7 reasons why we love the English Riviera

A visit to the South Devon coast is full of exciting surprises. We’re taking a closer look at the reasons to visit the stunning English Riviera

English riviera
Boats in the harbour at Paignton in Devon

If you’ve got the chance to explore Britain on a staycation this summer, you won’t be disappointed with the beautiful English Riviera – the stretch of UK coastline comprising of Devon hotspots: Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Here’s our reasons to visit this summer.

1. Rich in history

The ‘English Riviera’ is essentially the Torbay area of Devon, and stretches approximately 22-miles across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The Victorians first called it the English Riviera because of its resemblance to France’s chic and bustling southern Mediterranean coastline, which boasts celeb-favourite spots like Monaco, Saint-Tropez and Nice. This stretch of England’s southern coastline may not attract as many Hollywood A-listers, but it has plenty of glorious harbours, picturesque seafronts, enticing flora and fauna, and revitalising sea air, much like its French counterpart.

Read more: 5 of the best off-the-beaten track staycation spots on the south coast

2. Breathtaking landscape

With a number of exciting seaside resorts, rocky coves, scenic villages and more warm weather than most, the English Riviera has earned its right to be one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the UK. Jam-packed with beautiful natural landscapes, exciting activities and a relaxed and friendly vibe. From the pretty hillside town of Brixham, where houses, hotels and shops cascade down a hill to a quaint harbour at the shore; to the typical seaside resort of Paignton with its fun promenade, scenic steam railway and family-centric entertainment. And, of course, Torquay with its sandy beaches, stylish marina and vibrant nightlife, it attracts families, couples, friends to bask in its exciting atmosphere.

3. The beaches

But one of the biggest draws to the area, aside from the views and the weather, is the beaches. Many of which hold a Blue Flag for cleanliness, and more than half are award-winning. From coastal walks, to picnic spots, shallow rock pools, watersports and stretches of rugged coastline perfect for coasteering adventures, you are sure to find a beach that suits you. From the watersports at Oddicombe beach to the secluded shores of Meadfoot beach and the vibrant Paignton Sands beach, there really are some stunning places to relax and soak up Vitamin D in the English Riviera.

4. A foodie’s paradise

Beaches are certainly going to play a big part in a summer holiday to the Devonshire coast, but what about food and drink? The English Riviera has become quite the spot for foodies with a number of award-winning restaurants and quality eateries popping up over the last few years. The region prides itself on its European-influenced cuisine serving fresh local seafood, meat and produce. But there really is somewhere and something for everyone. Expect some of the best fish and chips you’ve ever tasted, as well as high-end fine dining, pub grub, and more. The highlight is, of course, the seafood and with a craft beer industry thriving too, it’s a one-stop destination that foodies will love!

5. All the attractions

If you want to head out for the day or give the beach a miss for an hour or two then this is a region bursting with things to do. There are attractions galore. From fascinating places like the Babbacombe Model Village, which represents British life and culture through time – all in miniature – and Paignton Zoo, which has more than 80-acres of wildlife and conservation. Plus, it has museums, adventure playgrounds and exciting pier activities on the seafront that are all geared to keep families entertained.

Read more: Caravan holidays in Devon just got a serious upgrade 

6. Big on culture

The English Riviera is also famed for its rich and diverse culture. An annual Agatha Christie festival in Torquay brings together artists and writers from across the world to promote one of Britain’s most prolific writers and celebrate creativity in new writers. South Devon is also well known for its maritime heritage evident through its many harbours and marinas. But, there’s also country houses, castles and historical forts, museums, galleries and churches dotted around the region.

7. An activity haven

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, the English Riviera has so much to offer. From cycling and walking routes to golf, shooting and archery, there’s plenty of activities to choose from away from the seafront. With so much stunning coastline and stretches of idyllic English Channel at your fingertips, water activities are hugely popular here. Renowned for its watersports, diving and surfing, the English Riviera is the adrenaline junkie’s dream.

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