With the palm trees and beaches, you might think that the English Riviera is a summer destination but with its host of hotels, attractions and more it is a great place to visit whatever the season. This region of Devon has its own micro climate -  so it is relatively warm all year around and with the tropical looking trees, you can easily trick yourself into thinking you’re somewhere more exotic.

The English Riviera has been a much loved tourist resort since the Victorian times and continues to offer quintessential British seaside holidays, in the autumn months, you’ll find the summer rush is over leaving a much quieter and more peaceful place to explore at your leisure. So, if you fancy a trip to this popular area of Devon this autumn, here are some suggestions for places to stay and things to do.

Consisting of Paignton, Torquay, Brixham, Cockington, Babbington and all the places in between, there are plenty of things to see and do this autumn in the English Riviera.

This year Paignton Zoo is celebrating its 100th birthday and to celebrate there will be a host of special events and activities taking place and a visit during the autumn months will give you lots more time to leisurely make your way around the zoo. With everything from baboons to crocodiles and exotic plants to discover in the botanical gardens, there is never a dull moment at Paignton Zoo!

a group of lemurs at paignton zoo
Image: Paignton Zoo 

Or why not indulge in some history by following the Agatha Christie Mile? This route around Torquay is a great way to see the sights of the town and gives you a chance to learn more about the Queen of Crime herself. She was actually born in Torquay and has connections to several places around town, you can even find a bust of her in the harbour! Another area of Torquay that celebrates Agatha Christie is Torre Abbey. As Torbay’s most historic building, Torre Abbey is a must visit while in the English Riviera. The 18 acres of stunning gardens and parkland are reason enough, especially the secret walled garden here you can find the Potent Plants display, but the abbey itself is also well worth exploring. It is in fact the best preserved medieval abbey in this part of England and was a family home for nearly 300 years. Today it is home to a host of fun activities and events.

While you’re in Torquay you can always indulge in some retail therapy at Fleet Walk Shopping centre. Located in the heart of Torquay Town Centre and with the iconic harbourside as a backdrop, there are fewer places better to exercise your credit cards. With amazing food and drink, as well as high street shops you can easily while away the hours here.

If you want to enjoy something a little more unusual, come be a giant for the day at Babbacombe Model Village. Not far from Torquay and within the lovely area of Babbacombe which is delightful and well worth a walk round, you’ll find Babbacombe Model Village, which is also celebrating a big birthday this year. The model village is famous for being one of the best of its kind in Europe and along with the gardens and crazy golf course, provides fun for the whole family.

Now you have a couple of suggestions for places to visit in the English Riviera, here are a couple of places to stay for those of you wanting to stay a little longer. With a host of hotels, B&Bs, holiday parks and campsites, as well as private cottages, there is a property for everyone here. Whether you want luxury, something cosy or somewhere with a host of facilities, you can find a home from home that will suit you.

As we’ve said, Babbacombe is a picturesque place and well worth a visit, especially to the bay which is often quieter than some of the region’s larger beaches. Right on the beach is the Cary Arms & Spa, a cute boutique hotel overlooking the bay and providing incredible views across the bay and towards the Jurassic Coast. Not satisfied with offering award winning food, amazing spa facilities and beautiful hotel rooms, there are also self catering properties available to rent and its dog friendly.

The English Riviera isn’t just for summer

Image: Port Properties

If self catering is your preference, check out Port Properties in Brixham. With a choice of holiday homes complete with all the amenities you need and knowledgeable staff on hand, these offer a real home from home atmosphere. Whatever you need, they can pair you with the perfect property for your stay. Similarly, Osborne Apartments in Torquay are a good choice for anyone wanting a self catering break. Each of the apartments are equipped with high quality furnishings and there is a laundrette and porters on hand to help with your luggage. There is even a gym, tennis court and swimming pools available for guests’ use.

Paignton’s Beverley Holidays is an award winning holiday park offering a range of accommodation options with activities and entertainment provided onsite for the whole family. The site overlooks the sea, with some of the lodges having an uninterrupted sea view, plus there is just a short walk to Goodrington Sands, a Blue Flag beach and you’re well placed to explore a range of local attractions – though with everything available on site you might struggle to fit it all in!

Alternatively, there are a host of hotels in the region to choose from including the Palace Hotel and Spa in Paignton, which has a desirable location on Paignton’s esplanade and within easy reach of the seafront and the town centre. With an extensive menu in their restaurant, beautiful gardens to enjoy an afternoon tea in and secure parking for guests’ use, as well as the relaxing spa, this is a great option for anyone looking for a hotel stay. Looking for a hotel break but with all the facilities of a holiday park and the freedom of self catering? TLH Leisure in Torquay is the answer! This resort of four hotels and a range of self catering apartments are all located on the same site and allows you to enjoy a host of leisure activities and year round nightly entertainment. TLH Leisure gives you easy access to the town, Torre Abbey and the train station, allowing you to easily move around the English Riviera, should you want to visit places like Dawlish, Teignmouth and Paignton.

Looking for more suggestions for things to do in the English Riviera? Check below!

Plan your trip to the English Riviera

As it has been known as a family friendly holiday resort since Victorian times, it is no suprise that the English Riviera remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.

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