Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves
Torbay’s Jurassic Coast has been designated a Unesco Global Geopark which means it is a landscape of international geological significance. Torquay has its very own prehistoric stone age cave, Kents Cavern. Described as one of Europe’s top Stone Age caves, it was once the home of prehistoric man, hyenas and cave bears. It is open every day of the year except Christmas Day and tours run frequently throughout the day and last about 1 hour.
Kents Cavern is 1.5 miles away from Vane Tower so is within walking distance. There is a car park (which charges) or free street parking nearby. Use TQ1 2JF for your sat nav or follow the brown signs. For information click on the link below:
You could spend hours in this small yet perfectly formed museum which boasts Devon’s only Egyptian mummy, a Narwhal horn and a Japanese Man Kite among other unusual exhibits. There is an Agatha Christie exhibition and a gallery devoted to the incredible journeys made by famous Torquay explorers from Antarctic to Brazil. Suitable for all ages with its own tea room.
The museum is on the Babbacombe Road and is 4 mins by car or around 11 minutes on foot. For more information click on the link below:
Founded in 1196 as a monastery, Torre Abbey is an historic building and art gallery which is well worth a visit and is said to have three ghosts. In the grounds is the Spanish Barn where 397 Spanish crew members were incarcerated for two weeks after being captured by Sir Francis Drake. The museum hosts regular exhibitions and has interesting gardens including glasshouses, a Medieval Garden and a Potent Plants Garden. www.torre-abbey.org.uk/plan-your-visit/
Cockington Court Craft Centre
This historic manor house has more than 20 craft studios including a glass blowing studio, chocolate making and a working blacksmith. The centre is set in a beautiful country park and has tea rooms, gardens, an art gallery and a children’s play area as well as the beautiful little Cockington Church which has some fascinating objects including a pulpit salvaged from a Spanish galleon wrecked during the Spanish Armada. Make sure you take change for the public car parks if you intend to drive.
At the bottom of the hill below Vane Tower is a netted enclosure which is Living Coasts, part of Paignton Zoo and home to marine birds and animals including otters and a fur seal.
A great little zoo with more than 2000 animals, it is open every day except for Christmas Day. Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 7EU.
Splashdown Quaywest Waterpark
Open from April to September, Splashdown has the highest fastest flume in the UK – a 65ft near vertical drop. It gets very busy so arrive early. There is a beautiful sandy beach nearby with shallow water that is ideal for children. Goodrington Sands, Tanners Road, Paignton TQ4 6LN
This lovely city is just half an hour away by car or train and has several attractions that are good for a rainy day:
Exeter’s Underground Passages – 2 Paris Street, Exeter EX1 1GA. A guided tour of Exeter’s underground passages which were built in Medieval times to house the pipes that carried clean drinking water. These tours are popular so pre booking is essential:
Princesshay Shopping Centre – lots of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Exeter Cathedral – One of England’s most beautiful medieval cathedrals with breath-taking Gothic architecture. There is a charge to enter unless you are visiting to pray or attend a service.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery – RAMM
A free, award-winning museum in Queen Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3RX
Converted warehouses with antique shops and cafes next to the river plus a whole range of activites including Clip n Climb, watersports, cycling and cruises.