UK Fashion and Lifestyle Blog.

Monday, 30 April 2018

48 Hours In Torquay | South Coast Staycation

Torquay Area UK Travel Blogger Review
Just how long has it been since I shared a travel dairy here?!  Wait no, don't answer that.  As I mentioned recently, last month I found myself in Torquay for a few days, having long wanted to explore the South-West area.  I was last in Devon many years ago, when I was a child; tiddly-tot Gabs with a little blonde bob.  As a result, I associate the general area with lovely memories of jelly sandals, Babbacombe's model village and of course, plenty of ice cream.  But I've only ever dipped my toe into Torquay's dreamy blue waters and so this Springtime staycation served as the perfect opportunity to see what I've been missing out on.  Torquay is a seaside resort town on the English Channel in Devon and is referred to by many as 'The English Riviera', thanks to the marina, other beautiful settings, extensive list of things to do in the area - plus, a general European vibe that you can't quite put your finger on!
Torquay Marina in Spring 2018

T H E   H A R B O U R   &   L I V I N G   C O A S T S

Gosh, where to start?!  Before all else, I should point out just how much Torquay grew on me throughout my time in the coastal town. Upon arrival, I thought it was 'nice' and not much more.  However, fast forward a few days and it felt pretty miserable to be leaving. The longer you spend in Torquay, the more special it feels.  It has a slow-paced vibe that could only be compared with other seaside locations and/or mountain destinations (think: Ambleside in the Lake District).  Wandering past the harbour and marina will leave you wondering just which country you're in and also serves the perfect view from any of the restaurants lining the coastline.  I'll admit, I did a shocking job at sampling the local foods stemming from Torquay's history in fishing and instead opted for margherita pizza followed by a sticky toffee pudding under the beautiful high ceiling of Prezzo.  Yum! 

Right at the heart of the town is the spectacular Living Coasts, a coastal zoo and charity-venture owned by Paignton Zoo as part of the Whitely Wildlife Conservation Trust.  For anyone with a soft spot for penguins, this is for you.

Living Coasts
Torquay Harbourside
Beacon Hill
Torquay Devon Travel Blogger Guide
Torquay Living Coasts Zoo Travel Photography

T H E   I M P E R I A L   H O T E L  ,  T O R Q U A Y

Ah, the house on the hill - very Agatha Christie.  Except it's far more than just a house and is actually one of the largest buildings in the area.  Although the inside is far more beautiful than the exterior at this point.  The Victorian Hotel offers a spectacular sea view from many of its windows and is in the process of having a full refurbishment.  So, the first night was spent in a fairly unassuming room due to a booking mixup, however the second night was.. oh my gosh.  Incredible.  If you follow along with my IG stories you'll have seen the extensive corner suite I had the pleasure of staying in; one bedroom, two bathrooms, a dressing room, a long corridor stretching out to a living/dining room and two balconies.  The only reason you'd want to leave the luxurious suite is to swing by the dining room for afternoon tea - mmmm.  But that's all I'll say for now, as another blog post will be going live soon sharing a closer look inside The Imperial Hotel!

Psst!  Some rooms are yet to be refurbished.  If you choose The Imperial Hotel as your accommodation in Torquay, opt for a suite to really make the most of your stay and to ensure a luxurious experience (with stunning views!).

The Imperial Hotel
Park hill Road
The Imperial Hotel Torquay Lounge Lobby
Torquay The Imperial Hotel Afternoon Tea Review
Torquay The Imperial Hotel Afternoon Tea Blog Review

T O R R E   A B B E Y

About 6-8 minutes (by car) from the harbour and centre of town, you'll find Torre Abbey Museum.  The historic building (est. in 1196) offers an incredible amount to see and do.  In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the most interactive and genuinely interesting museums I've ever visited.  Seriously. We're all guilty of occasionally zoning out while reading facts and figures, but Torre Abbey covers history in a way that leaves you wanting more and more...

Oh and Torre Abbey also has an art gallery on site which at the time of visiting shared TATTOO: British Tattoo Art Revealed.  Regardless of whether or not you like tattoos, this is an indisputably interesting exhibition.  It takes you on a journey of the history of tattoos, dating far back in time to sailors and wealthy aristocrats before eventually catching up to modern day.  It presents over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts.  So, that's the good news.  But the great news?  The exbhition is still on until 3rd June 2018.  Enjoy! 

Torre Abbey
The King's Drive
Torquay Torre Abbey Ruins Photography
Torquay Torre Abbey Gardens and Greenhouse
Torquay Torre Abbey Greenhouse Glasshouse
We all know I love a good glasshouse.  And I've happily added another to my list thanks to Torre Abbey's gardens.  There are two in the gardens including the one shown in this post, as well as a much smaller one home to cacti (and various other spiky individuals!) at the far back of the garden. Beautifully quiet, tranquil and fresh.  The perfect viewing in between afternoon teas and harbour-gazing.  Oh, but before you go, make sure to pop into the small cafe out the front of Torre Abbey.  The dress code is very casual and the cake is very good.  My recommendation?  Opt for a slice or two of the Rocky Road!
Glasshouse Background Photoshoot Outfit
Torquay Torre Abbey Cafe Photography

K E N T S   C A V E R N S

Just incase you've ever thought I was any good at geography, before visiting I may or may not have thought these were actually in Kent. Nope, very much nestled in the sunny roads of Torquay.  For anyone looking at the below photo and nodding enthusiastically because caves are life, you're not alone.  I feel the same way, which means there's at least, uh, two of us.  The prehistoric caves are an UNESCO Global Geopark (there are 120 in the world) and are not only incredible to see, but also to learn about thanks to the thorough tour guides.  The tour lasts for about half an hour and guides you through 400 million year old rocks, stalagmites and stalactites.  Just... be sure not to join a tour with any very young children because if they start screaming it will echo, echo, echoooo.   

Kents Caverns
91 Ilsham Road
Torquay Kents Caverns Travel Blog Review

B E F O R E   Y O U   L E A V E  .  .  .

If you're wondering whether to book a staycation in Torquay, the next best option would be to arrange a day trip to the area on a beautifully warm and sunny day.  No matter your age, take a peek at nearby Babbacombe Model Village for some truly amazing sights - it's arguably the best model village throughout the UK and not to be missed!  Oh, and no trip to Devon is complete without getting tickets to Greenway Estate, Agatha Christie's former holiday home.  It's about half an hour from the harbour which makes it less accessible than most experiences, however if you happen to be passing the area on your way home, don't miss the opportunity to walk in the famous crime writer's footsteps!  Alternatively, enjoy one of the scheduled boat trips to Greenway Estate - what an entrance!

Psst!  Take a peek at my review of Agatha Christie's Holiday Home Greenway Estate before visiting for an idea of what magic to expect.
Travel Blogger Walking Through Torquay Exploring
Torquay Marina Harbour in Spring 2018I'll admit, I wasn't expecting to love Torquay as much as I did.  But isn't that often the case?  Some of my most-loved visits have been those of which started with low expectations and ended up taking my breath away!  The view from the suite's balcony overlooking the harbour is something I'm unlikely to forget anytime soon... but more on that later in an upcoming blog post, keep your eyes peeled!  In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to reading your thoughts on this travel diary.  Have you ever visited Torquay before?  What did you visit while in the area?

Liked this post?  You might also enjoy >> Instagram Guide To Cheltenham | Picture-Perfect Areas

With love,

Gabrielle x



  1. Great to know and thanks for sharing!

  2. I dind't know this lovely place but seems so interesting and nice to visit!
    Definitely a good and relaxing getaway even just for a week end!
    Beautiful photos, hun, you look adorable as usual!

  3. Torquay seems so nice. I totally understand that feeling- the more you spend in a place, the more it grows on you. Some places are like that. We just feel a special connection with them and that's that. The Imperial Hotel looks like such a great place to stay in. What a gorgeous travel post! Glad to hear you've enjoyed your stay there. You always visit the most amazing areas. Thank you for sharing this. Have a lovely day!

  4. I’ve never heard of Torquay before, it looks so beautiful and indeed relaxing. I love the ambiance of the hotel and those treats look so delish! Thanks for sharing, beautiful, and I hope you have a great week ahead!



  5. Beautiful photos! I've never been to Torquay but it looks lovely! :) xx

  6. Torquay looks lovely! The Abbey, the water - I'd probably never want to leave. Gorgeous photos lady!

  7. This looks dreamy! It amazes me how many beautiful places there are in the UK. I've never visited Devon but I'm a major fan of Cornwall so next time I'm there I'll have to venture a little along the coast :)
    Amy xx

  8. It looks like a beautiful place for a short trip. The sea, the view and of course the afternoon tea.

    Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca

  9. This is so beautiful hope you had a wonderful time. I do love how you wore nude to neutral colours for your clothing. It gives a perfect blend into your surroundings

  10. Great localization and powerful pics ♥

  11. Looks like a beautiful place to visit! Looks relaxing

  12. Looks beautiful here! I love how Torquay has so many different aspects to it: sea; caves; etc! Seems like a great trip and visit. Travel diaries are always fun to read and also very informative :)

  13. Wow looks so amazing in Torquay!! Defs want to go and visit it one day x

    Adventures in May | Miss Nev

  14. Such an amazing place! You took beautiful photos there ♥

  15. This place looks so peaceful and gorgeous. I love your style here and that food looks yummy. It is fun to travel and just get a feel of the atmosphere. :)

  16. This post is amazing! Loving all of your photos and it looks like there's so much to do in the South Coast - I'll definitely remember these for next time I visit the area!

    HEather xoxo

  17. This place is so beautiful. I love when having low expectations a certain place can grab you right away and you really fall in love with it.
    The harbor is awesome!

  18. You always visit such great places! I also love the caves hahah

  19. The harbour looks so lovely and peaceful, I love travel diary posts! We actually have a place called Torquay in Victoria (Australia) as well, except it looks super different to this!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  20. Such a great post! I love Torquay and have been there a couple of times myself. The hotel looks lovely. Have a great week.

    Gemma x

  21. WOW, the harbour looks so scenic, and calming. I've heard so much about Torquay, and after reading this post, it, for sure is going on my list!

  22. How incred does this place look. I am forever lusting after your hair x

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty 

  23. This place is so pretty, I feel like I would need a month or two to take lots of photos and feel like I can't do more :D

  24. Your posts are always so interesting and funny to read! I've never been in Britain before but this place is really beautiful! The hotel is a dream and the places to visit are not lacking, the caves would be the first place that I would visit!
    Wait for the post dedicated to the hotel!

  25. Oh this place looks amazing!

    x Lisa |

  26. Oh this place looks so lovely! Always fun when you end up discovering that a place is so much better than what you first thought. Hahah I don't know how many times in my life I haven't realized until afterwards that a place was really good and that I miss it. Anyways, have a lovely May! Xx

  27. Torquay looks like such a dreamy destination for a staycation! You always find the most charming places to visit Gabrielle! And don't you just love it when a place exceeds your expectations :)

  28. I know of Torquay because of Agatha Christie. It looks like a neat and cosy place. I wouldn't mind visiting one day.


  29. Those pictures are so stunning and you are soooo pretty! You look like Barbie!
    Would you like to follow each other? :D

  30. Lovely! I'd love to visit this side of Englad, the landscape looks beautiful and i'm so intrigued by Torre Abbey and its museum! The way you described it made it so fascinating. That afternoon tea looks extremely yummy, like I'm literally hungry now, those pastries seem delicious!

  31. Sounds like a great place to visit and relax. I remembered the same feeling when I first Redang Island, Malaysia. When I first arrived I felt okay, it's an island with nothing much to do other than snorkelling and diving but by the third day, I didn't want to leave, I want to stay forever. Something about the laidback vibe that made me forget the world.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  32. love your all black look hon x - you look lovely

  33. Amazing place and stunning photography! :)

  34. Hello,

    So amazing !


  35. Great photos and that place looks amazing :)

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

  36. Firstly, I love Agatha Christie, thanks to my mum. These images are gorgeous and I love harbour shots. Your Torquay staycation just makes me wish for the weekend in the countryside and to do away with this weekday city-life business, lol. :)
    Have a lovely week Gabrielle. x

  37. What a fantastic getaway!
    Love a good Travel Diary - I'm working on right now for a long weekend we did in Tofino in Canada. It was magical. It's fun to take photos during a getaway like this. I love how you captured it!


  38. We definitely know the feeling of falling for those cute coastal towns with SO much personality and charm. After traveling in Italy, we realized how perfect those spots really are. I love how many different things you can experience in one location here! And of course, I would be ALL over the penguin spot. I am a sucker for the cute fuzzy animals :). So glad you enjoyed yourself here. Finding special spots unexpectedly is the best experience!

    Susie |

  39. Magical place. Oh my those sweets I want them all and you look stunning as always. xoxo Cris

  40. This place looks incredible to visit
    I love all the photos Gab and you look wonderful as always

    Much Love, Jane | The Bandwagon Chic
    New Vlog Entry!

  41. Like always you look stunning and elegant- I like so much this part of UK - I have been there couple of years ago. So lovely pictures of those all interesting places there xx

  42. I've never been but after seeing your pictures I must go! Also, what an amazing looking afternoon tea - yum!!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

  43. This looks amazing, never been here before, but I'd definitely go!! Love the pictures x

  44. WOW! Amazing photos!
    Lovely :)

  45. Ah Torquay looks so lovely, it really is the english riviera! Glad you had a great time on your staycation, Gabrielle :)

  46. It looks like such a lovely place to stay - and I'm loving the tropical plants, it looks like you said like it could be outside of the UK and somewhere else entirely! :) Thanks for sharing!

    Hope you are having a lovely week so far :) We have got some autumn weather here at last so I'm excited I've gotten to layer up a little!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  47. Wow these are beautiful pictures!!
    xx- Nina

  48. Torquay is such a gorgeous place, I loved when I visited!!! You look stunning Gabrielle <3

    Serene xo


  49. Such a pretty place- loving all the palms! This totally doesn't feel like the UK!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  50. I haven't visit Torquay before, but looking at your photos, its now on my list of places to visit in the UK. Love it!! You look beautiful. Love your sunglasses. Chic!

  51. You had me sold the moment you mentioned the penguins! The beautiful palms, greens & sea had me hooked but I am ready to pack my bags and leave right now for the penguins! I am hearing of Torquay for the first time but it seems like a great place to relax and unwind! Reminds me of my solo trip to a few slow hilly cities, I realized how much I loved the place a day before leaving, till this day I wonder how it will be to spend a life there!
    And my decor lover soul is looking forward to your next post covering Imperial Hotel!
    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
    Ankita | Real Girl Talks

  52. Hello Gabrielle
    I loved to know Torquay and to know that it is the English Riviera. I loved your photos in the garden. The hotel seems to be very charming.


  53. Wow it's so beautiful! I never visited but I would love to. :) Stunning photos.
    The Fancy Cats | Japan Candy Box Giveaway

  54. Beautiful photos as always! Torquay always looks amazing!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

  55. Such beautiful photo's! I love Devon!
    P xx

  56. Torre Abbey sounds great! I love traditional museums, but I also really enjoy when there's a lot of interactive features to make the most of your visit. Torquay looks like a great place for a long-weekend getaway, especially when the sun is out - the harbour must look even more European then!

    Julia x

  57. Gorgeous photos you have here dear (as always). Loving your over-the-knee boots too, so perfect for your long legs!

    Jessica |


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