It's a New Year! Here’s why you should visit the Naturally Inspiring English Riviera in 2020:

1. We have 22 Miles of Stunning Coastline

The English Riviera, based in the beautiful South Devon is home to 22 miles of Naturally Inspiring coastline offering sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, secluded coves, historic viaducts, elevated cliff tops, rockpools and wooded areas. Based on the 630 miles of South West Coast Path, the English Riviera is a walker’s paradise with jaw-dropping views, picturesque paths, perfect picnic spots and secluded coves to swim in. With 20 beaches, 10 of which have won top industry awards the English Riviera’s sheltered position and mild climate means that the sea is usually calm all year round – making it the perfect place to paddle board, kayak or sail.

2. We have Wild Places and Wildlife

The English Riviera is home to a vast array of wildlife. From guillemots, cormorants, seagulls, seals, porpoises, dolphins, bats and humpback whales. Take a trip on one of the wildlife cruises to see what you can spot. Head up to Berry Head Nature Reserve to see where the guillemots and bats call home.

And if that’s not enough, head to the one of the best zoos in the UK, Paignton Zoo, where you can find tigers, giraffes, red pandas and even a Komodo dragon.

3. There’s a UNESCO Global Geopark – one of only 7 in the UK!

Since 2007 the English Riviera has been a designated UNESCO Global Geopark, meaning that it is an area of globally recognised, unique geological interest. A place where you can touch a very special part of the Earth’s story and be amazed by the extraordinary landscapes, mountains, coastlines, places and people. We are one of only seven in the entire UK and 140 in the world. Our Naturally Inspiring landscape includes three Geopark Gateway Visitor Centres at Berry Head Nature Reserve, Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves (Ice Age home to Britain’s earliest humans) and The Seashore Centre at Goodrington with fun and informative facts and walking trails about the local area.   

4. We’re known as England's Seafood Coast

The English Riviera’s mild climate and warm waters around Brixham attract over 40 species of seafood including Lemon Sole, Lobster, Brixham Crab and Elberry Cove Mussels. The area is known as England’s Seafood Coast with over £40 million worth of the UK’s finest seafood landed and sold at the famous, Brixham Fish Market, making Brixham the biggest fishing port in England by value. We have some of the nation’s best celebrity chefs producing award-winning seafood dishes and fine-dining experiences, ensuring that the freshest catch is served on your plate.

5. There are World-class Events, Festivals and Theatre Shows

The English Riviera is known for hosting incredible events and large-scale festivals throughout the year, and 2020 is no different!

The English Riviera Air Show attracts almost 200,000 visitors with a weekend packed with thrilling aerial displays and flyovers. The International Agatha Christie Festival marks the birthday of Torquay’s most famous resident and England’s Seafood FEAST celebrates the UK’s finest seafood. Help make over 80 giant wild animal models at The Great Big Brick Safari, Paignton Zoo. Brixham hosts Brixfest, Fishstock, Brixham Pirate Festival and Lights, Lanterns and ‘luminations whilst Dartmouth Steam Railway’s Train of Lights wows festive audiences.  

There are 5 top theatres showcasing West End touring shows, local productions such as Chicago and Shrek the Musical, quality tribute acts, audience-with style evenings and famous TV comedians and popular figures including Harry Redknapp, Jason Donovan, Josh Widdicombe and Rev Richard Coles.

6. There are over 20 Top Attractions for the Whole Family

Whatever your interest or age you’ll find there’s plenty to do whatever the weather.  From exhilarating rides at Splashdown Quaywest waterpark, to going underground at Europe’s top prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern, there’s something for everyone.  Walk the plank aboard the Golden Hind Museum Ship and feel like a giant at Babbacombe Model VillageAward-winning museums, escape room experiences and a world class zoo with over 2,500 rare and protected animals provide thrilling learning experiences. Visit National Trust’s Greenway, once the holiday home of Agatha Christie and the Arts and Craft style, Coleton Fishacre with stunning landscaped gardens and fascinating culture and heritage.   

7. There are Amazing Trips, Excursions and Experiences to have

The English Riviera is the perfect playground for outdoor adventure and sightseeing. Take a nostalgic trip on a steam train with Dartmouth Steam Railway, head down a steep cliff to Oddicombe Beach on the delightful Babbacombe Cliff Railway or see the bay from another angle on the water with a spot of coasteering with Reach Outdoors or a kayaking trip with Sea Kayak Devon. Jet ski safari, speedboat, rib rides, paddle boarding or wild swimming offer amazing views of our Naturally Inspiring landscape. Escorted tours provide scenic day trips across South Devon to nearby attractions at Dartmoor, Dartmouth and Plymouth (for Mayflower 400 events). Treat yourself to a scenic tour in a vintage open top car and a Devon Cream Tea with Prestige Tours.

8. There are over 500 accommodation providers catering for all types of travellers

From TripAdvisor’s No.1 B&B in the World to grand Victorian-style hotels with luxury spas, to family friendly holiday parks and touring sites, there really is so much to choose.  We have an impressive range of quality, serviced to self-catering holiday accommodation, and many properties have outstanding sea views and fabulous locations. We are a dog-friendly resort too and many places to stay allow your four-legged friend to come along with you. You’ll find family-friendly leisure facilities including heated pools, licensed bars and fine dining restaurants to make your stay in South Devon memorable. 

9. There are 300 of the finest food and drink venues in the South West

From traditional Devon Cream Teas in quaint tearooms to Michelin starred restaurants serving the freshest quality seafood, the English Riviera has an impressive range of places to eat with menus to suit all tastes and budgets. Enjoy a romantic night out at a sea view restaurant or take the dog for a countryside walk and stop at one of our dog-friendly cafes or pubs. Fish and Chips, homemade pasties and locally produced ciders, beers, wines and speciality gins are just some of the mouth-watering delights on offer in the South West. There are many trendy cocktail bars and lively waterfront inns providing live music by local talent.

10. It’s an Inspirational Place to Visit

We have an enviable literary and cultural heritage. It’s an inspiring place to be. And it’s not just us saying that! Look at what has been produced on the English Riviera – Dame Agatha Christie, one of the world’s best-selling authors of all time who was born in Torquay, John Cleese wrote Fawlty Towers after staying in the area and world-renowned band Metronomy recorded an entire album based on South Devon’s Beautiful Bay. Other famous writers have been inspired by the beautiful, natural landscape including Mary Shelley - author of Frankenstein, Beatrix Potter, Oscar Wilde and even Charles Darwin.

This is just a taster of all the marvellous things we have here on the Naturally Inspiring, English Riviera. Explore our webpages for more holiday inspiration or just come along and see for yourself.


South West Coast Path
Waymarked Trail
South West Coast Path

The English Riviera has 22 miles of coastline and a UNESCO Global Geopark, all of which can be discovered on the South West Coast Path, which runs along South Devon's beautiful bay between Maidencombe in the north and Sharkham Point in the south.

Berry Head Nature Reserve
Animals & Nature
Berry Head Nature Reserve, Brixham, Devon

Berry Head National Nature Reserve guards the southern half of Tor Bay. One of the main gateways to the English Riviera Global Geopark, it is an internationally-acclaimed heritage site, home to a fascinating variety of wildlife and history, with recently-restored Napoleonic War fortifications. Enjoy the stunning views and superb local food at the Guardhouse Cafe, visit the Visitor Centre, enjoy one of the many events, and walk the ramparts as the soldiers did 200 years ago. Berry Head is free to visit and open all year. Dogs: Welcome in the Nature Reserve and the Guardhouse Café on a lead

Paignton Zoo
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Paignton, Devon

With dozens of different animals across 80 acres of beautiful, spacious grounds – you are in for a really wild time at Paignton Zoo! Located in South Devon, Paignton Zoo is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions and zoos. Come rain or shine, the zoo is a fun-filled day out for the whole family. Discover all your favourite species, big and small, including gorillas, orang-utans, giraffes, lions, tigers, crocodiles, flamingos, red pandas and rhinos, and be ready for a few surprises along the way too. There are many Covid-19 safety measures implemented around the site to ensure that everyone can have an enjoyable and safe visit. For full details, please see the Paignton Zoo website. A must-see is Crocodile Swam

Kents Cavern Torquay
Kents Cavern, Torquay, Devon

Kents Cavern is one of Europe’s top and most exciting Stone Age caves, with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year. Our entertaining guides will take you on an underground adventure in the Stone Age home to Britain’s earliest humans and Ice Age beasts.

Seashore Centre
Animals & Nature
Seashore Centre

The Seashore Centre is a great base from which to explore Torbay’s stunning marine environment and discover more about local wildlife and the Geopark.

England's Seafood FEAST
England's Seafood FEAST
Fresh hake cooked for the Seafood FEAST, Brixham in Devon.

England’s Seafood FEAST England’s Seafood Coast will play host to a feast for all the senses between 18th September and 4th October 2019.  For 2 weeks you will be able to immerse yourself in England’s Seafood FEAST (view the programme here), eating some of the best seafood in the world and experiencing the very best the English Riviera has to offer.

Brixham Fish Market Tours - BACK IN 2022
Participatory Event
Brixham Fish Market Tours - BACK IN 2022

Brixham Fish Market lands the biggest catch by value in England, with a regular turnover of more than £25 million a year. Over 40 species of fish and shellfish are regularly landed, one of the most diverse catches around the coast of the UK. Perfect marine conditions provide some of the best quality seafood in the world. Buyers include local fishmongers and restaurants, alongside national and international companies who supply top restaurants and supermarkets. Approximately half of the seafood sold at the auction is exported worldwide. You can take a look behind the scenes during a guided tour of the market. Now in their 11th year, tours continue to be very popular. You'll need to be up early to catch one as tours start when the auction o

English Riviera Airshow
Air / Air Show
Torbay Airshow 2019 in flight in Paignton, Devon

Events are centred around Paignton Green, with free entertainment for all the family, including exhibition stands, bars, food stalls, display teams, inflatable slides, bouncy castles and fairground rides.

International Agatha Christie Festival
International Agatha Christie Festival 2021

After an online existence in 2020, which marked 30 years since it was first held, the International Agatha Christie Festival, funded by Arts Council England, returns to the English Riviera this September. And it’s bigger than ever (See the current programme, annexed). Among many highlights: - The world premiere of THE STRANGER, a never-before-performed play by Agatha Christie; - Award-winning authors ANTHONY HOROWITZ and KATE MOSSE in conversation; - A NEW EXHIBITION ABOUT AGATHA CHRISTIE and her travels in the middle East, developed with the Christie Archive Trust; - Award-winning actress ANNETTE BADLAND in a special event on The Golden Hind in Brixham harbour; - A new film, AGATHA CHRISTIE AND THE NEAR EAST, about the archaeological

The Great Big Brick Safari - Paignton Zoo
The Great Big Brick Safari - Paignton Zoo, Paignton, Devon

Over 80 wild animal creations made from thousands of LEGO® bricks will be in residence at the zoo from 5th August 2020 to 3rd January 2021, forming a trail that guests can follow with the help of our Great Big Brick Safari map. Search our zoo grounds and exhibits to spot all of the models, coming face to face with a life-sized lion, gorillas, hyenas, kangaroos, macaws and much more! Due to regulations regarding social distancing, the planned Interactive Zone at the zoo will not be able to go ahead. With more than 2,000 animals, from red pandas to rhinos and cheetahs to crocodiles, stunning botanical gardens and indoor and outdoor play areas, we have all of the building blocks you need for a fantastic family adventure.

CANCELLED - BrixFest Brixham
BrixFest Brixham, Devon

​BrixFest will bring hundreds of artists, charities, chefs and local people together with thousands of visitors. Throughout the festival we encourage you to keep it local and spend your hard earned money in the local shops and restaurants.

CANCELLED - Fishstock Brixham
Major Event
Live cooking demo at Fishstock, Brixham

Fishstock Brixham, the English Riviera’s renowned urban music and seafood festival takes place at the new Fish Quay on Brixham’s picturesque fishing harbour.  A real hit for the whole family, thousands of visitors regularly enjoy tasting the delicious seafood and marvel at the live theatre cooking demonstrations with some of the English Riviera’s most famous chefs. There’s a big music stage with a vibrant programme of live entertainment, visits to working fishing trawlers and heritage vessels on the quayside plus lots of fun activities for the children. There will be local food and drink producers, a wide range of maritime display stands and lots of fascinating insights into the marine environment.

Brixham Pirate Festival
Brixham Pirate Festival, Brixham, Devon

Brixham Pirate Festival A swashbuckling mix of piratical fun and entertainment! There will be LOTS of pirates, military and period re-enactors here with guns and cannons to make plenty of noise! We will make sure there is plenty of music too with shanties and pirate rock



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