The top five outdoor activities (within 10 minutes of our hotel)

South Devon; some of the best beaches in England, stunning coastal walks and beautiful countryside. Explore the culture and history of our county with our guide to the best outdoor places to visit, which are all within 10 minutes of the Osborne Hotel.

Paignton Beach – 3 miles from the hotel

The Marine Conservation Good Beach Guide lists Broadsands Beach, Hollicombe Beach and Preston Sands in Paignton amongst its top recommended beaches.  The beaches are family friendly, safe and clean.  There is a huge range of water sports on offer from kayaking to water skiing. The sands are lined with cafes, shops and pubs – so after all the sand castle building, you can recharge before heading back to the hotel.

Coastal Walk – 0.1 miles from the hotel

The South West Coastal Path was originally formed as coastguards walked the cliff tops watching for smugglers. Today the 630 mile long path is the longest National Trail in the country. Starting at Minehead in Somerset, it runs along the coastline of Exmoor, continuing along the coast of North Devon into Cornwall. Running in front of the hotel, follow the path from Meadfoot; head north (keep the coast on your right as you walk) and climb the hill to Thatcher’s Point, Hopes Nose and around to Anstey’s Cove. Walking south will take you to Daddyhole Plain; a limestone plateaux which offers great views of the bay and harbour. The coastal path travels through an area once cultivated by Victorian gardeners but is now preserved as a wildlife conservation area, rich in rare plants with its own colony of the nationally endangered horseshoe bats in a former wartime lookout post. Watch out for the Devil in his limestone cave!

 Babbacombe – 2 miles from the hotel

Only 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel is the quaint village of Babbacombe. Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the independent shops and tearooms before exploring the pretty coastal and woodland walks which offer spectacular views and a treasure trove of hidden coves. No visit to Babbacombe is complete without a trip to the model village or cliff top railway. The railway was built in 1926 and takes visitors down the 240-foot cliff face to Oddicombe beach.

Cockington Country Park – 3 miles from the hotel

Cockington Country Park and Gardens is an award winning country park and is part of the UNESCO English Riviera Global Geopark. A paradise for walkers, gardeners, nature lovers and families alike, the park contains wild woodlands and formal landscaped areas, such as the rose garden, arboretum and ornamental ponds.

Kents Cavern – 1.4 miles from the hotel

Kents Cavern is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe. It is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (since 1952) and a Scheduled Ancient Monument (since 1957). As you walk through the extensive labyrinth of caverns, you’ll be surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. All tours are guided so you will need to check the times before you arrive.

Planning a trip to Torquay? To get the best rates and terms it is best to book direct. Stay and dine at the Osborne Hotel this winter and take advantage of our special package – £60 pppn for dinner, bed and breakfast. To read more about this offer, visit > http://www.osborne-torquay.co.uk/offers.

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5 reasons to visit Torquay in December

A winter trip to the coast may not be a traditional choice, but with ‘staycations’ increasing in popularity, Devon is becoming a popular destination all year round. If you’re planning a trip this December to relax ahead of the festive chaos, then here are our top five reasons to visit Torquay:

1) Micro-climate

Did you know that due to the sheltered nature of Torbay, Torquay is especially mild all through the year? As result of this, palm trees have become a familiar sight! Our mild microclimate means that you’ll never face the full fury of the winter weather. In Victorian times, people were encouraged to visit the area as the weather was deemed a real tonic to their ailments! Why not give it a try yourself?

2) Christmas Market and Town Centre Festivities

If you’re looking for an exciting yet different winter destination, there is plenty happening in the area in December. The Christmas market in Lower Union Street will host 40 stalls selling traditional gifts and food. The market will be present throughout December and coincides with late night shopping. Santa’s grotto and a brass band can also be found in the town centre. Traditional pantomimes are plentiful at the town’s theatres – Cinderella at the Princess Theatre is a particular highlight this year.

3) Perfect for Children – whatever the weather!

Santa will be visiting Kent’s cavern, a UNESCO global Geopark, again this year. This is a magical event, which includes a one hour show and a personal visit to see Santa. The event is located in one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe; surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. If the weather is wet, then a trip to Waves Leisure Pool ensures fun for all the family. Recently refurbished Torre Abbey is also undercover and brings history to life with family trails in the house and gardens.

4) Travel back in time – Victorian Christmas at Bygones

To celebrate Christmas as it was in 1897, a visit to Bygones in Torquay is highly recommended. Look out for the 12-foot tree and join in the hunt for modern gifts hidden around the museum for a festive treat.

5) Meadfoot Beach

Meadfoot beach, in front of the hotel, is quieter during the winter months. Part of the Geopark, the rock formations are of great interest to budding geologists. However, a Boxing Day dip is only for the hardy! The bay is sheltered and secluded and is a favourite of the locals. Rock pooling and crab fishing are popular here and it’s only a quick walk from the hotel, where you can warm up with a cream tea afterwards!

To book an overnight stay at The Osborne Hotel during December, please visit our website and book direct. Not only will you be guaranteed of the best rates, but you can select the exact room you want – ensuring a sea view. Our new menu in Langtry’s, is a collection of wholesome, home cooked food with an innovative twist. Just perfect after a cold day’s exploring the array of attractions in Torquay.

5 Hidden Gems of Torquay

Torquay is famous for being a beautiful coastal town. If you’re planning on making a visit, here are our top five recommendations on the best sightseeing attractions in the area:

Meadfoot Beach

Just a stone’s throw away from the hotel are the stunning sights of Meadfoot Beach. The picturesque pebbly beachfront is perfect for families and makes the ideal spot for a stroll or a sunbath. Enjoy the rock pools, build a sandcastle or simply enjoy the undisturbed peace and quiet with an ice cream.

Kents Cavern

Visit the prehistoric Kents Cavern for a touch of history. See the spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations, walk along the outdoor trail or let the kids get hands-on in the archaeological dig area. Find it a mile away from Torquay harbour.

Cockington Court

Go for a day out at historic manor house Cockington Court. Set in a beautiful country park, the stunning property is home to a selection of gardens, tea rooms and craft studios that feature the work of glass blowers, blacksmiths and even a chocolatier. There are also food festivals throughout the summer, boasting delicious handmade products from local farmers.

Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium

Torquay’s Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium is situated on the sea front and is the perfect place to see otters, penguins, jellyfish, birds and other sea animals. Open every day from 10am, Coastal Zoo features an array of sights and sounds that will keep both kids and parents entertained.

Babbacombe Model Village

See the miniature world of Babbacombe Village! There’s so much to enjoy and the kids will adore getting to see everything from a mini castle and hot air balloon to a train and seaport.

Osborne Hotel offers the perfect place to stay on your visit to Torquay. Enjoy 4* accommodation and an unrivaled location, with spectacular views across the beautifully landscaped gardens stretching down to the picturesque Meadfoot Beach.

For more information, visit our website – www.osborne-torquay.co.uk