“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

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This page periodically features articles or information on specific Mini Breaks or generic topics around holiday destinations and travel related items. The two most recent topics are listed.

Latest Features

Taking a look at Coach Tours & Trips

Taking a look at Coach Tours & Trips does what it says on the tin. We have taken a selection of some of the trips available from our Partners who offer such holidays. Those included are both UK destinations and European Breaks. These mini breaks and holidays are ideal for people who either are not fond of beach holidays or at least would prefer a change. Such tours and trips provide the opportunity to see more of the places you are visiting and indeed your journey to and from your destination becomes part of the holiday.

Tuscany Coast & Pisa Inclusive - 9 Day visit staying at the Hotel San Siro, Marina di Pietrasanta. Enjoy inclusive excursion programme taking in the beauty of the coast with visits to Siena, Florence – Italy’s city of art, Lucca and world famous Pisa. Continental Breakfast and Diner included along with a generous free drinks package. Dates from April onward.- National Holidays.

Austrian Alps & Salzburg Inclusive - 9 Day break staying at either the Hotel Tauernblick or Alpina in Bad Hofgastein in the heart of the Austrian Alps. The holiday includes visits to the beautiful city of Salzburg with its stunning skyline, plus a wonderful journey to Bad Ischl, Zell am See and the charming town of Kitzbuhel. Hotel includes a great inclusive package. Dates available from June through to September. - National Holidays

Imperial Cities – Visit the Central and Eastern European cities of Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. Breakfast and Diner included. 8 or 11 Night mini break options are available. A variety of optional excursions to choose from are offered. – Leger Ho

D-Day Landings - See some of the most iconic D-Day locations and visit all the D-Day landing beaches along the Normandy coastline as well as seeing the site of the Pegasus Bridge glider landing, and where the ‘Band of Brothers’ fought near St. Mère Eglise. This trip is both poignant and celebratory; you do not need to be a War buff, just an appreciation of the significance of the event that took place here. 3 or 4 Night trips available between March and July. – Leger Holidays

The “Rhine in Flames” Festival Tour – During the summer the Rhine lights up as Europe’s biggest parade of illuminated ships sail along its waters complimented by hilltop firework displays. The river valley is truly a sight to behold. Based in either Koblenz or Oberwesel, with the opportunity to visit the town of Cochem. 4 Day trips available in August and September. – Leger Holidays

Killarney, Cork & the Ring of Kerry - Explore Ireland’s most famous coast and see the spectacular sights of the Beara Peninsula and the renowned Ring of Kerry. The tour is a mixture of stunning countryside visiting quaint towns and villages such as Castletownbere and Glengarriff and in contrast beautiful cities including Dublin, Cork and Blarney. Trips available Spring through to Autumn. – Leger Holidays

Porec & the Istrian Riviera - 9 Day short break holiday staying at the 4-star Valamar Crystal, ideally placed to tour of some of Croatia’s most celebrated sights, from amazing architecture to stunning coastlines. A very active holiday taking in many sights with visits to Porec with its stunning Roman architecture and Ljubljana the historic capital of Slovenia. Optional excursions to Rovinj, Vrsar, Pula and Slovenian resort of Piran are available. Trips available April, May and September. – Leger Holidays

Cyprus Uncovered – 8 Day mini break Exploring beyond the sun-drenched beaches to appreciate the natural beauty, historical treasures and innate hospitality of this magical island. A three centre holiday in Larnaca. Platres and Paphos. Highlights of this trip include the pine-scented Troodos Mountains, the wine-growing regions and the delightful capital Nicosia. Trips available January, March, April, June, October and November (2020). – Mercury Holidays.

Coast and Country Stratford-upon-Avon (Inclusive) – 5 Day midweek break staying at Charlecote Pheasant Hotel based on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon. Trip highlights include a visit to nearby Stratford-upon-Avon town centre, a trip to medieval Warwick and a look around Leamington Spa. Trips available December and March. – Shearings Holidays

Tour de France Finale – Fantastic 4 Day holiday to the French capital with the opportunity to be present at one of the world’s greatest sporting events. Staying at Ibis Paris Porte d'Italie located on the peripherique to the south of the city and a great base to explore Paris. Admire the ‘City of Light’ and take in its best sights with a guided city tour. Watch the finale of the amazing Tour de France in person. Trip available in July. – Shearings Holidays

Brighton Festive Celebration – 5 Day Short Break based at The Royal Albion Hotel in Brighton with four nights dinner, bed and breakfast. Along with a “2 for 1” bar for three hours each evening. The trip also includes excursions to Eastbourne, Worthing & Lewes. An ideal pre-Christmas mini break to get you in the mood for the Festive season. Trips available in December. – National Holidays

Scarborough Festive Special – 4 Nights at the Leisureplex Cumberland Hotel with Breakfast and Evening Meals included. Free excursions to York and Whitby included. Plenty of time is made available to explore Scarborough’s coastline, Theatres, the medieval Castle ruins and of course shops plus much more. Trip available in December. An Ideal winter midweek break. – Alpha Travel

Llandudno Festive Special – 4 Nights at the Leisureplex Hydro Hotel with Breakfast and Evening Meals included. Llandudno is a traditional British seaside resort with plenty to see and do, both day and night. Enjoy a Tram ride or Cable Car to the top of the Great Orme. Free optional excursions to Chester and Betws-y-Coed are included in this trip. Trips available in December. - Alpha Travel

European Magic - A taste of Europe’s highlights; 9 countries, 8 days featuring many of the top destinations. Visiting London, Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Munich, Venice, Lucerne, Paris, Dover, Calais, Belgium and more. A truly whirlwind tour and most certainly not a relaxing wander around Europe. This is for people who want a bitesize experience from each destination. Trips available until March. – Contiki.

Austria Ski Plus – Coach trip from London to Hopfgarten which is located in the heart of the Austrian Alps for an eight day stay. The Resort caters for all levels of Skiers and Snowboarders. Holiday highlights include access to Contiki's exclusive Bar Schoneck & themed party nights, the opportunity to try Tandem Paragliding plus more. A day trip excursion to Salzburg - home of the "The Sound of Music" is also on offer. Trips available in December. – Contiki

Spanish Spree –Visiting Madrid, Bilbao, Pamplona, Barcelona, Ibiza, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Segovia, San Sebastian, Zaragoza, Denia, Gibraltar and Toledo. A great way to see what Spain has to offer. This trip explores everywhere from the must-see cities like Madrid, Barcelona & Granada to the smaller cobbled-street towns of Segovia, Zaragoza, San Sebastian & Pamplona. Highlights of the trip include Gaudi's Sagrada Familia & the 1992 Olympic Games complex, exploring  Barcelona's Gothic beauty on a walking tour including Las Ramblas and enjoying  the passion of a flamenco show then finishing off the evening with some tapas. Trips available in May. – Contiki

Grand Designs of Portugal – A 9 day tour visiting a land of beautiful ancient towns, varied culture, wild landscapes and elegant pousadas (hotels), this holiday tour explores both Portugal’s natural beauty and historic culture. Excursions include city tours of Arraiolos and Porto, a full-day trip to Estremoz, Borba & Vila Viçosa and a trip to Viana do Castelo, including Ponte de Lima and Valença do Minho. Trips available Spring, early Summer and early Autumn. – Titan Travel

Bruges - A 5 Day Short Break Holiday to Bruges aka the Venice of the North. Enjoy winding cobbled streets, pretty gabled houses, tree-lined canals and humpback bridges. An excursion to the beautiful town of Gent which is famous for the quayside called Graslei in the canal-side part of the city boasting magnificent architecture housing a host of canal-side cafes and restaurants. In addition a visit to Ostend is available; Belgium’s most famous seaside resort and home to a long beach and promenade perfect to enjoy the sea views. Trips available April to September. - Shearings Holidays

Lake Garda and Venice All Inclusive - A 9 Day break based in charming Arco at the Hotel Villa Delle Rose located just north of Lake Garda. Enjoy three included excursions during your time there, exploring the towns and villages both north and south of Lake Garda. The highlight of the visit being an excursion to the famous city of Venice, which obviously needs no introduction. Trips available March through to October. - Shearings Holidays

Fort William & The Highlands - A 4 Day mini break based at the Caledonian in Fort William located at the foot of Ben Nevis and overlooking tranquil Loch Linnhe. A relaxing break taking in the spectacular Highland scenery and an ideally situated for taking day trips to stunning locations such as the Isle of Skye, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. An excursion to Mallaig is included. Trips available in Spring and Autumn. - Shearings Holidays

Sicily - Jewel of the Mediterranean – A 10 day trip to the fascinating and historically rich island of Sicily. Explore the island’s treasures, including Agrigento’s Greek temples and postcard-pretty Taormina, and we’ll sip wine produced on the slopes of Mount Etna. This full on holiday includes Guided tours of Syracuse, Segesta, Selinunte, Valley of the Temples, the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, and Taormina (including Greek theatre and Alcantara Gorge) Visits to Aci Castello, Catania, Cefalù, Monreale, Palermo and Mount Etna plus Wine tasting at Cantina Murgo. Trips available during April, May June and September. – Titan Travel

Prague, Budapest & Vienna – 8 Day holiday staying at a 4 Star Bed & Breakfast. Plenty of highlights on this tour; An included walking tour of Prague, see the Ringstrasse buildings and the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. See Budapest's traditional thermal baths and majestic Parliament building and Journey through beautiful, forested Bohemia to name but just a few. Trips available in April. – Newmarket Holid

Donegal & the Giant's Causeway (Iconic Irish Landscapes) – 6 day short break based at the Station House Hotel in Letterkenny, located on the banks of the tranquil River Swilly. Here you’ll enjoy Five nights' dinner, bed and Irish breakfast. Highlights of the trip include a visit to the Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle, excursions to Donegal, the Inishowen Peninsula and Glenveagh National Park along with entry to the fascinating Doagh Isle Famine Village. Trips available between April and October, - Newmarket Holidays.

The Harz Mountains & Fairy Tale Germany – 7 Day holiday based in a 4 Star Hotel; based on demand your stay shall be at 1 of 3 hotels within the town of Hannover. Enjoy the panoramic scenery of the Harz Mountains, as you travel into the heart of a fairy tale country stopping at the Möhne Dam en route. Also included are visits to medieval cities and picturesque towns of Goslar, Wernigerode, Hannover and Celle, plus the chance to visit Göttingen and Hamelin. Trips available May, July and August. – Leger Holidays.

Beautiful Bavaria All Inclusive – 8 Day Short Break to Germany staying at the Hotel Jagerhaus located in Langenau. Trip Highlights include Neuschwanstein Castle, Visit picturesque Rothenburg and historic Nuremburg and enjoying the Bavarian alpine scenery. Breakfast and Dinner included along with free selected beer, wine, soft drinks between 7pm and 11pm. Trips available from March through to October. – Shearings Holidays.

Rudesheim and Bingen Wine Festival – A great 8 Day Event Break based in Rudesheim at the Hotel Rudesheimer Hof. Here you’ll get to enjoy the atmosphere and local wines at the Bingen Wine Festival. Other trip highlights include taking in the scenery around the romantic Rhine Gorge and Moselle Valley, relaxing on a cruise along the Moselle and explore popular Rudesheim from your centrally situated hotel. Trips available in August

Annecy & The French Alps – 8 Days staying at the Hotel Mercure Annecy (Resort - Annecy Sud Seynod). Annecy is a busy city, its old town which is dominated by the castle, is very photogenic with narrow winding cobbled streets lined with charming arcades. Alongside the sleepy river there are lovely sunny quays. The trip incorporates some lovely excursions to enjoy. Trips available in June, August & September. – Alpha Travel

As always we hope we have sparked an interest enough for you to explore further. Go to our Partner Page to find links to the above operators which in turn will provide details of the selected Short Breaks and Holidays along with many other similar getaways. Go to our Homepage for the latest deals and offers on all types of cheap holidays. Whether it’s Weekend Getaways or Midweek Breaks you’re looking for, we are sure you’ll find something that suits.

 

Briefly in Torbay

Torbay also known as the English Riviera if you didn’t know is located on the south coast of Devon; its principle towns being Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. It is a very popular and well known UK holiday destination, so we are under no illusion that we are enlightening the vast majority of readers (if anyone at all) to a relatively undiscovered gem of a holiday destination. However, this does not alter the fact that it is a superb destination for a weekend getaway, short break holiday or longer vacation. What we hope to achieve in this post is, that along with details of the “famous” aspects, is to highlight certain places, attractions and events which may be news to some people. To start with let’s give a brief description of the main towns.

Torquay

The largest of the trio and is classed by some as a city rather than a town (it’s one of those places that achieves city status by some definitions but not others). At the very least it’s a large town. As you would expect there is plenty to see and do. The Harbour and Marina area offer plenty of restaurants, bars, casual cafes etc. to enjoy. Avid shoppers will not be disappointed with Torquay as there is plenty of choice spread across the town centre. Fleet Walk Shopping Centre is closest to the harbour area and boasts a mixture of High Street Brands and Independent Retailers. Fleet Street and Union Street provide an abundance of stores, again well- known names mixed with local traders. In the middle of Union Street you will find another small Shopping Mall aptly named Union Square Shopping Centre. For nightlife there is the choice of a Clubs, Cocktail Bars, Themed and Traditional Pubs, Casino, Theatres along with a wide choice of restaurants. For Beaches and Attractions see below where we have listed individually. For places to stay, Torquay really does offer the full range with budget B&B’s to Luxury Hotels. For those that don’t know, Torquay was where the fictional Fawlty Towers Hotel from the comedy series of the same name was located; unfortunately the actual hotel (real name Gleneagles Hotel) is now no more, with residential flats now occupying the site. The Deal Finder sites are showing rooms in October at the weekend as starting at around £40.00 per night up to £250.00 per night with mid-week breaks starting at the same price but the most expensive being around £120.00 per night

Paignton

Torbay’s second town in terms of size. Paignton is a lively town with Promenade, Pier, Amusements, Family Restaurants, Pubs, Theatre and a Green which plays host events and numerous activities. Although not the same scale as Torquay, Paignton does offer shoppers a reasonable choice. Torbay Road which runs from the seafront to town centre is filled with independent shops selling mainly nic-nacs, gifts, toys etc. Following on from Torbay Road you’ll find the pedestrianised Victoria Street where many popular High Street retailers can be found. Paignton can offer a lively night life with clubs and many vibrant pubs to be found both along the seafront and town centre. To stay in Paignton at this time of the year we found the weekend getaway prices to range from £46.00 per night to £138.00 per night and weekdays £37.00 per night to £137.00 per night.

Brixham

The smallest of the three towns and definitely the most diverse of the trio. Brixham is a small Fishing town which although not as big as it once was, still retains a significant commercial fishing fleet. Its bustling Harbour and Marina are what makes Brixham a popular tourist destination. The Quayside with its restaurants, pubs, shops is the ideal place to hang out and watch the goings-on, on the busy harbour. With its colourful Fishermen’s cottages on the surrounding hilly streets Brixham makes for a very picturesque and quaint town. There is a High Street, but it is geared towards providing the essentials to the locals – Shopping is not a reason to visit Brixham. The town has many B&B’s and small hotels; we found a price range of £70.00 per night to £139.00 per night for weekend stays and £60.00 per night to £129.00 per night for a midweek breaks. Footnote: Football Fans point of interest. “Abide with Me” the famous hymn sung at the Cup final was written by The Reverend Henry Francis Lyte during his time as Vicar at Brixham’s All Saints Church.

A quick shout out to a couple of towns, not in Torbay, but very close by and well worth a visit.

Totnes – Situated a few miles West of Paignton. A vibrant market town which sits at the head of the River Dart.

Dartmouth – South of Brixham on the west bank of the River Dart. Lively small town and home to the impressive Britannia Royal Naval College

Beaches

Torbay District possesses a wealth of Beaches and Small Coves. Whatever your ideal day at the beach is sunbathing, swimming, fishing, rock climbing, water sports… you’re likely to find something to suit. Below is a basic guide of the various beaches along with their Google Maps co-ordinates, for easy location on maps.

Oddicombe Beach – Torquay (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.471923, -3.501252)

A popular beach, mainly shingle with many amenities. Access via steps or cliff railway

Babbacombe Beach – Torquay (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.479188, -3.510385)

Small pebble/rock beach with amenities. Access via road with small Car Park

Anstey’s Cove – Torquay (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.472030, -3.501221)

Small pebble/rock beach with amenities. Access via pathway from Car Park at cliff top

Meadfoot Beach – Torquay (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.456959, -3.509679)

Shingle beach with amenities. Access direct from the Road.

Torre Abbey Sands – Torquay (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.462713, -3.535332)

Sand and shingle beach. No amenities on the beach but is very close to harbour and town. Access direct from the road.

Corbyn Beach – Torquay (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.459534, -3.541162)

Small sandy beach with amenities. Access direct from the road.

Hollicombe Beach – Paignton (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.450123, -3.552666)

Shingle beach. No amenities. Access via footpath.

Preston Sands – Paignton (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.443018, -3.556432)

Long sand & shingle beach with amenities. A popular Water Sport beach. Access direct from the road.

Paignton Beach – Paignton (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.437370, -3.558628)

Long sandy beach with plenty of amenities. A popular Water Sport beach. Access direct from the road

Fairy Cove Beach – Paignton (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.431535, -3.555090)

Small shingle beach. No amenities. Access via footpath.

Goodrington Sands – Goodrington (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.424355, -3.559487)

Long sandy beach with plenty of amenities. A popular Water Sport beach. Access direct from the road. Car Park very close by.

Oyster Cove - Goodrington (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.417809, -3.556050)

A small shingle beach with no amenities. Access via steps from cliff top.

Saltern Cove - Goodrington (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.416160, -3.556935)

A shingle beach with no amenities. Access via steps from cliff top.

Broadsands Beach – Broadsands (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.406083, -3.554693)

Long sandy beach with plenty of amenities. Access via Car Park

Elberry Cove – Churston (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.402500, -3.545864)

Shingle and pebble Beach with no amenities. A popular Water Sport beach Access via footpath through field.

Churston Cove - Churston (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.402916, -3.524131)

Shingle and pebble beach with no amenities. Access via woodland pathways from cliff tops.

Fishcombe Cove – Brixham (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.402196, -3.521461)

Shingle and pebble beach with amenities. Access via footpath from cliff top or steep hill to Car Park on nearby on higher ground.

Breakwater Beach – Brixham (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.399848, -3.503975)

Shingle and pebble beach with amenities. Access via road and Car Parks. Popular water sports beach.

Shoalstone Beach - Brixham (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.401417, -3.498092)

Actually it's not a beach at all; it's a salt water lido which sits on the rocks directly beside the sea itself. There is a surrounding poolside area suitable for lazing and relaxing and rather conveniently the landscape has provided large flat rocks adjacent, ideal for sunbathing.

St Mary's Bay - Brixham (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.386644, -3.503752)

Sand and pebble beach with no amenities. Access via woodlands and fields with very steep steps from cliff top.

Man Sands - Brixham (Google Maps Grid Ref 50.370859, -3.516406)

Sand and pebble beach with no amenties. Access via Fields

Apart from its Beaches, Towns and rural beauty there are a fair few Attractions, Places of Interest and Things to Do in the area. Below we have briefly highlighted, in no particular order, some of the more popular ones (please note this list is not exhaustive). We have tried to make the list as varied as possible.

Berry Head - Brixham

A headland marking the southern point of Torbay. Jutting out to sea the views of the bay and beyond are stunning; well worth the walk through the Nature Reserve. Home also to Napoleonic Forts and of course the all-important Lighthouse.

Golden Hind – Brixham

A replica of Drake’s famous Galleon moored in Brixham Harbour. Explore the Ship and discover what it would have been like to sail the seven seas in such a vessel.

Paignton Zoo – Paignton

Over 80 acres and containing approximately 2500 animals. Everything you would expect from a top class Wildlife Park

Torre Abbey – Torquay

Historic Medieval Monastery and Art Gallery open to the public.

Splashdown Quaywest – Goodrington

Waterpark with pools, tumbling tyre rides water chutes etc. situated just off of Goodrington Sands beach.

The English Riviera Wheel - Torquay

Large Ferris Wheel taking you on a 12 minute round journey which offers fantastic views of the bay.

Babbacombe Model Village - Torquay

Set in 4 acres of gardens, portraying English life over the past 6 decades with more than 424 model buildings and an estimated 13160 little people and animals.

Kents Cavern - Torquay

Tour a labyrinth of caverns surrounded by 400 million year old rocks with amazing stalagmites and stalactites to enjoy.

Occombe Farm – Paignton

Working organic Farm Attraction with farmyard animals, nature trail, bird hide and play areas.

Living Coasts – Torquay

Coastal Zoo & Aquarium

Princess Theatre & Babbacombe Theatre – Torquay. Palace Theatre – Paignton

All three venues offer top quality Theatre Productions and Shows with many household names making appearances.

Bygones Museum – Torquay

A British History Museum displaying nostalgic, interesting and funny exhibits from days gone by (many from not too many days ago)

Cockington Court, Village and Country Park – Torquay

Charming village with Thatched Cottages and Tea Rooms, set in a country park complete with beautiful lakes. Cockington Court is situated at the bottom of the Green, housing a craft centre and restaurant aside of the small picturesque Cockington Church.

Dinosaur World – Torquay

An interactive Dinosaur and Fossils Exhibition.

Dartmouth Steam Railway – Paignton

Provide steam train travel, river and sea cruises across the English Riviera and along the beautiful River Dart.

Pirates Bay Adventure Golf - Paignton

18 hole Floodlit Crazy/Adventure Golf Course

Dartmoor

Cheating a bit here, but seeing as it’s on the doorstep it would be wrong not to mention the Moors. A truly raw and stunning countryside area with some fantastic beauty spots to visit.

As mentioned these are only a few of the Attractions on offer in the region.

With regard to eating out in Torbay, the choice is virtually endless with Restaurants of every variety, Diners, Takeaways, Tea Rooms etc. to suit all budgets. We cannot possibly recommend, but as you can imagine the Sea Food options available are first class. Take a look at TripAdvisor’s selection of eateries within the region.

Finally a selection listing of the leading Events in the area (again in random fashion)

Torbay Steam Fair – Brixham. – Aug

Brixham Pirate Festival – Brixham – May

BMAD Bike Nights – Paignton – June to Sep

International Agatha Christie Festival – Torbay – Sep

The English Riviera Air Show – Paignton – Jun

Paignton Regatta Community Fun Week – Paignton – Aug

Paignton Festival/Torbay Carnival – Paignton – Jly/Aug

Brixfest – Brixham – May

Train of Lights – Paignton – Dec

Torbay Royal Regatta – Torquay – Aug

Lanterns, Lights & ‘luminations ‘ Parade – Brixham – Nov

Children’s Week – Paignton - Aug

Cockington Halloween and Day of the Dead Festival – Torquay – Oct/Nov

Occombe Festival – Paignton – Jun

England Seafood FEAST – Torbay – Sep/Oct

Torquay Christmas Carnival – Torquay – Nov

Cockington Fayre – Torquay – Aug

Well that was our whirlwind report on Torbay, which we hope will have added a little more to your knowledge of the area. Torbay is well worth a visit at any time of year, whether it’s a mini break in the autumn or winter or perhaps a longer stay in the spring or summer months there is always something to do, see or enjoy. See our Partner Page for Hotel & Travel Finders for the best deals in the area or our Homepage for any current specific offers. As an alternative to a Hotel or B&B our partner John Fowler Holidays has its South Bay Holiday Park located in Brixham, should you prefer