Torre Abbey

Abbey/Priory

The Kings Drive, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5JE

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About Us

Founded in 1196 and built using stone from the very headland it overlooks, the Abbey’s story began when the sheltered apex, rich fertile land and proximity to the sea provided the founding medieval Premonstratensian monks with everything they needed to establish their monastery.

Today, as a museum and Ancient Scheduled Monument, you will discover beautifully presented heritage rooms, galleries, art exhibitions, interactive displays, talking portraits and videos which bring our colourful history and art to life. You will also learn more about the rise and the fall of the Georgian Cary Family, who resided there for hundreds of years.

With over 600 incredible works of art from the 18th century to present day, the Abbey’s collection includes Pre- Raphaelite works including Holman Hunt’s ‘The Children’s Holiday’ and Burne-Jones’ drawings of ‘The Planets’. Highlights are the watercolours by Thomas Luny and FJ Widgery and a rare proof set of William Blakes’s Book of Job. Also be sure to visit the Frederick Thrupp Gallery. Battle Scenes, Green and Pleasant Land, The Call of the Sea and Seaside Fun are some of the impressive themed galleries you will happen upon as you meander around.

With its fine gatehouse, guest hall, abbot’s tower and remarkable undercrofts, the Abbey is the best preserved example of a medieval monastery in Devon and Cornwall. It also has one of the five most complete early medieval tithe barns in England. There have been a number of famous visitors to the Abbey. These include Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson (1801), Caroline, Princess of Wales (1809) and Queen Elizabeth II, who has visited on a number of occasions.

The Spanish Barn, adjacent to the house, is so named because it played an important role housing 397 prisoners from the Spanish Armada. The prisoners were taken from the only galleon captured during the conflict - the Nuestra Senora del Rosario.

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.

The heated glasshouses, containing tropical and desert plants, are a treat for the senses whatever the season. A new medieval children’s garden is garden within a garden and has been lovingly created to entice people, of all ages, into the fascinating world of medieval plants and their uses. Turf seats, willow tunnels, sensory planting and a fountain offer the opportunity to explore, look, touch, and taste.

Look out for regular visiting art exhibitions and a full event programme including Family Sundays (the last Sunday of each month), open air theatre, open air cinema, concerts and festivals. See website for up-coming events.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult£8.00 per ticket
Children & teens (Up to 19 years)Free
Garden Only Adult Ticket£2.50 per ticket
Garden Only Senior£2.00 per ticket
Senior£7.00 per ticket

1196 Club Annual Membership: £16 or £30 for joint ticket (2 adults). Children go free. Group discounts available.

Opening Times

Open all year (2 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)
DayTimes
MondayClosed*
Tuesday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00*

* Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am till 5 pm
Open on Bank Holiday Mondays in April, May and August
Closed on 24th December to 2nd January

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
From £0.00

Events

20th Mar 2019 - 3rd July 2019

Doorstep at Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonDoorstep at Torre AbbeyA special imaginative play group for Early Years children and their parents at the beautiful site of Torre Abbey Historical House and Gardens. Sessions are a combination of 30 minutes of structured activity, alongside 30 minutes of free play. The sessions are tailored for early years children aged…
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6th June 2019 - 19th July 2019

Scrap Tots - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonScrap Tots - Torre AbbeyHands on scrappy workshops and activities for pre-school children (and their grown-ups). We want Scrap Tots to inspire a new generation of builders, makers, inventors and design thinkers where anything is possible.  Little ones are encouraged to think outside the box or even sit in it and fly it…
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8th June 2019 - 1st Sept 2019

The BFG in Pictures - Torre Abbey, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonThe BFG in Pictures - Torre AbbeyThe BFG in Pictures is the first major exhibition of artwork by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's enduring tale.  The BFG, the story of orphan Sophie and her giant friend was first published in 1982. It has remained in print ever since, selling more than 50 million copies. Its a story of…
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30th June 2019 - 30th June 2019

The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club of Devon Classic Car Show, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonThe Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club of Devon Classic Car ShowBack for its third year The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club of Devon brings it annual Classic Car Show to Torre Abbey. You can expect over 100 classic cars from all of your favourite marques, and as a special feature for this year’s show the club will also be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Jaguar…
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4th July 2019 - 4th July 2019

1st Aug 2019 - 1st Aug 2019

5th Sept 2019 - 5th Sept 2019

3rd Oct 2019 - 3rd Oct 2019

7th Nov 2019 - 7th Nov 2019

5th Dec 2019 - 5th Dec 2019

Trove Scrapstore - Torre AbbeyThe Trove Scrapstore is a mobile maker resource hub providing recycled materials to build, make, invent and create.  Available for use by schools, groups, nurseries, individuals and others in arts and crafts.  The Scrapstore will be open on the first Thursday of the month between 10am and 3pm, by…
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6th July 2019 - 6th July 2019

Into the Mix - Torre Abbey, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonInto the Mix - Torre AbbeyInto the Mix is a brand new inclusive event for Torbay which aims to bring together diverse people and communities through music, dance, art, food, spoken word, family activities, information and a whole lot more!  In essence it's about meeting your neighbours, celebrating our differences and…
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27th July 2019 - 27th July 2019

The Wind in the Willows, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonThe Wind in the WillowsQuantum Theatre presents The Wind in the Willows "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats".  Spring is in the air and Mile has found a wonderful new world. There's boating with Ratty, a feast with Badger and high…
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27th July 2019 - 27th July 2019

1st Aug 2019 - 31st Aug 2019

15th Aug 2019 - 15th Aug 2019

16th Aug 2019 - 16th Aug 2019

17th Aug 2019 - 17th Aug 2019

18th Aug 2019 - 18th Aug 2019

22nd Aug 2019 - 22nd Aug 2019

23rd Aug 2019 - 23rd Aug 2019

24th Aug 2019 - 24th Aug 2019

Torre Abbey Open Air Cinema Festival, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonTorre Abbey Open Air Cinema FestivalReturning for a third consecutive year our hugely popular Open Air Cinema Festival. Set under the stars amongst the stunning romantic ruins of the Abbey’s award winning gardens, popular blockbuster movies will be screened over eight nights. Film screenings already confirmed for Mary Poppins…
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4th Aug 2019 - 4th Aug 2019

The Comedy of Errors - Open Air Theatre, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonThe Comedy of Errors - Open Air TheatreFolky Theatre present Shakespeare's classic tale of mistaken identities.  After being separated from their twins in a shipwreck, Antipholus and his slace Dromio go to Ephesus to find them. The other set of twins live in Ephesus, and the new arrivals cause a series of hilarious mistaken identity…
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5th Aug 2019 - 9th Aug 2019

Torre Abbey Music Mania, Torquay, DevonMusic Mania - Torre AbbeySummer holiday music activities for ages 8+. Fill the days of the summer holidays with musical activities, combined with other summer fun at Torre Abbey. Take part in musical workshops, write songs, try new instruments and perform. You'll also get to join in with holiday activities such as 'Pitch…
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7th Aug 2019 - 7th Aug 2019

14th Aug 2019 - 14th Aug 2019

21st Aug 2019 - 21st Aug 2019

Storytelling with Libraries Unlimited - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonStorytelling with Libraries Unlimited - Torre AbbeyJoin us and Libraries Unlimited over the summer for storytelling amongst our brand new exhibition 'The BFG in Pictures'. Storytelling will be taking place on: Wednesday 7 August Wednesday 14 August Wednesday 21 August This activity is free with normal admission fee to the Abbey (kids and teens…
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10th Aug 2019 - 10th Aug 2019

20th Oct 2019 - 20th Oct 2019

Workshop, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonWorkshops - Torre AbbeyCome and join us for a Teddy Bears Picnic, we will be playing our favourite games and bringing our teddy bears to life with lots of fun and imaginative play. This workshop hosted by Doorstep Arts is a fun opportunity for all our young groups to come together whilst playing games, enjoying a…
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25th Aug 2019 - 25th Aug 2019

Mister Magnolia - Open Air Theatre, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonMister Magnolia - Open Air TheatreFolksy Theatre present 'Mister Magnolia' based on the book by Quentin Blake. Mister Magnolia has many things, such as an old trumpet that goes rooty-toot, some very fat owls learning to hoot, a big purple dinosaur who's a magnificent brute, two sisters who play the flute, and even a swimming pool.…
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30th Aug 2019 - 31st Aug 2019

Torbay Guild of Artists - Summer Festival of Art, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonTorbay Guild of Artists - Summer Festival of ArtTorbay Guild of Artists Summer Festival of Art, featuring original paintings, ceramics, sculptures, metal work, mosaic and other mediums.  ​​​​​​​The Guild is an organisation for local artists to exhibit original work. They have painters, sculptors, ceramists and other various producers of fine…
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12th Sept 2019 - 12th Sept 2019

Murder, She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonMurder, She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder MysteryPart of the International Agatha Christie Festival A classic murder mystery is created on the spot in this ingenious and hilarious show from Edinburgh Fringe favourites and The Bristol Improv Theatre’s resident company. You become the author in this original and hilarious improvised comedy as…
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12th Sept 2019 - 12th Sept 2019

12th Sept 2019 - 25th Nov 2019

13th Sept 2019 - 13th Sept 2019

13th Sept 2019 - 14th Sept 2019

14th Sept 2019 - 14th Sept 2019

15th Sept 2019 - 15th Sept 2019

International Agatha Christie Events at Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonInternational Agatha Christie Events at Torre AbbeyInternational Agatha Christie Festival is based at Torre Abbey, Torbay’s museum of art and an English Heritage Ancient Scheduled Monument. Torquay railway station is a few minutes walk from the festival venue.
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12th Sept 2019 - 15th Sept 2019

15th Sept 2020 - 15th Sept 2020

Agatha Christie roller skating with friends in Torquay, DevonInternational Agatha Christie FestivalAgatha Christie purists and literary fans rejoice, its that time of year again! Agatha Christie is Torquay's most well-known resident and the best selling author of all time. Each year we have a number of events on and around her birthday, which falls on 15 September. Agatha and literary fans…
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21st Sept 2019 - 22nd Sept 2019

Heritage Open Days at Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonHeritage Open Days at Torre AbbeyEvery year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences - and it's all FREE!  To celebrate Heritage Open Days we are throwing open the doors to our house and…
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26th Oct 2019 - 26th Oct 2019

Derek Acorah Ghost HuntDerek is one of the world’s most renowned Spiritualist Mediums having demonstrated to millions of people in theatres throughout the UK and beyond over his 25 year career in the public eye. Derek’s television career dates back over fifteen years when he became the first Medium in the UK to…
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30th Nov 2019 - 1st Dec 2019

Winter Fest - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonWinter Fest - Torre AbbeyThis Christmas, Torre Abbey will be hosting its third Winter Fest event in the historic setting of the museum. We are now looking for local artists and makers to join us, selling some truly unique Christmas gifts. This promises to be charming event in the heart of Torquay and the perfect…
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TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2019
  • Excellent
    487
  • Very Good
    215
  • Average
    27
  • Poor
    10
  • Terrible
    7

Recent Reviews:

  • 44Nicola44
    Greater London, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Solo travel
    More Than Expected
    4 of 5 stars
    3rd June 2019
    I really hadn't expected that much from this place - not sure why - but how wrong was I? There was lots to see and explore, a real insight into the history of the time and delicious gardens... Read full review
  • 94BarbaraL
    Poole, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    A little gem
    5 of 5 stars
    6th June 2019
    Lovely gardens with some very interesting plants. You can buy cuttings too. The building and its contents are worth a visit. The cafe, open to all the public, does a very good selection of milkshakes. Read full review
  • j0andphilip
    Braunton, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Solo travel
    Lovely museum and gardens
    4 of 5 stars
    8th June 2019
    Something for all ages and families. Reasonable entrence price. Tearoom food nice. Although it would have been more inkeeping to stay traditional in decor and accessories. Lovely old fashion range... Read full review

Directions

Road Directions

Torre Abbey is 10 minutes drive from most areas of Torquay, 20 minutes from Paignton and 50 minutes from Plymouth and Exeter. From Exeter and the east:From Exeter and the east, follow signs for Torquay A380, then Torquay Seafront A3022. You will arrive at a 5 roads junction with the gates to the Abbey ahead of you. There is no parking in the grounds but you can take 2nd exit, Chestnut Avenue for parking at the front of the Riviera International Centre OR sharp right, Walnut Road for Torre Valley car park. Both are just 2 minutes walk from the Abbey and are pay and display. From Babbacombe, Paignton and other areas of Torbay:Follow the seafront and turn into Rathmore Road, immediately next to the Grand Hotel. Follow this road with the station on you left and you will reach the five roads junction – sharp left for Walnut Road, Torre Valley car park and straight across for Chestnut Avenue, Riviera Centre car park.

Public Transport Directions

--- By Bus -----------The Abbey is 5 minutes walk from all seafront bus routes. In summer the Torquay road train will call in to the Abbey grounds. --- By Train -----------Torre Abbey is 10 minutes walk from Torquay Rail Station (not Torre). From the station head NE along the seafront then approach the Abbey along The King’s Drive.

Facilities

Attraction Facilities

  • Shop

Catering

  • On-Site café/restaurant

Establishment Features

  • Open All Year
  • Tea / Coffee Shop
  • Toilets
  • Wedding Venue

Key Features

  • Indoor Attraction - You can visit the Abbey building and the gardens
  • Of historic, literary or architectural interest
  • Outdoor Attraction - You can visit the Gardens only for £4

Parking & Transport

  • On Bus Route
  • Parking (charge) - Public Pay and Display car park nearby.

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups

Venue Facilities

  • Beach adajacent for photography
  • Garden/grounds available for photography
  • Groups Accepted
  • Marriage / Reception Room decoration

Get in Touch

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Call direct on:

Tel+44 01803 293593

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Call direct on:

Tel+44 01803 293593

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This Official Tourism Website is managed by the English Riviera BID Company Ltd.
Company number 10237792.
Registered address 5 Vaughan Parade, Torquay, Devon, England, TQ2 5JG.
Telephone 01803 211211 enquiries@englishrivierabid.co.uk

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