Torre Abbey

Abbey/Priory

The Kings Drive, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5JE

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 778 reviews778 reviews
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About Us

An English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Key Site. 

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

12th Sept 2019 - 24th Nov 2019

Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait - Torre Abbey, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonAgatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait - Torre AbbeyAgatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait: A Life in Photographs, offers an insight into the life of world famous author will be at Torre Abbey Featuring photographs from the author’s private collection, the exhibition illustrates the life behind the works of the most widely published author of all…
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12th Sept 2019 - 25th Nov 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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21st Sept 2019 - 27th Oct 2019

Patterns on Pots, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonPatterns on PotsThe Torquay Pottery Collectors Society (TPCS) aims to raise the profile of the pottery produced in Torquay and South Devon in the second half of the 19th century through to the latter years of the 20th century and to promote the interest in and collecting of that pottery. Most people associate…
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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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7th Nov 2019 - 7th Nov 2019

5th Dec 2019 - 5th Dec 2019

Scrap Tots - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonTrove Scrapstore - All Day Opening - 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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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…
more info

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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13th Dec 2019 - 15th Dec 2019

Abbey Advent - Window Wonder - Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonAbbey Advent - Window Wonder - Torre AbbeyCelebrate Christmas with us....... A fun stained glass lantern-making workshop followed by a magical journey through our gardens to admire our 25 fairy-tale advent windows. Ending with a hot chocolate in our illuminated Palm House. Our adventure begins with workshop to create lights out of…
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17th Dec 2019 - 22nd Dec 2019

Christmas Wreath Making Workshops -Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonChristmas Wreath Making Workshops -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…
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4th Apr 2020 - 4th Apr 2020

Torbay Chocolate Festival, Torre Abbey, Torquay, DevonTorbay Chocolate FestivalEducational, Ethical and Delicious Our mission is to share our passion for, and educate about the fine quality, bean-to-bar, ethically produced chocolate being made right here in the UK. Over our one day celebration of chocolate, you will be able to discover some of the UK’s most passionate and…
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15th Sept 2020 - 15th Sept 2020

Agatha Christie roller skating with friends in Torquay, DevonAgatha Christie DayAgatha 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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TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2019
  • Excellent
    510
  • Very Good
    223
  • Average
    29
  • Poor
    10
  • Terrible
    7

Recent Reviews:

  • Valerie S
    Salisbury, United Kingdom
    Beautiful Gardens but not that impressed with the Abbey!
    3 of 5 stars
    15th Oct 2019
    It had been upgraded into a museum with pottery exhibitions and Agatha Christie one as well. Art collections and so much to see. The guide took us around and I thought it all a bit boring. But the... Read full review
  • Helen R
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    Better than all my expectations! Well worth a visit
    5 of 5 stars
    16th Oct 2019
    I went to see Torre Abbey out of curiosity - I had heard there was an Agatha Christie exhibition on, but I wanted to see the old abbey ruins & gardens - I spent about an hour looking round outside... Read full review
  • Susie2009wdw
    Devon, United Kingdom
    Beautiful Museum and gardens.
    5 of 5 stars
    19th Oct 2019
    Lovely sunny day to visit the Torre and enjoy the gardens. Loved the massive conservatory. Was comparing the avocado tree as I’m growing one. I think I need a bigger conservatory. 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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