for the Potent Plants Garden inspired by Agatha Christie’s stories. Kids and teens enter free with paying adults so it’s great value for money and educational too.  We recommend a 2 hour stay here with a stop for lunch in the charming tearoom.

Ride on the famous steam train

Dartmouth Steam Railway, Paignton, Devon

Be transported back in time with a delightful 30 minute trip on a heritage steam train, run by Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company. Boarding at Paignton station and arriving at Kingswear, the seven-mile journey will take you along the spectacular coastline displaying some of the English Riviera’s best views and the stunning UNESCO global geopark landscape. As well as stops at the picturesque stations of Goodrington, Churston and Greenway Halt, the dramatic scenery and places of interest to look out for include the historic town of Dartmouth, famous Britannia Royal Naval College and Dartmouth Castle.

Evening

Out on the town

From popular tribute acts to laid-back jazz, country or rock, the English Riviera has plenty of homegrown talent that regularly entertains visitors and locals with live performances to suit every musical taste and genre. Visit the English Riviera ‘What’s On’ calendar for the most up-to-date events listings and details of regular live music and open mic nights at venues across the whole resort including The Spinning Wheel Inn in Paignton, The Manor Pub in Brixham and Seamus O’Donnells on Torquay’s buzzing harbourside.

Sample some of England’s Seafood Coast’s finest dishes

England's Seafood FEAST, Devon

The English Riviera is home to some of the UK’s finest seafood.  Over £40 million worth of the freshest fish is landed and sold at the world-famous Brixham Fish Market each year. Over 40 species of high-quality seafood and shellfish including Brixham Crab, Elberry Cove Mussels, Lobster, Lemon Sole and Gurnard are caught in local waters and served at restaurants, cafes and hotels in the Bay using only the very best local produce available. Try a delicious fish and chips supper at the popular sustainable seafood restaurant, Rockfish Torquay or Brixham for a true taste of the South West.

Related

Dartmouth Steam Railway (starting in Paignton)
Steam Railway
Dartmouth Steam Railway (starting in Paignton)

A warm welcome awaits you at Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boats. We provide steam train travel, river and sea cruises across the English Riviera and along the beautiful river Dart in South Devon. We are open from February half term right through to November (plus our winter steam train service run in November and December on selected dates). The stunning Train of Lights and famous Santa Express services also run on selected dates in December. The Dartmouth Steam Railway from Paignton runs for seven miles in Great Western tradition along the spectacular Torbay coast to Goodrington Sands, Churston and through the wooded slopes bordering the Dart estuary to Greenway Halt and on to Kingswear. The scenery is superb, with seascapes right acro

Cockington Court Craft Centre
Arts Centre
Cockington Court

At the heart of Cockington Village lies Cockington Court, a manor house with roots in medieval times, surrounded by acres of pretty country park. Today, the court is a hub for arts and crafts.

Agatha Christie Literary Trail
Literature
The ABC Murders

While you're in Christie Country, the Agatha Christie Literary Trail is an unmissable day out for murder mystery fans. Pick up a free leaflet and follow the Trail to discover the places that inspired the settings of some of her most popular works.

Torre Abbey
Abbey/Priory
Torre Abbey

An English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Key Site.  Explore 800 years of history beautifully presented heritage rooms, galleries, art exhibitions, interactive displays, talking portraits and videos which bring our colourful history and art to life. With a wealth of exotic and exciting plants, the gardens are a tranquil haven of beauty and pleasure, the perfect setting in which to relax, stroll or picnic. Exuberant plantings of herbaceous perennials, roses and dahlias sit in the formal 19th century landscape around the Abbey ruins.

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