Torre Abbey

Abbey/Priory

The Kings Drive, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5JE

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Tel+44 01803 293593

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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)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00*

* Open seven days a week, 10am - 5.00pm (Last Admission 4.00pm).

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

Events

11th Jan 2018 - 13th Dec 2018

Crafternoons -Torre Abbey Thursday 11 January 2018 to Thursday 13 December 2018 13:00 to 15:00 The Learning Lab Suitable for all ages Suggested donation - £4.00 Bring your project and join other like minded crafters for a relaxed afternoon of creativity, sharing tips and ideas over tea and cake. Basic art room...
more info

16th June 2018 - 31st Aug 2018

Halloween PumpkinsThe Last Supper*** Please note that although sessions are free with your abbey entry, they are limited to just 25 people per performance (20 members of the public and five 1196 Club Members), so we highly recommend booking in advance *** Torre Abbey Museum continues its hugely successful transformation into an...
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27th June 2018 - 25th July 2018

Doorstep @ Torre AbbeyA warm and welcoming workshop for children and their parents to explore the exciting world of drama. Through stories, dance, play and crafts children get to bring their favourite toys, hobbies and characters to life. Each term is focused on a different theme inspired by the children’s interests....
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14th July 2018 - 31st Aug 2018

Halloween PumpkinsWish You Were Here! - Torre AbbeyWe have put together a summer exhibition called Wish You Were Here, looking at the history of Torquay through postcards. It's a fun, poignant and fascinating look into nearly 130 years of of the resort's history and we will also be encouraging people to post some cards while you are here!...
more info

2nd Aug 2018 - 2nd Aug 2018

6th Sept 2018 - 6th Sept 2018

4th Oct 2018 - 4th Oct 2018

1st Nov 2018 - 1st Nov 2018

6th Dec 2018 - 6th Dec 2018

Geopark LogoAli-Way Community Scrapstore - Torre AbbeyAli-Way Community Scrapstore is a community, no for profit group that offers real work opportunities to individuals with learning disabilities and cheap, recycled craft resources for sale to the community of Torbay. A Scrapstore is a place where clean recycled items can be found for use in art and...
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16th Aug 2018 - 16th Aug 2018

17th Aug 2018 - 17th Aug 2018

18th Aug 2018 - 18th Aug 2018

19th Aug 2018 - 19th Aug 2018

23rd Aug 2018 - 23rd Aug 2018

24th Aug 2018 - 24th Aug 2018

25th Aug 2018 - 25th Aug 2018

26th Aug 2018 - 26th Aug 2018

27th Aug 2018 - 27th Aug 2018

Open Air Cinema Festival - Torre AbbeyAfter the huge success of last year's festival, we will again be working in partnership with the Barn Cinema and Dartington Arts to bring you an amazing programme of al fresco screenings under the stars. Expect 9 nights of cult classics, family favourites and the latest blockbusters, all hosted in...
more info

29th Aug 2018 - 29th Aug 2018

Build a Robot Workshop - Torre AbbeyBuild a two-wheeled robot in this exciting computing and electronics workshop. With expert guidance on construction and programming, and a kit of motors, wheels and electronics, you’ll be a robotics pro in no time. Once built, learn the steps to program your creation to move forwards and backwards...
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14th Sept 2018 - 16th Sept 2018

Agatha Christie Birthday Weekend: Elephants Can RememberElephants Can Remember – Scene One – HoloLens Edition Hear Agatha Christie deliver the first scene of Elephants Can Remember in her own words from 1972 and become immersed in the sight of her imagination coming to life! Using Microsoft’s HoloLens Mixed Reality headset, audiences are immersed in...
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15th Sept 2018 - 15th Sept 2018

Agatha Christie FestivalThe International Agatha Christie FestivalThe next annual festival event will be a one-day celebration of Agatha Christie's birthday in Torbay on Saturday 15th September 2018. The next 5-day festival is scheduled for 11th-15th September 2019.
more info

16th Sept 2018 - 16th Sept 2018

Halloween PumpkinsAgatha Christie Birthday Weekend: A Garden Party to Die For - Torre AbbeyCome and celebrate Agatha Christie’s birthday weekend with a charming garden party in the stunning grounds of Torre Abbey Museum. Period costume most welcome. Expect jazz music, decadent drinks, tasty treats, a murder treasure hunt, garden games, outdoor dance, a talk by our head gardener Ali...
more info

1st Dec 2018 - 2nd Dec 2018

Winter Fest - Torre AbbeyFollowing the huge success of last year's inaugural Winter Fest, we will be again hosting this craft and gift fair in the historic setting of the Abbey. Torre Abbey will be filled with stalls (thirty!) selling truly unique crafts and Christmas gifts. You can expect seasonal music, a Christmas trail...
more info

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    447
  • Very Good
    189
  • Average
    26
  • Poor
    9
  • Terrible
    4

Recent Reviews:

  • ian T
    London, United Kingdom
    Line dance weekend
    5 of 5 stars
    14th July 2018
    We had an afternoon to fill in so we went for a look around Torre Abbey. It had lots of history and intresting items to look at. On the way out we had a cream tea which was a delight. After the cream... Read full review
  • Bradders829
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Solo travel
    Nice to see
    5 of 5 stars
    11th July 2018
    It was an enjoyable place to see. Looking at one of the building, built back in the 1300 and some of the Spanish sailors from the Amarda were quests there. Read full review
  • Carol C
    Dewsbury, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Excellent and very interesting. .
    5 of 5 stars
    4th July 2018
    Well recommended museum with lots to see. Animated figures bring it all to life. Gardens are outstanding. Lovely visit! 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

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 enquiries@englishrivierabid.co.uk

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