Torre Abbey


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 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)
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 24 December to 2 January

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
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7th Sept 2018 - 14th Dec 2018

Halloween PumpkinsThe Choral EngineersYou are invited to come and sing, move, play and laugh with The Choral Engineers - a creative community choir. The choir meets every Friday to sing new songs, make new friends and create new performances. All welcome. The Learning Lab, Torre Abbey. 10.30am - 12.30pm. £5 per session. For more...
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1st Dec 2018 - 23rd Dec 2018

16th Dec 2018 - 16th Dec 2018

18th Dec 2018 - 18th Dec 2018

19th Dec 2018 - 19th Dec 2018

21st Dec 2018 - 23rd Dec 2018

Christmas By The Sea, Torquay, DevonChristmas by the SeaJoin us for merriment, joy and cheer; let us celebrate Christmas growing near! With festive events and activities across Torbay we have something to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. There will be carols and crafts, lanterns and laughter, mulled wine and mistletoe; so come see, hear, create...
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15th Dec 2018 - 15th Dec 2018

FlowerMindfullness Play Workshops for KidsThese workshops are the perfect way to give your child a gentle introduction to mindfulness. With playfulness and creativity at heart, each workshop offers a fun theme to explore as well as plenty of ways to begin to understand the basic foundations of mindfulness. Through a range of activities,...
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16th Dec 2018 - 16th Dec 2018

Christmas Concert, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonChristmas ConcertCelebrate Christmas by the Sea at our finale concert. The Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey will be filled with the wonderful music of Sufjan Stevens' festive repertoire as performed by the Choral Engineers and the BSO supported Unidentified Family Orchestra. With special guests Dean Brodrick, Ben...
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12th Jan 2019 - 24th Mar 2019

Torbay Rocks at Torre Abbey Museum, TorquayTorbay Rocks - The Lionel Digby Collection - Torre Abbey60s & 70s music memorabilia from the Lionel Digby Collection. Featuring the fascinating music memorabilia archive of local personality Lionel Digby. Lionel was one of the Bay’s best music and club promotors throughout the 60s and 70s and was responsible for bringing some of the biggest bands of the...
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19th Jan 2019 - 31st Mar 2019

Images and Imagination by Torbay Photographic Society, Torre Abbey, The Kings Drive, Torquay, DevonImages and Imagination by Torbay Photographic Society19th January until end of March A showcase of stunning images by the Torbay Photographic Society. Open Tuesday to Sunday. Included in usual admission and free for 1196 Club Members. For more information on the Society visit
more info

5th Feb 2019 - 24th Feb 2019

Riviera Art Fair - Torre AbbeyTuesday 5 February 2019 to Sunday 24 February 2019 11:00 to 16:00 An exhibition and sale of works from the Brixham, Devon and Torbay Art Societies, in the stunning setting of the Spanish Barn. This promises to be an eclectic, inspiring and popular event and best of all, it's free.
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3rd May 2019 - 5th May 2019

Young Art Devon, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonYoung Art DevonFollowing a hugely successful first year, we are delighted to let you know that this exhibition will return in 2019. All money raised is donated to the charity’s Kids & Teens appeal as part of Cancer Research UK, which exclusively funds research into children’s cancers. This is a wonderful way to...
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12th May 2019 - 12th May 2019

Spanish Barn Wedding Fair, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonSpanish Barn Wedding Festival - Torre AbbeyThe stunning Spanish Barn is set within the grounds of Torre Abbey and is the perfect romantic setting to hold your wedding celebrations. Whether you are looking for a formal wedding venue or something a bit more casual, the beautiful historic house and gardens can accommodate a wide range of...
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12th Sept 2019 - 15th Sept 2019

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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  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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Recent Reviews:

  • Julie M
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    October Half term
    4 of 5 stars
    7th Nov 2018
    Must be visited to be appreciated. A gorgeous park and museum. its so quiet and quaint with a fabulous mulberry tree! Very scenic and a great place to visit. Read full review
  • 524grahamd
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Enjoyable Visit
    5 of 5 stars
    12th Nov 2018
    We took our grandchildren to visit the Abbey; they live locally but we do not. Once inside it offered much more than anticipated. The building itself, subject to many alterations (all explained... Read full review
  • TinBoxTraveller
    South Devon, United Kingdom
    Beautiful gardens and great, interactive museum
    4 of 5 stars
    12th Nov 2018
    My girls loved running around the gardens which contain ruins of the old abbey and greenhouses where plants of different tastes, textures and smells are gown. Inside the former abbey there's plenty... Read full review


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.


Attraction Facilities

  • Shop


  • 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

Close window

Call direct on:

Tel+44 01803 293593

What's Nearby

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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

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