The English Riviera, South Devon

The English Riviera, South Devon
  • Major UK holiday destination. Easily accessible by train or car and, in parts, exquisite. Running north to south, the English Riviera covers Babbacombe, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Essential UK visiting
  • Rammed with top visitor attractions from Paignton Zoo to Living Coasts, Dartmouth Steam Railway to the Golden Hind
  • Tor Bay lined with beautiful beaches. Top coastal walking and watersports
  • Great for boat trips and ferry rides
  • Remarkable natural beauty, history, culture and geology. Highlights include Berry Head, Kents Cavern and Torre Abbey. Home to the world's first urban Geopark
  • Main photo: Torquay Harbour. Boat and ferry trips run between the major English Riviera destinations and beyond


To help you explore The English Riviera, we've listed some of the best destinations located within the area.



Babbacombe is located at the northern end of The English Riviera and overlooks Babbacombe Bay. This area of the bay has a couple of great beaches. Visit Babbacombe Beach and Harbour and Oddicombe Beach. The South West Coast Path runs around the back of Babbacombe Beach and Harbour so you can walk between the two.

Babbacombe Model Village is a major South Devon visitor attraction. The miniature models are superb.

Babbacombe Cliff Railway is near Babbacombe Model Village and runs between Babbacombe Downs and Oddicombe Beach.

Head into the centre of Babbacombe to visit Bygones.

Alternatively, walk the Babbacombe South West Coast Path Walk north or east/south of Babbacombe. It's impressive walking in both directions.

Cary Arms & Spa is located by Babbacombe Beach and Harbour. It's one of the best pub locations in South Devon.



Torbay/Tor Bay. On sunny days, this big arc of coastline running from Hope's Nose in the north down to Berry Head in the south is remarkable and deserves the title The English Riviera. The section of coastline east of Torbay to Hope's Nose is wonderful. The views from the towering cliffs of Berry Head are huge.

Start at Torquay Harbour and Torquay Princess Pier.

Enjoy the Torquay Ferries and Boat Trips.

Living Coasts is a top family attraction by the harbour.

Head into town to visit Torre Abbey.

If history and culture are of interest, we'd also recommend Torquay Museum.

Away from the busy centre of town is the unmissable Kents Cavern.

Given the natural beauty of the area, we'd also recommend a Torquay South West Coast Path Walk.



One of Devon's most photographed villages is located on the outskirts of Torquay.

Cockington Country Park is a great day out and includes Cockington Court and Craft Centre.



Paignton Pier. The coast a Paignton is lined with a vast red sand beach.

Paignton Beach juts out into the sea from the lower section of the beach.

Paignton Harbour is located at the southern end of Paignton Beach.

Enjoy Paignton Ferries and Boat Trips.

Take a steam railway trip from Paignton to Kingswear/Dartmouth on the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

Paignton Zoo is situated on the outskirts of Paignton. It's a brilliant day out.



Goodrington Sands (Beach) is another big red sand beach just south of Paignton and Paignton Harbour.

Splashdown Quaywest waterpark is behind the beach.

Broadsands Beach is a very popular family beach and great for watersports.



Brixham sits at the southern end of The English Riviera and Torbay/Tor Bay. It's one of our favourite places in South West England.

Start at Brixham Inner Harbour. Visit the Golden Hind.

Take Brixham Ferries and Boat Trips from the inner harbour.

Follow the quays of the inner harbour to Brixham Marina and Outer Harbour.

Walk Brixham Breakwater and Lighthouse.

Relax on Brixham Breakwater Beach.

We'd recommed walking to Berry Head.

See our Brixham South West Coast Path Walk listing for detail.