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The Classic English Riviera - Torquay

The Classic English Riviera - Torquay

A 7 day visit to this stylish resort with real continental atmosphere.


A 7 day visit to this stylish resort with real continental atmosphere.


Torquay is often referred to as the 'Queen of the Riviera', and it is here the Riviera ideal really comes to life. As the jewel in the crown of the English Riviera, Torquay has a real cosmopolitan vibe and sipping a cool drink on a long, hot summer's day, it's possible to imagine yourself a thousand miles away. For centuries a popular destination for coastal holidays, Torquay was the birthplace and home of internationally- renowned crime writer Agatha Christie, and is steeped in history, from the awe-inspiring caves of Kent Caverns to the World War II slipways at Beacon Quay. With so much culture, history and an amazing nine beaches to choose from, Devon's Torquay really is the perfect place to relax on holiday. The town is famed for its situation among seven green hills, from where grand Victorian villas and terraces gaze out to sea. Palm-lined promenades lead to the lively harbourside and marina, where pavement cafes and boutique shops abound, in addition to a range of top class restaurants.



Situated in the south west of England, right in the very heart of Devon, Dartmoor is a landscape of stunning views, awe inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces. Protected by National Park status as Dartmoor National Park, it covers 368 square miles. The highest point is High Willhays, 2,037 ft above sea level. The entire area is rich in antiquities and archaeology.


The village of Widecombe lies within the beautiful valley of the East Webburn river (stream!). Its name is thought to derive from 'Withy-combe' which means Willow Valley. The village is world-famous for its fair, held annually in September, which gave rise to the well-known folk song 'Widecombe Fair' and the characters of Uncle Tom Cobley and All.

Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey forms part of an active Benedictine monastery at Buckfast, near Buckfastleigh. The monks of Buckfast welcome visitors to their famous abbey. At Buckfast, visitors can see the great Abbey church with its many art treasures, rebuilt on its medieval foundations by the monks themselves. The Abbey church, grounds, and other facilities are open throughout the year, including 3 unusual shops selling Abbey products, an excellent restaurant, exhibition and video.



Totnes is a very special and unique market town in the heart of beautiful South Devon. Today, the town, with its population of 7,500 is a thriving centre for music, art, theatre and natural health. It has a sizeable alternative and 'New Age' community and is known as a place where one can live a bohemian lifestyle.



Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, Exeter’s history is rich and long. This is reflected in its fascinating visitor attractions including its unique Underground Passages, free Red Coat Guided Tours, magnificent Cathedral, imposing Roman wall and beautiful Quayside. Exeter is also home to the award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum where visitors can explore the city’s 2,000-year history under one roof! The diverse mix of eateries means it is renowned as one of the foodie capitals of the South West. Head to the West Quarter or the cobbled Gandy Street to discover great mix of independent shops and boutiques, cafes and bars.

Powderham Castle

Powderham Castle is the family home of the 19th Earl & Countess of Devon. It was originally built by Sir Philip Courtenay in 1391 and despite undergoing many transformations since surviving the ravages of the civil war in the 17th century, it has remained in the same family. Entertaining guided tours bring the fascinating history to life, you will find them engaging whatever your age. Discover secret doors, stunning architecture and even a haunted landing. We would advise you to allow at least 3 hours for your visit so you can take time to explore the many acres of gardens and grounds. The Walled Garden is home the friendly Powderham pets, including Tessa the tortoise and Harry the donkey, and is a safe haven for little visitors. Relax in the peaceful surroundings, from the beautiful Rose Garden, overlooking the deer park and Exe estuary to the Woodland Garden, with its stunning collection of trees.



Exmouth is a lively town, situated on the east coast of Devon, where the River Exe meets the sea. The town offers a diverse selection of shops, places to eat and things to do.

River Exe Cruise

Sailing throughout the year on calm and sheltered waters, this trip is suitable for the everyone. Sailing from Exmouth your Skipper will give you a live commentary on the history of the area, the beautiful sights and the resident and visiting wildlife. As a designated RAMSAR site, the Exe is one of the top rivers in the country for wildlife and is a feeding ground for several seals, you maybe lucky enough to see the resident seal on your trip. This trip is suitable for manual wheelchair users and persons with reduced mobility.



Sidmouth is situated on the south coast of Devon 15 miles southeast of Exeter and is a gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Sidmouth has a population of about 15,000, of whom 60% are over 65. Sidmouth Folk Week is a famous annual folk festival in early August attracting musicians and visitors from around the world. A large part of the town has been designated a conservation area. Like many such settlements, it was originally a fishing village. Although attempts have been made to construct a harbour, none has succeeded. A lack of shelter in the bay prevented growth as a port. Sidmouth remained a village until the fashion for coastal resorts grew in the Georgian and Victorian periods of the 18th and 19th centuries. The numerous fine Georgian and Regency villas and mansions are now mostly hotels.



Brixham is a beautiful harbourside town on South Devon’s English Riviera. Life here has always centred around the harbour, where heritage trawlers jostle for space with day boats heading out to sea for the day’s catch, bringing it home daily to Brixham’s famous Fish Market. Here, in the heart of England’s Seafood Coast, the freshest fish and most delicious seafood is on the menu everywhere. Originally a Saxon settlement, Brixham was the landing place of William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution, and many of the town’s inhabitants, who are descendants of the Dutch army, have Dutch surnames. Many of the street names in Brixham reflect the town’s history, with some also bearing Dutch influences.


Situated on the banks of the picturesque River Dart, Dartmouth is the perfect year round destination. If it’s food you love, there is no better place to immerse yourself in Devon’s local produce than Dartmouth, from seafood to beef, ice-cream to fudge, Dartmouth is a food lovers paradise. With an eclectic mix of specialist shops and big high street names, in a charming and historic setting, the town is a popular destination with all kinds of shoppers. There are many independent locally owned boutiques in Dartmouth that are just ‘not on the high street’ in any other area of the UK, all selling one of a kind items that make Dartmouth that extra bit special. And what shopping trip would be complete without stopping in one of the café’s for tea, coffee, or even an afternoon tea!

Day 1

We travel south via the M6 and M5 motorways to Torquay, stops will be made en-route for coffee and lunch. We are due to arrive at our hotel, The Howden Court in time for dinner in the hotel.


Day 2

A full day tour of the Dartmoor National Park with its heather clad moorland, deep wooded gorges and open landscapes. Picture postcard villages such as Princetown and Widecombe-in-the-Moor are in a land of folklore, myth and legends. We call at Buckfast Abbey on our return to Babbacombe, here you can visit the working monastery nestled in the shadow of Dartmoor, in a beautiful wooded valley beside the River Dart. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 3

Morning visit to the beautiful small market town of Totnes, time at leisure to browse the narrow streets. We return to Torquay after lunch for the afternoon at leisure. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

Free day to explore Torquay.

B, D

Day 5

Morning visit to the city of Exeter, visit the famous cathedral or shop in Devon’s premier city. After lunch we head to Powderham Castle for an included visit to the historic home of the Earl of Devon. Dinner in the hotel this evening.

B, D

Day 6

This morning we head to Exmouth, here we have a relaxing circular cruise on the River Exe with commentary on the sights, history and wildlife of the surrounding area we also include a cream tea. In the afternoon we visit the stylish regency resort of Sidmouth, situated on the Jurassic coast, Englands first natural world heritage site, Sidmouth is a town caught in a timeless charm. Final dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 7

Sadly after breakfast we must leave Torquay and our hosts at the Howden Court Hotel for the return journey to Cumbria. Coffee and lunch stops will be made en-route and we are due to arrive home early evening.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Howden Court Hotel


Built in 1860 Howden Court Hotel is a period Grade II listed property and retains many of the architectural features of the day. This famiy run hotel is located in the centre of Torquay and has a 3/4 acre garden with access via 'Croft Meadow Walk', a private pathway, to Torquay Seafront and Harbour. 


Howden Court has won TripAdvisor's 'Certificate of Excellence' for the last 7 consecutive years which gained them a spot in the TripAdvisor 'Hall Of Fame' for 2019.


The hotel has 30 guest bedrooms; 8 of which have ‘Wet Room’ facilities. All bedrooms are tastefully decorated en-suites and provide beverage making facilities, colour TV and hairdryers. There are 4 bedrooms located on the ground floor, one of which is disabled friendly i.e. wheel chair users are able to utilize the 'walk-in' shower room. 


Lift available on bottom, ground and first floor level.


Breakfast and dinner are served in the dining room and for evening meals there is full waitress/waiter service. Menus are changed daily; why not try one of the chef's 'Special' desserts. Guests with special dietary requirements are catered for. The hotel also has a lively bar with dance floor, live entertainment, bingo and quizzes in the evenings & a comfortable lounge to relax after dinner.


There is free WiFi available in the reception, lounge, bar and some guest bedrooms; just ask at reception for the password. 


Note that the hotel reception, lounge, bar, dining room and garden are all on ground level - no steps!

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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