Torbay Towns Villages

Nearby towns all have their own individual characters and together with delightful gardens and stunning coastal walks or cycling routes they all make for an ideal day out. There are treasured memories to be made, every beach and town is different, many are easily accessible via public transport or more excitingly via steam train, pleasure boat, ferry or open top bus. All are enjoyed at their best at the usual pace in Devon - leisurely!

Brixham Harbour
Slapton Sands

These two small villages on the edge of town have much to offer people of all ages and provide a unique experience that is enjoyed by all. If you are looking for somewhere to discover when holidaying in the English Riviera, they offer a delightful alternative to Torquay town centre, with beautiful gardens, independent shops, a wide range of tea rooms and restaurants with stunning sea views and a number of local attractions.

Babbacombe - Visit South Devon

Cockington Court is set within an award-winning country park, just a mile from the seafront and a stone's throw from the chocolate box village of Cockington, offering the perfect environment for small creative craftspeople.


The businesses offer a diverse mix of craft specialisms.  To fit with the ethos of the site, the studios are designed to include stop front as well as a 'making area', where businesses demonstrate their specialist skills to visitors.


The onsite shop is full of gifts, arts, and crafts from local makers, as the site as a whole is a regional crentre for promoting hand crafted quality local arts and crafts.


Explore Cockington in Devon - Visit English Riviera

Famous for its long, sandy beaches, paddler-friendly waters and colourful bustling pier, Paignton remains a popular, traditional seaside resort.

Explore Paignton in Devon - Visit The English Riviera

Brixham is one of the area's main fishing ports, lines with seafood restaurants, pubs and gift shops, plus a market selling local catch.  Take some time to walk around the harbour and explore the local history.

There is a replica of The Golden Hind, the ship Sir Francis Drake used on his voyages around the world from Plymouth.  Explore the Ship that was home to Drake and his crew of seventy men.  Experience the sights, sounds and smells of life aboard a Tudor ship.  Feel the romance of the seas in the great age of sail.


A bustling small town on the River Dart with a variety of small shops specialising in local crafts and produce.  It has some lovely old buildings and a unique Saxon Castle to visit.  The town quay is home to some lovely bars and cafes, you can get a river tip down the river to Dartmouth.

Dartmouth to Totnes River Cruise | Dartmouth Steam Railway (

For rail enthusiasts, the South Devon Railway runs steam trains to Buckfastleigh, stopping at Staverton Station mid-route.  The line stretches for 7 miles, passing through spectacular countryside along the supper reaches of the Dart Valley.

Welcome to the South Devon Railway

The Dartington Centre (known as the Cider Press Centre) is a few miles out of Totnes on the road towards Buckfastleigh.  It is a collection of shops, cafes and restaurants in the old Cider Press selling a wide variety of local goods and also an outlet for Dartington glassware.  It is near to Dartington Hall, a centre for the Performing Arts, great for lunch or an arts performance.  The grounds are beautiful with some original Henry Moore sculptures.

Dartington Trust

Famous for both its nautical and engineering importance, Dartmouth is a town full of culture, history, and heritage, from castles to forts, ancient buildings and museums.

Dartmouth dates back as far as 1147, and over the centuries has manages to retain many of its original features.  Wandering through the streets of Dartmouth you will see an eclectic mix of architecture amongst the buildings and streets, many dating back to the 16th century.

Castles, forts and even links to the Mayflower and founding fathers of America, Dartmouth's nautical heritage is impressive.

Even today Dartmouth is of nautical strategic importance and is home to the Britannia Royal Naval College.  All accessible to visitors, spend a day exploring the historical buildings and places of Dartmouth.

There are two ferries across the River Dart, both transporting cars and passengers.  The Upper Ferry links the town centre with the road to Paignton and Brixham, whilst the Lower Ferry links the old town with the village of Kingswear and the station for the Dartmouth to Paignton Steam Railway.  There is also a passenger ferry down the river to Dartmouth Castle, an English heritage site that is well worth a visit.  For those who can remember, the BBC series 'The Onedin Line' was filmed on location at Dartmouth harbourside.

Visit Dartmouth - The Official Visitor Centre Information Website

The historic and vibrant waterfront city of Plymouth is where a spirited maritime heritage meets a lively cultural scene which can be enjoyed by people of all ages throughout the year. Plymouth has the largest regional shopping centre at its heart with a wide range of independent and brand shops for all tastes. A well laid out series of shopping districts, department stores and indoor malls and markets are well served by transport and car parks leaving you free to wander on foot from area to area.

Visit Plymouth | Holidays in Plymouth UK | Official Tourist Board

Exeter is unrivalled in the region for the choice of things to do, whatever the weather, night or day.  Explore the city's many attractions all within close walking distance of each other.

Exeter's Cathedral is a magnificent example of gothic architecture.  Explore the history of the city on a daily free Red Coat Guided Tour, starting from outside the West Front of the Cathedral.  During sunny days, the Cathedral Greed is a mecca for people wishing to spend their lunch break soaking up the sun and enjoying the views.

As must-visit is the award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery.  Enjoy stunning displays and prestigious loans and exhibitions from national partners.  Experience the splendour of the original Victorian spaces, see newly revealed architectural features and discover new spaces.

Explore beneath Exeter's streets at Exeter's Underground Passages, a network of subterranean passages which can be explored on a guided tour, the only attraction of their type in the UK and designated a unique ancient monument.

Exeter's Historic Quayside is located about 15 minutes' walk from the city centre.  It is one of the most interesting and picturesque areas of the city, with a fascinating history, interesting architecture, lively events and waterside pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Exeter's compact size makes it great for shopping, with big High Street names and a wealth of independents all within easy walking distance of each other, interspersed with lots of choice of places to eat and drink.

Just outside of Exeter is the quaint, historic port of Topsham, a town that is easily reached by public transport or by bike.  The estuary town has many stunning views to take in like the one from the famous Goat Walk or along the estuary watching the boats and paddleboarders.  It is also renowned for its independent shops and restaurants.

Visit Exeter

Home of the famous black swans, Dawlish is a traditional seaside town, with a wonderful golden sand beach on its doorstep.  The town offers a range of amusements and is centred around The Lawn and Brook.  Just a few miles down the road is Dawlish Warren, a beautiful nature reserve with a blue flag beach.  Dawlish is a great family holiday destination, with a long sandy beach which is perfect for summer day swimming, exploring rock pools or sandcastle building.  Dawlish is easily accessible by road or on the train from Torquay.

The next station up the line is Starcross, a small village which is home to the original Brunel Atmospheric Railway pumping station (although the museum no longer exists, and the building is used by the local yacht club).  If you want to cross the estuary to Exmouth, there is a passenger ferry operating close by the Train Station.  Further up th Exe estuary is Powderham Castle, a lovely grand house set in beautiful grounds.  It is the historic seat of the Earl of Devon, and a guided tour is well worth enjoying.  There is also a fine farm food shop, restaurant, and garden centre on the estate with views over the estuary.

Dawlish - Visit South Devon

Starcross - Visit South Devon

Home - Powderham Castle

Still very much a working port town, Teignmouth is easily accessible by train or car from Torquay and gives the opportunity for a lovely stroll along the sea wall with cafes and the beach allowing plenty of places to relax.  You can visit the pier and look across the estuary to Shaldon and The Ness beach.  Teignmouth's Back Beach is home to some traditional pubs and seafood restaurants.  If you have time take the passenger ferry across to Shaldon, possibly the oldest working ferry in the country with its history dating back to 1296.

Teignmouth to Shaldon Historic Passenger Ferry | Britains Oldest Passenger Ferry Between Teignmouth & Shaldon Beach

Going up the Teign estuary, you will come to the village of Bishopsteignton, with its famous Old Walls Vineyard and Winery.  Immerse yourself in the traditional art of fine wine making with the guided vineyard tours.  From the history of the vines to the equipment and techniques of wine-making artistry, discover how Old Walls produces wine and taste the end products.

Old Walls Vineyard

Going further down the coast from Dartmouth, Slapton Sands is a long shingle beach with breathtaking views across the English Channel.  There is also an inland lake behind the beach containing many types of fish and birdlife.  This was the site of the practice D-Day landings during the Second World War and a tank that was retrieved from the sea now stands close by.


From Slapton you can drive further to the towns of Kingsbridge and Salcombe, both on the Kindsbridge estuary.  The towns have a fine selection of local shops, places to eat and drink, and give the opportunity to explore Devon's most southernly point.  Take some time to absorb the beauty and diversity that is part of the county has to offer.  Whether you wish to enjoy a cycle ride and bird watching along one of the riverbanks, take a short walk along the rugged and dramatic coastline or just enjoy the views of the Devonshire countryside as you amble through the lanes to one of the many quaint village pubs, this part of the region has plenty on offer.

Slapton Sands and Torcross Beach - Visit South Devon

Kingsbridge - Visit South Devon

Visiting Salcombe (