The clocks going back at the end of October herald the advent of longer, darker evenings with the sun dipping below the horizon before 5pm. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything less to do on the English Riviera! All around the Bay, lights switch on earlier bringing a warm, welcome glow to the early twilight, and as seasons change across Tor Bay, there is still much to explore and enjoy after dark.

Enjoy the twinkling lights

The walk along the seafront in Torquay has always been magical but now benefits from new programmable LED lighting that changes colour, all the way from Princess Gardens to Corbyn Head and along Princess Pier. It’s a gentle route on wide, smooth tarmacked pavements with no large gradients, but if you’re feeling fit, why not walk up Rock Walk, also known as Royal Terrace Gardens for a wonderful walk up the brightly lit steps, ending in a fabulous viewpoint over the English Riviera?

After that, stop off for refreshments in one of the upmarket eateries along Abbey Sands, where there is a choice of restaurants including Las Iguanas, Visto Lounge and Bistrot Pierre or for cocktails at Cru Beach Bar.

Paignton Seafront is also resplendent with new programmable LED lighting illuminating the way along the promenade and seafront. There’s free entry to Paignton Pier where the world of gaming, coin-operated amusements, fun children’s rides, bouncy trampolines, mega slides and ten pin bowling await you. For refreshment, retreat to the cosy surroundings of Paignton Pier Chippy at the waters’ edge with its stunning sea views across the Bay and a variety of delicious locally sourced fresh fish or Shoreline for artisan pizzas, burgers and coffee.

Watch the night sky

More hours of darkness beginning earlier in the evening are a welcome occurrence for stargazers. Berry Head in Brixham is the optimal place for astronomers of all ages as there is very little light pollution. This beautiful headland is surrounded by water on 3 sides and has some of Devon’s most breath-taking views, just remember to wrap up warm! Afterwards, enjoy a warming drink or a meal at the Berry Head Hotel, once home of Rev Lyte who wrote Abide With Me.

A walk up Brixham Breakwater after dark is a wonderful treat as you can see the sparkling lights of Brixham reflect on the water and enjoy the night sky – please mind your step though! As you wander up towards the historical beacon, you’re likely to spot plenty of people night fishing. And with the Breakwater Bistro nearby, refreshments are close at hand and ready to warm you up.

See the Christmas lights

On 27th November, Brixham gets you blazing into the Christmas spirit with its Lanterns, lights and ‘luminations event. Marking the switch-on of Brixham’s very pretty festive lights, you can enjoy a wonderful firework display following the beautiful parade of lanterns and music from local entertainers plus stock up on presents at the Christmas street market.

Discover Local Delicacies

Autumn is also the West Country’s cider making and foraging season when refreshing ciders and scrumptious apple and pumpkin-filled delicacies are created and readily available in the local pubs and inns, cafes and restaurants. Local fayres celebrate the season, showcasing South West food and drink suppliers and their impressive range of produce. 

See a theatre show

After the sun goes down, the curtain comes up, with a wide range of theatre and performing arts shows. With the great selection of stand-up comedy acts, concerts, musicals, and children's shows, you’ll find there's something for everyone on stage at the English Riviera.

There's always plenty of fun to be had at the Princess Theatre, Torquay, which showcases the very best of West End theatre as well as comedy nights and local shows. If you like something a little different, try the Little Theatre in Torquay. This venue is housed in an old church and you can enjoy a range of concerts, musicals and shows performed by TOADS, an acclaimed local amateur dramatics company.

Or for those on evening out in Paignton, the Palace Theatre hosts a range of performances and with events running 50 weeks of the year you will be sure to find something to suit your tastes, from popular dramas to top-name entertainers and of course a very popular Panto season – oh yes there isBabbacombe Theatre is one of the most popular Theatres in the South West and is renowned for wowing audiences with their highly acclaimed family variety shows. Brixham Theatre is housed in a late Victorian, Grade II listed building and offers a year-round programme of events to cater for all tastes. 

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