Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
It may not have the St Tropez super yachts or the celebrity of Cannes, but Torquay is the closest to the French Riviera that England's got. Thanks to a warm microclimate and plenty of vibrancy, glamorous Torquay has enough palm trees and balmy summer days to give it a continental atmosphere, making it a stylish and sought-after destination when it comes to coach holidays. Ssh though, because not many know that those palm trees are really Cordyline australis; AKA Cabbage Trees.
Once the place to holiday in Victorian times, the resort consequently combines modern facilities with the elegance of times gone by. To add to it, there's also a sophisticated air and the varied scenery of the rest of spectacular Torbay on hand. Coach holidays to Torquay might involve spending your days lounging on one of nine sandy beaches (of which 3 hold European Blue Flags, more than any other English resort), walking the palm-studded promenade, daydreaming at a pavement cafe or improving your knowledge of Agatha Christie, Torquay's most famous resident, at the Torquay Museum. Wander to Torquay's international marina to marvel at yachts or peer into the windows of ritzy gin palaces and in the evening, enjoy a drawn-out meal on the waterfront and catch Torquay's renowned coastal illuminations.
Torquay's popularity as a holiday destination means that there is a large selection of Torquay coach trips available throughout the year. Breaks typically include return coach travel, good 3 or 4* accommodation in Torquay and excursion to popular nearby favourites like Dartmouth, Paignton, Brixham, Buckfast Abbey, Eden Project and the Gardens of Heligan. Some packages are more dedicated to rail or cruising and feature journeys on the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Dart cruises.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Torquay, take a look at these other useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting the England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Torbay is built on 7 hills, so Torquay is very hilly. If your mobility is limited, bear the hilly landscape in mind before travelling and if in doubt check when booking where the hotel used on your holiday is situated.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
To find out more about visiting Torquay, check out the official tourism website at: englishriviera.co.uk
Situated in the heart of the English Riviera, Torquay has many places to visit within easy reach. Here is just a selection of the great things on offer.
Cockington Court and Gardens
Cockington Country Park which is made up of 460 acres of parkland surrounds the picture perfect Cockington Village, which is located near Torquay's seafront. Be sure to visit the formal gardens, the Rose Garden, woodland areas and lakes which are joined by a network of paths.
As one of Europe's top prehistoric Stone Age caves, this extensive labyrinth of caves is a great attraction for everyone. You will be given a guided tour of the caves which lasts around 1 hour, concluding in the underground exhibition chamber. There are various events on throughout the year – woodland trail quest, Santa Quest and even Shakespeare plays!
Babbacombe Model Village
Explore this model village whilst wandering through acres of manicured gardens. Acknowledged as one of the best model villages in the world, hundreds of models showcase British life, humour and culture throughout the decades.