English Riviera Geopark

Did you know that the whole of the Torbay area is a designated Geopark? Well now you do! If you want to explore the beautiful UNESCO Geopark, here’s everything you need to know.

Firstly, unlike other UNESCO Global Geoparks, the English Riviera Geopark is unique because it isn’t rural, it’s one of only two urban geoparks in the UK. It includes the seaside resorts at Torquay and Brixham among other more heavily built up areas.

About the Geopark

The purpose of the Geopark is to explore and celebrate the region’s geological heritage and all other aspects of the natural and cultural heritage. The English Riviera Global Geopark has everything from coastal walks to breathtaking views, museums and all you need to enjoy a traditional seaside resort.

Timeline of the Geopark

Devonian – 400 million years ago
This era can be seen in the grey and pink limestone rocks, particularly around Berry Head in Brixham and hopes Nose in Torquay.

Carboniferous – 310 million years ago

Back then, there was a mountain range in this part of the county and though they no longer exist, you can see examples of what remains by visiting Berry Head or Oreston Rock near Torquay.

Permian – 270 million years ago

The red rocks formed during this period can be seen at various points around the English Riviera, including at Preston and Oddicombe Beaches.

Quaternary - £500,000 years ago

To enjoy elements of this era, check out places like Kents Cavern and Torquay Museum, where you can learn more about the caves in Torquay and Brixham.

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.

How to enjoy the Geopark sensibly

The English Riviera Geopark is a great way to explore and enjoy this area of Devon. We want everyone to have a great time and to preserve it for future generations.

Make sure to plan ahead

The English Riviera is a hugely popular area, so it is always a good idea to book any attractions, activities and places to stay in plenty of time to ensure you can enjoy everything.

Be clean and green
As a popular area, we need to make sure that the English Riviera stays clean, so make sure to take any litter with you and clean up after your dogs. Also help to preserve the region by being conscious of your impact on the natural landscape, why not try using the train system or public transport rather than driving around the English Riviera?

Places you can enjoy the English Riviera Geopark


Paignton is a great place to base yourself for a holiday in Devon, not only do you have a whole host…

Other places that are great for a day trip are:

  • Berry Head Nature Reserve, Brixham
  • Saltern Cove, Paignton
  • Geoplay Park, Paignton
  • Oddicombe Beach, Torquay
  • Royal Terrace Gardens, Torquay
  • Meafoot Beach, Torquay
  • Triangle Point, Torquay
  • Cockington Court and COutnry Park
  • Babbacombe Cliffs
  • Churston Cove
  • Anstey’s Cove
  • Hollicombe Head
  • Corbyn’s Head