Like my other blogs on “a day out in…” there’s more than enough in Babbacombe to fill a day so you may well want to mix and match or visit several times as you’re unlikely to tick all these ideas off your list in just one day.
Babbacombe is up on the cliffs about a ten minute drive just round the coast from Torquay. You can follow the directions in our local walks leaflet to get there but we take you a straight route so much of it is through built up areas. If you have more time, you can walk round the South West Coastal Path which will take you down into hidden coves and allow you to see more of the stunning and picturesque coastline. If you choose to drive, there’s plenty of on road parking or a large car park at the Model Village. Another alternative is getting the bus or a taxi there and walking back along the coastal path.
Let’s presume you’ve just parked at the Model Village – it’s certainly not just for kids so you won’t want to miss it. It’s probably the best miniature world you’ll see and there are plenty of jokes for the adults as you go round. It’s set in lovely landscaping and well worth a visit. You can even go on a Thursday evening and see it all lit up.
Next to the Model Village, you’ll find the Babbacombe Cliff Railway – a funicular railway almost 100 years old and a great alternative to the steep and winding path down to Oddicombe Beach. Oddicombe Beach has a great café and a nice red sandy beach (our sand is red as it was once part of a desert once!). If you do walk down, you’ll see how the area was formed over millions of years, making the area the world’s only urban Global Geopark, and the area even has its own time in history – the “Devonian” period.
Once down, you could walk around the South West Coastal path to Cary Arms for a coffee. It’s often a good place to sit and spot wildlife like sea lions and porpoise.
Back up on the cliffs, you can enjoy the stunning views on a clear day, and there’s Babbacombe Theatre at the opposite end to the railway so you may be able to catch a show. Once you’ve had enough of the seafront, back a couple of streets is the famous Hanbury’s Fish and Chip Shop who’ve been winning awards for their food for many years. They do takeaway as well if you want to carry on enjoying that view. There’s also a small selection of shops.
You could choose to follow our directions (Walks Leaflet) back to The 25 from here and enjoy Ansteys Cove, or move on to the next small town of St Marychurch.
St Marychurch is right next to Babbacombe so easily walkable, and on route we’d advise popping into Tessier Gardens – a lovely secluded spot between the two, given to the town in 1933 and designated an adults only space by a covenant set by Mrs Tessier. It has free entry and is open daily.
Once at St Marychurch, you’ve got a nice selection of independent shops and Bygones Museum which is really interesting. Bygones has a complete Victorian street scene, a full size train engine, a First World War trench and much more. Incidentally, St Marychurch was the inspiration for St Mary mead where Agatha Christie’s (who was born in Torquay) most famous creation Miss Marple lived.
As you can see, the Babbacombe area will easily fill a day and there’s so much to do and see. Have a great time.