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A seaside resort since Victorian times – and, famously, the setting for Basil Fawlty's fictional hotel in Fawlty Towers – Torquay remains a classic destination for the good, old-fashioned British summer getaway. Rather fancifully billing itself as the heart of the 'English Riviera', a reference to its palm-lined seafront and russet-red cliffs, it's a curious mix: as popular as ever with coach tours, sun-seeking families and stag- and hen parties, but with a fresh smattering of fine-dining restaurants and boutique B&Bs that indicate the town might be sloughing off its old image in favour of something a bit more classy. And in fact, it's the sprawling, bargain-basement resort of Paignton 3 miles south that's in more dire need of an image overhaul.

Regardless, there's plenty to see and do: a bizarre model village, a cliff railway, Agatha Christie connections and a bevy of impressive beaches.

Explore Torquay

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Torquay.


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