Buckfastleigh Butterfly Farm and Otter Sanctuary
Adjacent to the South Devon Railway station this is popular with children and a good rainy day attraction. Walk through the butterfly house and the butterflies might actually land on you. Watch the otters play and being fed.
South Devon Railway
From Totnes you can walk upstream from the old town bridge and you will reach the South Devon Railway station at Littlehempston. From here you can take a steam train up the Dart Valley to Buckfastleigh. The train runs alongside the river for most of its journey.
An attractive market town and the first bridge across the River Dart. The main street leads uphill from the river and has some fine Elizabethan buildings and some interesting shops. There are relatively few of the big high street chains represented here and the majority of the shops are local traders. Smart restaurants and bistros down by the riverside but lots of nice old-fashioned tea rooms.
Famous for the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth is a beautiful town on the estuary of the River Dart. Walk out to Dartmouth Castle (or you can take the ferry) or just browse around the local shops. There are some excellent (if expensive) restaurants. Walk to Bayards Cove and have a drink in the Dartmouth Arms or try the Cherub pub at little further up the hill.
From Dartmouth you can take a variety of boat trips up the River Dart ranging from a one hour non-landing cruise to a full trip up the full length of the navigable estuary to Totnes. You can also get a ferry to Dittisham (the locals pronounce it Dit’sum) where you can visit Greenway House or have lunch in the Ferry Boat Inn pub.
Many visitors take the “Round-Robin” package offered by the ferry companies which combines a train ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Paignton to Dartmouth, a river cruise from Dartmouth to Totnes and then an open top bus return to Paignton. You can do the trip in either direction depending on the state of the tides. This is a good way to see a lot if you are only in the area a short time but both Dartmouth and Totnes deserve a little more time to explore than the schedules allow!
Cockington Village and Country Park
Walk through water meadows from Torquay sea-front and be transported to a village of yesteryear. Thatched cottages abound with quaint tea rooms, a working watermill and craft shops in Cockington Court. Laze in the park and watch the locals play cricket or take a horse and trap from the village for a ride around the lakes and up to the manor house. Have a drink or lunch in the Drum Inn , designed by Edward Lutyens. Something for everyone of all ages!
Bygones at Babbacombe
An eclectic display of memorabilia from times gone by (including a full size railway steam engine!) housed in an old cinema. A great rainy day attraction but worth a visit irrespective of the weather!
Babbacombe Model Village
Visitors of all ages will love this but especially the kids. In midsummer try going at dusk when all the buildings are lit up!
Highly recommended. They are very involved in the conservation of endangered species. Set in a sheltered valley it is a good place for a windy day when sitting on the beach is a non-starter. If the children get bored with the animals there is a miniature railway and numerous play areas to amuse them.
The country home of Agatha Christie. If you are an Agatha Christie fan this is unmissable! Personally we think the interior of the house itself is disappointing but the grounds and the views back towards Dartmouth are stunning. It is very popular in the summer and admission is by timed ticket so you are recommended to book in advance if you want to see inside the house.
A beautiful house built in the 1920’s and the country retreat of the D’Oyly Carte family of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. An example of the arts and craft style. Look for the beautiful Lalique glass lights in the dining room. Walk in the beautiful gardens down to Pudcombe Cove. The house has a nice restaurant and tea room. The approach by road is not for the faint hearted – narrow country lanes but the drive is ultimately worth it! Alternatively you can walk there from Kingswear but stout boots are required!
It would be impossible to describe all the attractions on offer in Torbay. For full details see http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/english-riviera-attractions