Top holiday activities for Teens and Tweens in Torquay
Parents: So what is there for families with Teens and 'Tweens' to do in Torquay/Torbay/The English Riviera?
Whilst there's always plenty to do here, Teenagers and 'Tweenagers' are notoriously difficult to entertain. But... do not fear, we have you covered. Having teens ourselves, we know the score. Come rain or shine, there's plenty to do but not everything will appeal to Teenagers or over 10s.
In our experience, Teens and Tweens like to be active so with this in mind, read on for some tried and tested ideas. If Mums and Dads join in too, it's a great opportunity to bond as family and get that conversation flowing.
So what is there to do in our glorious bay? Well let's start with boat trips. There are numerous trips and destinations from Torquay Harbour but here are a few suggestions. Have you tried sea fishing? This is not just for the boys! The whole family can enjoy this 2 hour Mackerel Fishing trip. Prefer a Wild life cruise? If you're lucky you may see dolphins and seals. Or you could take the Ferry to Brixham and enjoy the best fish & chips you'll ever have. Did you know Torbay is known as The Seafood Coast and Brixham is one of the most important fishing harbours in the UK? It is also extremely attractive and a great place to spend a few hours. You'll see lots of people 'crabbing' around the harbour wall which is great fun and you'll be able to buy everything you need in the small shops around the harbour. There are also numerous restaurants, cafes and pubs so you won't go hungry or thirsty. And the best bit? It's an incredibly good value ferry trip at £3.50 return at time of writing.
For the adventurous we have various Water sports opportunities. How about a RIB ride from Torquay? Looks exciting!! Or head over to Goodrington beach (near Paignton) and hire Paddleboards or Kayaks from Reach Outdoors. Fancy a kayaking tour and exploring the coast at sea level? Sea Kayak Torbay offer a number of tours in small groups exploring different areas of the bay.
Whilst talking about the sea, did you know we have over 20 beaches in Torbay? You can check out the full list including facilities at each Beach. Our family favourite is Goodrington beach with its full range of facilities including the fabulous water park Splashdown Quaywest where your teens and tweens will happily spend hours in the flumes whilst you relax on the beach (or join them!).
OK, not everyone likes getting wet or can stomach boats. So how about some land based activities instead?
Anyone for tennis? Get them Wimbledon ready with coaching lessons at Torquay Tennis Club. They run 3 hour morning sessions during the holidays for just £10. It's not far from the seafront so whilst they're getting hot & sweaty you can enjoy a coffee in one of the nearby cafes overlooking the bay or soak up some rays on the beach.
How about family friendly crazy golf or Pitch & Put? Both are available in Torre Abbey gardens. No need to book, just turn up. Real Golf? Torquay Golf Club welcomes visitors.
Do your family like a good walk? Well you'll be spoilt for choice for coastal walks as Torbay offers a challenging section of the South West Coast Path for all abilities and distances. Not to be missed with a picturesque walk from the seafront is one of the prettiest villages in the UK; Cockington. A preserved village of thatched cottages, a manor house (Cockington Court), craft centre, tea rooms and a thatched pub designed by Lutyens. All surrounded by 450 acres of country park with lots of walking trails. Bring a football or frisbee for a free day out and enjoy the grounds in front of Cockington Court- popular with locals and tourists alike. Love horses? You can even take a horse and carriage ride in Cockington Country park.
TOP TIP It's also one of the nicest places to stay in Torquay so if you're looking for accommodation look no further than Cockington Cottages.
Scadson woods near Cockington is perfect if your kids like serious mountainbiking. If road biking is their passion there's a velodrome in Paignton at Torbay Leisure Centre along with a whole host of sporting pursuits including a 33m swimming pool.
During August, Torre Abbey meadows (facing the seafront) houses a travelling funfair with some really scary rides and is very popular with both locals and visitors.
If your Teens & Tweens love animals then they'll be thrilled by a visit to Living Coasts aquarium in Torquay which, amongst other things, has a colony of penguins with regular talks and feeding times. For a full day out then Paignton Zoo is a must which houses everything from insects to giraffes. Wear comfortable walking shoes!!
Whilst we have more than our fair share of fine weather, it does rain sometimes! But don't worry, we have that covered too.
Torquay has a Leisure Pool with wave machine, water slide and a huge health & fitness suite. If you're really keen you can buy a 7 day pass giving unlimited access at a discounted rate.
Another family favourite is Tenpin bowling and with 21 lanes you can always get in.
Torquay Museum is manageably small with a variety of themes and often has additional exhibitions. There is a dedicated gallery to the life & works of Agatha Christie too. If history and art is your thing then Torre Abbey is not to be missed with a full programme of events, visiting exhibitions and a museum dedicated to the history of Torbay including Torquays involvement in the history of the Spanish Armarda.
A trip to the seaside is not complete without some fun in the penny arcades. You'll find the Golden Palms arcade near Torquay harbourside which is also a great place for lunch or dinner as well as some shopping opportunities.
A rainy day is also a good time to catch up with the latest films at The Vue Cinema on Paignton seafront. A new favourite of ours is Escape Rooms which is a perfect activity for all ages but really good for engaging those tricky teenagers. We really enjoyed this one Paignton Escape but be warned; it's challenging.
If your kids have never visited pre-historic caves before then Kents Cavern is a must. The caves are one of the most important stone age sites in Europe! There are informative & fun guided walks through the caves. You'll be amazed at some of the things that have been found there.
There are a number of Family Theme Parks within an hour of Torquay but many of these are more suited to younger children. In our opinion Woodlands is the best for this age group with the toboggan run and the water slides (take some spare clothes!) being really popular. There's also a huge indoor play area, animal petting area etc. Book ahead for cheaper rates.
If you fancy a spot of shopping in beautiful Exeter City then go by train. Its a stunning coastal train journey. Get off at St Thomas station and walk to the lovely Quayside where kids (and adults) can have a go at the excellent Clip n climb to expend some energy. The town centre and Exeter Cathedral is a short walk away and you can return to Torquay via Central station.
For forest walking, mountain biking and/or GO APE then head to Haldon Forest which is Torquay side of Exeter.
So if you think you're going to struggle to entertain your Teens and Tweens, think again. With a bit of planning you can make a visit to Torquay and The English Riviera one of the best holidays you've ever had.
If you have any questions or would like further information, just ask! We're locals and we want to help. Is there anything specific or a particular activity that we haven't covered?