Torquay’s main beach has a great setting, flanked by cliffs and Torquay Marina on one side, with views across the bay to the other. It sits in front of Torre Abbey and Abbey Park to complete the vista.
Torre Abbey was built in the late 12th Century and has recently been restored to its former glory. It is now one of the bay’s most popular visitor attractions as well as hosting weddings, private functions and art exhibitions in The Spanish Barn where works by Anthony Gormley and Damien Hirst have exhibited. There is a large grass area and landscaped gardens leading down to the beach which are ideal for picnics if sand is not your thing. The gardens are also home to a new addition – the Hi-Flyer hot air balloon which offers stunning aerial views across the English Riviera.
The beach is framed on the one side by Rock Walk which towers over the beach and the Princess Theatre on the waterfront. Further around you will find Torquay Harbour and Marina where boat trips can be taken across the bay.
So Torre Abbey Sands is very much at the hub of Torquay with lots going on around it.
Access to the beach
Because of it’s central location, access to Torre Abbey Sands is good. There is very limited free parking on the beach front road, though this is the main road around to Paignton, so can be busy. Check the parking time and duration restrictions carefully. There is also a large pay and display car park less than five minutes walk away. Either way it’s probably one of the best beaches in the bay for access.
On the beach
Torre Abbey Sands is a nice sandy beach which slopes gently into the sea. The amount of beach varies greatly with the tide coming and going and is backed by stepped stone sea defences which make handy seats to enjoy and ice-cream on from the small kiosk. There are toilets at one end of the beach on the promenade and seasonal lifeguards who also hire out deckchairs.