1. We have 22 Miles of Stunning Coastline
The English Riviera, based in the beautiful South Devon is home to 22 miles of Naturally Inspiring coastline offering sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, secluded coves, historic viaducts, elevated cliff tops, rockpools and wooded areas. Based on the 630 miles of South West Coast Path, the English Riviera is a walker’s paradise with jaw-dropping views, picturesque paths, perfect picnic spots and secluded coves to swim in. With 20 beaches, 10 of which have won top industry awards the English Riviera’s sheltered position and mild climate means that the sea is usually calm all year round – making it the perfect place to paddle board, kayak or sail.
2. We have Wild Places and Wildlife
The English Riviera is home to a vast array of wildlife. From guillemots, cormorants, seagulls, seals, porpoises, dolphins, bats and humpback whales. Take a trip on one of the wildlife cruises to see what you can spot. Head up to Berry Head Nature Reserve, a wonderful walk from Cliff Cottage to see where the guillemots and bats call home.
And if that’s not enough, why not pop along to Living Coasts coastal zoo where you’ll find penguins, otters and seals, whilst inca-terns fly around you. Or head to the one of the best zoos in the UK, Paignton Zoo, where you can find tigers, giraffes, red pandas and even a Komodo dragon.
3. There’s a UNESCO Global Geopark – one of only 7 in the UK!
Since 2007 the English Riviera has been a designated UNESCO Global Geopark, meaning that it is an area of globally recognised, unique geological interest. A place where you can touch a very special part of the Earth’s story and be amazed by the extraordinary landscapes, mountains, coastlines, places and people. We are one of only seven in the entire UK and 140 in the world. Our Naturally Inspiring landscape includes three Geopark Gateway Visitor Centres at Berry Head Nature Reserve, Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves (Ice Age home to Britain’s earliest humans) and The Seashore Centre at Goodrington with fun and informative facts and walking trails about the local area.
4. We’re known as England’s Seafood Coast
The English Riviera’s mild climate and warm waters around Brixham attract over 40 species of seafood including Lemon Sole, Lobster, Brixham Crab and Elberry Cove Mussels. The area is known as England’s Seafood Coast with over £40 million worth of the UK’s finest seafood landed and sold at the famous, Brixham Fish Market, making Brixham the biggest fishing port in England by value. We have some of the nation’s best celebrity chefs producing award-winning seafood dishes and fine-dining experiences, ensuring that the freshest catch is served on your plate.
5. There are World-class Events, Festivals and Theatre Shows
The English Riviera is known for hosting incredible events and large-scale festivals throughout the year, and 2021 is no different!
The English Riviera Air Show attracts almost 200,000 visitors with a weekend packed with thrilling aerial displays and flyovers. The International Agatha Christie Festival marks the birthday of Torquay’s most famous resident and England’s Seafood FEAST celebrates the UK’s finest seafood. Help make over 80 giant wild animal models at The Great Big Brick Safari, Paignton Zoo. Brixham hosts Brixfest, Fishstock, Brixham Pirate Festival and Lights, Lanterns and ‘luminations whilst Dartmouth Steam Railway’s Train of Lights wows festive audiences.
There are 5 top theatres showcasing West End touring shows, local productions such as Chicago and Shrek the Musical, quality tribute acts, audience-with style evenings and famous TV comedians and popular figures including Harry Redknapp, Jason Donovan, Josh Widdicombe and Rev Richard Coles.
6. There are over 20 Top Attractions for the Whole Family
Whatever your interest or age you’ll find there’s plenty to do whatever the weather. From exhilarating rides at Splashdown Quaywest waterpark to going underground at Europe’s top prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern, there’s something for everyone. Walk the plank aboard the Golden Hind Museum Ship and feel like a giant at Babbacombe Model Village. Award-winning museums, escape room experiences and a world-class zoo with over 2,500 rare and protected animals provide thrilling learning experiences. Visit National Trust’s Greenway, once the holiday home of Agatha Christie and the Arts and Craft style, Coleton Fishacre with stunning landscaped gardens and fascinating culture and heritage.
7. There are Amazing Trips, Excursions and Experiences to have
The English Riviera is the perfect playground for outdoor adventure and sightseeing. Take a nostalgic trip on a steam train with Dartmouth Steam Railway, head down a steep cliff to Oddicombe Beach on the delightful Babbacombe Cliff Railway or see the bay from another angle on the water with a spot of coasteering with Reach Outdoors or a kayaking trip with Sea Kayak Devon. Jet ski safari, speedboat, rib rides, paddleboarding or wild swimming offer amazing views of our Naturally Inspiring landscape. Escorted tours provide scenic day trips across South Devon to nearby attractions at Dartmoor, Dartmouth and Plymouth (for Mayflower 400 events). Treat yourself to a scenic tour in a vintage open-top car and a Devon Cream Tea with Prestige Tours.
8. Cliff Cottage Brixham!
Cliff Cottage is an ideal destination to stay when visiting The English Riviera. Cliff Cottage offers refreshing, self-catering holiday accommodation with a unique position on a cliff with spectacular views looking over Torbay and Brixham Harbour. With stunning uninterrupted views across Brixham Harbour, Cliff Cottage provides a cosy escape from a busy day in the sea air of Torbay. Nearby hotspots include Torquay brimming with boat rides, restaurants and unique shops. Another family favourite is Paignton Zoo, one of the UK’s largest and most diverse offering Zoo’s right by the sea.
9. There are 300 of the finest food and drink venues in the South West
From traditional Devon Cream Teas in quaint tearooms to Michelin starred restaurants serving the freshest quality seafood, the English Riviera has an impressive range of places to eat with menus to suit all tastes and budgets. Enjoy a romantic night out at a sea view restaurant or take the dog for a countryside walk and stop at one of our dog-friendly cafes or pubs. Fish and Chips, homemade pasties and locally produced ciders, beers, wines and speciality gins are just some of the mouth-watering delights on offer in the South West. There are many trendy cocktail bars and lively waterfront inns providing live music by local talent.
10. It’s an Inspirational Place to Visit
We have an enviable literary and cultural heritage. It’s an inspiring place to be. And it’s not just us saying that! Look at what has been produced on the English Riviera – Dame Agatha Christie, one of the world’s best-selling authors of all time who was born in Torquay, John Cleese wrote Fawlty Towers after staying in the area and world-renowned band Metronomy recorded an entire album based on South Devon’s Beautiful Bay. Other famous writers have been inspired by the beautiful, natural landscape including Mary Shelley – author of Frankenstein, Beatrix Potter, Oscar Wilde and even Charles Darwin.
This is just a taster of all the marvellous things we have here on the Naturally Inspiring, English Riviera. Explore our webpages for more holiday inspiration or just come along and see for yourself.