Get to know the English Riviera holiday cottages

Get to know the English Riviera

The balmy weather, sub-tropical plants, gastronomic delights and colourful waterfronts of the English Riviera means that, after one visit, you’ll almost certainly want to keep coming back!

The seaside Torbay towns of Torquay, Brixham and Paignton all have great arrays of attractions, from palm-lined boulevards, sophisticated shopping streets, seaside restaurants, pubs, clubs and cafes and plenty of outdoor energetic stuff.

Here, we explain all you need to know about the stunning South Devon spot – and showcase a few accommodation providers we think will make the perfect additions to your holiday.

Where is the English Riviera?

A term coined by our Victorian ancestors, likening the area to its French equivalent, the “English Riviera” is a gorgeous coastal destination in South Devon. Consisting of three key resorts, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, and the smaller village of Babbacombe, it’s a very popular location for holidays, with plenty of wonderful beaches, awesome attractions and coastal activities to be enjoyed.

Indeed, the seaside is one of the main draws of the English Riviera, and here you can expect 22 miles of beautiful coastline, including rugged coastal walks along the South West Coast Path, beaches where you can enjoy a safe paddle, and stretches of coast where watersports, including surfing, are popular.

What can I do there?

There’s so much to see and do, with attractions and activities to suit all ages, tastes and desires.

Adrenalin junkies will love a holiday here, with blood-pumping activities including surfing, kayaking, waterskiing, wakeboarding, coasteering, diving and paddleboarding all allowing you to get in the water. If you prefer to stay a little drier, you’ll be able to learn yachting, power boating and dinghy sailing with professional Royal Yachting Association (RYA) instructors, while speedboat trips are also readily available.

Amusement parks and attractions are also a big part of a holiday to the English Riviera, with Paignton Zoo, Babbacombe Model Village and Living Coasts three of the most popular. There’s also plenty of chances to enjoy typical seaside fun and games, such as adventure or crazy golf, fun pools and amusement arcades, while the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Babbacombe Cliff Railway are perfect for those who prefer a slower pace.

English Riviera Hotels:

For exotic escapism and sunny climes without the need to hop on a plane, a stay in one of the many fine English Riviera hotels will have you feeling as though you’re thousands of miles from home. Perfect for everyone from couples to families and groups of friends, you’ll be in a location full of coastal charm, seaside amusements and wonderful eateries.

We have various hotels listed on our site. From the traditional charm of a Georgian residence to the stylish interiors of a contemporary establishment, you’ll be spoilt for choice…

Torquay Hotels:

Orestone Manor Hotel:

A country house hotel by the sea, Orestone Manor is a stylish Georgian manor house, set in the pretty South Devon coastal village of Maidencombe. Enjoy spectacular sea views over Lyme Bay and beyond, from the site and from the majority of bedrooms (some of which also boast private balconies or roof terraces), while there’s also an award-winning restaurant. Expect menus which use the finest local meats, freshly caught Brixham fish and vegetables which have been grown in the hotel gardens.

TLH Leisure Resort:

A combination of four hotels and self-catering accommodation on a single 7-acre site await you at TLH Leisure Resort, situated perfectly to enjoy the bustling Torquay harbour and seafront. On-site leisure facilities include a wonderful 25-metre indoor pool complex, poolside sauna, spa pool and steam room, as well as an impressive 40 work-station gym. If you’re more inclined to enjoy the Great Indoors, Aztec Games is a huge indoor games zone with 10 pin bowling, archery, snooker tables, American pool, table tennis and more.

Brixham Hotels:

Berry Head:

The beautiful cliffside hotel of Berry Head Hotel is one that needs to be seen to be believed. Nestled at the water’s edge overlooking some of Devon’s most beautiful coastal views, the hotel is an idyllic haven in a busy world. Enjoy everything from early 19th century gardens with Mediterranean plants to a game of croquet via sailing at the privately-owned hotel. You’ll also be just a short walk or drive from Brixham, a stunningly beautiful harbourside town full of wonderful pubs, restaurants and shops.

English Riviera Holiday Parks:

We also have a range of holiday parks in Torquay, Brixham and Paignton, ideal for families or those who like having all of their amenities and entertainment in one place!

Here are our highlights – follow the links in the text for more details:

Torquay Holiday Parks:

Ideal for families, Parkdean Resorts Torquay Holiday Park has everything you would want for a family holiday – and then some. Expect fun and games including clubs for preschool to 10-year-old and teens, evening entertainment, sports facilities, amusements and more.

Brixham Holiday Parks:

Sat above Brixham with gorgeous views, South Bay Holiday Park is a great position to explore all of the English Riviera. The lively holiday park has everything you’ll need to enjoy a holiday, including indoor and outdoor pools, the latter boasting a water flume, toddler’s pool and sunbathing deck.

If you’re looking for a Brixham caravan holiday, Galmpton Touring Park will be for you. Found in a peaceful, rural position, with stunning views overlooking the River Dart, it’s an ideal site for walkers and cyclists, with scenic country and coastal trails on your doorstep.

Paignton Holiday Parks:

Voted one of the top family holiday parks at the 2017 British Travel Awards, Beverley Holiday Park overlooks Torbay, with stunning sea views stretching down the South Devon coast. There are also dog-friendly caravans on-site, meaning your four-legged friend doesn’t have to miss out.


We also have a range of self-catering cottages in the English Riviera, including sea view apartments, cottages for families by the coast and more, as well as B&Bs.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

A local's guide to Exmouth

Exmouth is a Victorian-era holiday resort with a long beach and promenade. As the name suggests, it sits at the mouth of the River Exe.  Ever since the late 18th century, the town has enjoyed its status as a popular seaside destination drawing in sunseekers from far and wide. 

Things to do in North Devon

There are so many things to do in Devon throughout the year, no matter the weather, that you’ll be spoilt for choice wherever you choose to base yourself during your holiday. From great outdoor activities to days out for the entire family, you certainly won't get bored.

A local’s guide to Brixham

Picture-postcard coves, exotic palm trees, a serene coastline and an iconic replica ship are just some of the things that give Brixham so much character. Situated in the southern corner of Torbay opposite Torquay, this attractive South Devon fishing town offers visitors a wealth of things to do, from riveting historical attractions to laid-back golf courses, a range of arts and culture and excellent local food. The town is a key part of the English Riviera and home to a UNESCO Global Geopark (one of only seven in the UK).
Stay in Media Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office: Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF | Company No. 07391123 | VAT reg: 107706918