Top 5 things to do in Babbacombe
09 July 2020
There’s always lots to explore during your stay at Cofton Holidays. And you won’t find many places that are as charming, beautiful and picturesque as Babbacombe. Situated a short distance from the busy, vibrant waterfront of Torquay harbour, Babbacombe offers a much more serene experience and may just be the jewel in the crown of the English riviera.
Just a short 30-minute drive from Cofton, the meandering scenic coast road offers up some truly breath-taking views on the way. This small Torquay suburb was a Victorian holiday hotspot, and on arrival it’s not hard to see why. The beautifully landscaped gardens of Babbacombe Downs, which at over 90 metres above sea level is the highest clifftop promenade in England, offers unparalleled views over red cliffs and wooded hilltops. In fact, on clear days you can even see across counties and as far as Portland Bill in Dorset.
From the mix of independent shops, secluded beaches, coastal walks, water sports and bars and restaurants, there really is something for the whole family to enjoy. Here are our top 5 things to do on a visit to Babbacombe.
1. Babbacombe Model Village
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a giant (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?), then the model village is for you. This miniature world is big on fun. Set in 4 acres of magnificent award-winning gardens, the intricately crafted models and scenes are full of whimsey, wonder and humour. Some of our favourites include the Paignton Zoo model, a west country fishing village, the peek inside house and the new Celebrity Mansion – see what famous faces you can spot!
The miniature world is full of model scenes and animated displays with all kinds of goings on that depict British life over the last 60 years. Full of humorous subtle touches, it is very important to take your time or there’s a lot you might miss!
On Thursday evenings from April to October, the village is transformed into a glowing spectacle. Thousands of miniature lights illuminate the models and scenes to create an enchanting atmosphere not to be missed.
For more information visit the Model Village website
2. Oddicombe and Babbacombe Beach
What good is a trip to the seaside if you don’t come back with sand in between your toes from a walk on the beach? Babbacombe doesn’t disappoint with two beaches that are within a short walk from the Downs, each with their own unique character.
Babbacombe Beach is a small secluded pebble beach that is perfect for sitting on with a picnic. This pretty crescent-shaped cove backs on to the wooded cliffs and is the perfect place to rest and grab a refreshment from the café hut after the walk down from the top. If you would rather save your legs, then there is a pay and display car park on hand. Dogs are welcome all year round so you can even bring your four-legged friends.
With a small stone breakwater at one end, this sheltered beach provides a great spot for a quick dip in the sea or for the kids to have a paddle. The calm, clear water also makes it a popular diving spot and is perfect for beginners, so why not bring along your snorkel? And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins that are often seen swimming off the shore.
Just around the corner is Babbacombe’s second and largest beach. With its long stretch of red sand, Oddicombe Beach is the perfect place to while away the hours soaking up the sun and splashing around in the sea.
With beach hut hire, water sports, beach shop and café all on hand, there’s something to keep the whole family entertained. Hire a kayak or pedalo to paddle out to sea and look back at the dramatic coastline in all of its splendour. Enjoy a refreshing tipple or sample the delights of the menu of the Three Degrees West Bar & Bistro. Enjoy everything from breakfast to tapas, as well as the views, from their outside terrace.
The nearest car park is about half a mile away and access to Oddicombe Beach is a walk down a steep road. Or…..
3. Babbacombe Cliff Railway
Take the easy option to reach to Oddicombe Beach and ride the amazing Babbacome Cliff Railway. Set amongst some of the most stunning landscape to be found in the UK, the Cliff Railway is a fun, unique and less physically demanding way to get to and from the water’s edge of one of South Devon’s most beautiful beaches.
Since opening in 1926, the Babbacombe Cliff Railway has shuttled hundreds of thousands of people up and down the steep cliff face to the sandy shore of Oddicombe Beach. Take in the amazing views out across the bay as you travel the 220 metres of track towards the beach. With over 90 years of service this is a truly unique way to travel in style and reach the sandy beaches!
The lift runs all year round with the first car departing at 9:30 and the last car of the day leaving the beach at 16:30, but please check their website for the latest opening hours and ticket prices.
4. Babbacombe Theatre
For over 80 years Babbacombe Theatre has been entertaining people and it’s no wonder that it has become one of the South West’s most popular venues. With a host of musical acts, bands, comedians, pantomimes and variety shows taking to the stage, there’s always something on that’s worth seeing.
Babbacombe Theatre is renowned for its self-produced variety show that runs every Tuesday and Wednesday evening from February to October. Featuring some of the region’s best talent, as well as a few famous you might just recognise, we highly recommend that you catch a show.
The theatre also welcomes touring productions from some of the country’s top comedians, who will have you roaring with laughter, and musical events that will have you singing and dancing in the aisles. So, whether you’re looking for a family night out or a romantic date night, this much-loved theatre will ensure you’re kept entertained.
For the latest information on upcoming events and ticket information, visit the theatre website.
5. Food & Drink in Babbacombe
If food and drink are more your thing, then the choice of pubs and restaurants in Babbacombe will leave you spoilt for choice. From traditional pub fare and gastro delights, to ice cream parlours and sun-soaked beer gardens, there’s something for every taste.
A personal favourite of ours that’s perfect for a special occasion or a romantic visit for 2, is the cosy Angel Tea Rooms. Serving up a truly delicious afternoon tea with freshly made sandwiches and homemade cakes, just try and make sure you leave room for those scones and Devon clotted cream.
If it’s a more traditional seaside feast you looking for, what could be better than fish and chips? Hanbury’s have been serving up award-winning fish and chips for over four decades. From the first taste it’s not hard to see why this is the local’s favourite. We find they’re best enjoyed sitting on the downs looking out over that perfect view.
Choose your perfect accommodation….
Some of your kind words...
A brilliant stay as always. We stayed in a cottage this time which was beautiful and very well equipped. Lots of lovely little touches with a welcome hamper and lots of board games. Hubbie was well impressed with the huge TV too. Loved the courtyard and we were lucky enough to have the weather to BBQ 2 of the days. All the staff from reception to the shop to the entertainment were friendly and very accommodating of both my girls. Used the chippy which has recently changed hands and the food was still great. There is lots to do, loved the swimming, the zip wire, the park and walk in the woods and around the fishing lake. Have to be honest though we missed the caravan...... will definitely be back, hopefully in the Fernworthy van with the hot tub.
Had an amazing weeks holiday. The park was immaculate, the outdoor pool was spotless and the cleaning blocks were cleaned regularly. All the staff were very helpful and the shop on site was reasonably priced. We went with two kids (aged 6 and 7) and our dog, the kids were never bored and had an amazing holiday. We will definitely be returning next year!
My family and I stayed for 5 nights in July, aged between 13 and 40 and we all had a brilliant family stay. The teenagers loved the outdoor pool and the woods and we all loved the donkeys. I’ve been coming here since I was a child and it’s still got a lovely relaxing atmosphere and has all the facilities you could want for a camping holiday. I must say the fish and chip shop is the best we have ever had at a holiday park, reasonable prices and good sized portions. We have booked to come back again on 25th August for a week and can’t wait!
I visited when my relatives came over from Canada and fell in love. I was lucky enough to stay for a week last August for my sons 2nd birthday. It has got to be one of my favourite places to go. Absolutely beautiful, quiet, good facilities, lovely restaurants. The staff are outstanding. I can't wait to come back again this year!
Stayed in campervan for a weekend. Great campsite good location, plenty of things for all to do. Great fishing lakes all in a short walk through the woodland to the lovely Dawlish Warren and Dawlish. Couldn't fault.
Highbridge, United Kingdom
We have had a wonderful experience, the site is very clean, ALL the staff were friendly and helpful especially the bar supervisor, entertainment was second to none, we'll 100% return...
The Warren Family
I just want to say how impressed my fellow Motorhomers and Caravaners were with the welcome and service we received during our stay. Staff in the office were polite and helpful at all times. Scott the restaurant manager was most accommodating when I enquired about reserving space for 25 to 30 of us for lunch after a walk. The service in the restaurant was speedy the food hot and varied. We were very pleased with the standards. Staff in the restaurant were cheerful and polite and helped make our meal most enjoyable. We had such a good time that we will be returning again next year for our Xmas Rally.
The best holiday park we've been to in our motorhome. Our children aged 2 and 4 loved it. Great facilities, entertainment and activities in one of the best parts of Devon!
Delicious fish and chips, friendly and helpful staff and delightful woodland.
Suze - Cornwall
Good location and dog walking, we'll be back and it can't come quick enough.
David - Portsmouth.
Loved the Zumba class! Can't wait to come back!
Elise - Exeter.
A* facilities, always very clean. The pool and food offer great value for money!
Stayed in Honeysuckle Cottage, stunning views over the Exe Estuary.. fantastic place for a family holiday
Ian - Australia.
My little girls aged 2,3 and 5 loved the entertainment.. all they can remember is fun, fun and more fun!
Anonymous - Cheshire.
Quiet and relaxing in a stunning location.. Can't wait to return
Ethan R, Burnham-on-Sea
We usually camp 3 times a year and hire a caravan after the Christmas break at Cofton, and will continue to do so. We thoroughly recommend staying there. Great for families or just the 2 of you.
Jilly B, Cheltenham
Go for swimming and food at this fabulous holiday camp... facilities A-star so clean and just great value for money would defo use over and over again which I do.... I'm a regular visitor. Dip and dine always good option as the food and snacks are fantastic in the bar cafe area near swimming pool!
Excellent toilet block and lovely hot showers. The on site pub was spot on with really friendly staff..
Joan L, Bromsgrove
The superbly equipped Woodside Cottage was beautifully clean with a fantastic Hot Tub. Waking up to horses and cows in the rear field.. stunning!
So friendly and clean, it’s a home from home and we couldn’t go a year with a visit!
Bernice Procter, Swindon
I always pay a visit to Amelia's Pantry, you can just Relax, Indulge and Enjoy!
‘Wonderful facilities, especially the swimming pools! In a lovely setting, for us it is simply the best campsite we have found.’
Margaret Hayes, Leeds
We have been coming to Cofton since 2009 and have stayed at least 12 times. We love everything about Cofton: the location and scenery in and around the park, the quality and cleanliness of accommodation, the friendly welcoming atmosphere; Everything about Cofton is great!
Ethan Robinson, Somerset
‘Dog walks, cycling, lovely country pubs… It suits our every need’
Kay Hancock, Bristol