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 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)
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
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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 Apr 2019 - 2nd June 2019

The Printed Line - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonThe Printed Line - Torre AbbeyOpening at Torre Abbey Museum on Saturday 6 April and running until Saturday 2 June, The Printed Line, an Arts Council Collection’s new exhibition, is touring the UK showcasing work by artists including David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Patrick Caulfield and Frank Stella. The Printed Line exhibition...
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27th Apr 2019 - 27th Apr 2019

Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonTrulie Music ConcertDon't miss this concert featuring music for voice, harp and keyboard in aid of The Coroners Court Support Service. Featuring well-known local performers, Tracey Pearce and Julie Arrow, expect music from Bach, Caccini, Debussy and many more.  The Barn will be open from 2.00pm for those interested...
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27th Apr 2019 - 27th Apr 2019

25th May 2019 - 25th May 2019

Mindfulness Play Workshops for Kids, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonMindfulness Play Workshops for KidsWith playfulness and creativity at heart, each workshop offers children the chance to lead the direction of things by choosing a mindfulness 'challenge' from a deck of cards. This gives a real flavour of spontaneity and means no two workshops will ever be the same! The themes of the challenges...
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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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22nd May 2019 - 22nd May 2019

Performance by the Gregorian Choir of Grimbergen Abbey, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonPerformance by the Gregorian Choir of Grimbergen AbbeyThe Gregorian Choir of Grimbergen Abbey was founded in 1968 by its members and has since been directed by Gereon van Boesschoten, a Premonstratensian in the Abbey of Grimbergen, near Brussels. Each Sunday the choir sings during holy liturgy in the abbey church and basilica. As well as local...
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25th May 2019 - 25th May 2019

If Not Now - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonIf Not Now - Torre AbbeyYoung Sally struggles to reconcile her inner eco-warrior with her Mum's battle to support a family under the pressures of modern life. If Not Now explores the relationship with the current plastic crisis, raising important environmental questions using playful storytelling and games. We invite...
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25th May 2019 - 2nd June 2019

UNESCO Geopark Festival, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, DevonUNESCO Geopark FestivalCelebrate The English Riviera UNESCO designated Global Geopark at this years Geopark Festival . A wide range of events will be available to visitors and residents at a number of locations across the bay. There's a range of events all week that can help you enjoy, explore and experience all of the...
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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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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

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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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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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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  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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Recent Reviews:

  • Storkygal
    Somerset, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Very interesting place to visit
    4 of 5 stars
    20th Mar 2019
    Baking hot day so it was nice to get some respite from the sun! We were also treated to a free art exhibition in the barn. Had a lovely walk round the garden and tea & cake in the quaint cafe. We... Read full review
  • Heather G
    St Helens, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Old Abbey Gardens
    5 of 5 stars
    4th Apr 2019
    Wonderful plants in a fantastic setting amongst the ruins of an old abbey. The abbey is good to visit too, but this time we were more interested in the Spring flowers. The cafe serves excellent... Read full review
  • Caroline G
    Crediton, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Great value - lots to see
    4 of 5 stars
    14th Apr 2019
    Good value attraction to visit that has a varied programme of excellent exhibitions. We visited for the current Prints exhibition, which was really enjoyable. Lots of historical exhibits dating back... 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

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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

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