Cockington Cottages

Holiday Activities for Teenagers in Torquay: Exciting Adventures for Teens

Are you a parent searching for thrilling activities to keep your teenagers entertained during your holiday in Torquay and The English Riviera? We understand that teenagers and ‘tweens’ can be a challenge to engage, but fear not! We’ve got you covered. As parents of teenagers ourselves, we know what it takes to create an unforgettable vacation. Rain or shine, Torquay offers a wide range of activities tailored to the preferences of active teens. Plus, when parents join in, it’s an excellent opportunity to bond as a family and spark meaningful conversations.

Sea Adventures

If you’re wondering about the activities available for teenagers in Torquay and its surroundings, let’s start with thrilling boat trips. Torquay Harbour is the gateway to numerous trips and destinations, and here are a few suggestions:

  1. Sea Fishing:  The whole family can enjoy a fantastic 2-hour Mackerel Fishing trip.
  2. Wildlife Cruise: Hop on a wildlife cruise and keep an eye out for dolphins, porpoises and seals and a whole variety of sea birds.
  3. Brixham Ferry: Take a ferry to Brixham (a family return ticket is £30 at the time of writing) and indulge in the best fish and chips you’ll ever taste. Did you know Torbay is known as The Seafood Coast, and Brixham is one of the UK’s most important fishing harbours? It’s an attractive place to spend a few hours, with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and pubs.
  4. ‘Crabbing’ in Brixham: Have a blast ‘crabbing’ around the harbour wall in Brixham. You can find everything you need in the small shops around the harbour, and when hunger strikes, there are numerous dining options to choose from.

For the more adventurous, Torquay offers various water sports opportunities:

  1. RIB Ride: Experience the excitement of a high-speed RIB ride on the ‘Raptor’ departing from Torquay.
  2. Goodrington Beach: Head over to Goodrington beach near Paignton and rent paddleboards, kayaks or book a coasteering experience from Reach Outdoors . 
  3. Sea Kayaking: Embark on a sea kayaking tour and explore the captivating coast at sea level. Sea Kayak Torbay offers a variety of tours in small groups, allowing you to discover different areas of the bay.
  4. Speaking of the sea, did you know that Torbay boasts over 20 beaches? Our personal favourite is Goodrington beach, equipped with excellent facilities, including the thrilling water park Splashdown Quaywest. While your teens and ‘tweens’ enjoy hours of fun in the flumes, you can relax on the beach or join in the excitement!

Land Adventures

Not everyone enjoys getting wet or spending time on boats. So, what land-based activities are available for teenagers on holiday in Torquay? Here are some fantastic options:

  1. Tennis: Get your teens Wimbledon-ready with coaching lessons at Torquay Tennis Club. They offer budget friendly three-hour morning sessions during the holidays. While your teens perfect their skills, parents can enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the nearby cafes, relishing the stunning bay views or bask in the sun on the beach.
  2. Mini Golf and Pitch & Putt: Torre Abbey Gardens provides family-friendly mini golf and pitch & putt facilities. No booking required – just show up and have a great time. If you prefer real golf, Torquay Golf Club welcomes visitors.
  3. Scenic Walks: Torbay offers a plethora of coastal walks suitable for all abilities and distances. Whether your family enjoys leisurely strolls or more challenging hikes, the South West Coast Path offers breathtaking views.
  4. Cockington Village: Take a football or frisbee for a free day out and walk to Cockington, a preserved village with thatched cottages, a manor house (Cockington Court), a craft centre, tea rooms, and charming thatched pub & restaurant, The Drum Inn. Surrounding it all are 450 acres of country park with abundant walking trails. TOP TIP: For a delightful stay in Cockington, we recommend Mallock Cottage @ Cockington Cottages. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage is well-suited for families with teenagers.
  5. If your kids are into serious mountain biking, Scadson Woods near Cockington have a 13 acre Freeride Park for a small membership fee. On the other hand, if road biking is their passion, head to Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton, where a velodrome and a range of sporting activities await, including a 33m swimming pool.
  6. During August, Torre Abbey Meadows, facing the seafront, transforms into a traveling funfair, featuring thrilling rides that are a hit with both locals and visitors.
  7. Animal lovers rejoice! A visit to Paignton Zoo is guaranteed to thrill your teens and ‘tweens’ with its diverse collection of creatures, from insects to giraffes. Don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes for this exciting adventure!

Rainy Day Activities

While Torquay enjoys mostly fine weather, occasional rainy days are inevitable. However, worry not, as we have plenty of tips for activities to keep your teenagers entertained during these moments:

  1. Leisure Pool: Torquay offers a fantastic Leisure Pool equipped with a wave machine, water slides, and a huge health and fitness suite. For active families, a 7-day pass is available at a discounted rate, granting unlimited access to the facilities.
  2. Tenpin Bowling: Enjoy a family favourite at the Tenpin Bowling alley, boasting 21 lanes to accommodate everyone.
  3. Torquay Museum: Despite its small size, Torquay Museum offers a variety of themes and frequently hosts additional exhibitions. Additionally, the museum features a dedicated gallery showcasing the life and works of Agatha Christie.
  4. Torre Abbey: Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Torre Abbey, which presents a full program of events, visiting exhibitions, and a museum dedicated to Torbay’s history, including Torquay’s involvement in the Spanish Armada.
  5. Penny Arcades: No seaside visit is complete without a visit to the penny arcades. Torquay harbourside is home to the Golden Palms arcade, an ideal place for some gaming fun. Additionally, you’ll find excellent lunch and dinner options, as well as shopping opportunities nearby.
  6. Cinema: Catch up on the latest films at The Vue Cinema on Paignton seafront or Merlin Cinema in Torquay and enjoy quality time together.
  7. Escape Rooms: Engage your tricky teenagers with the excitement of Escape Rooms. It’s an activity suitable for all ages and can be an excellent bonding experience. We recommend trying the challenging but rewarding Paignton Escape.
  8. For an extraordinary experience, take your kids to Kents Cavern, where they can explore prehistoric caves. These caves are one of Europe’s most important Stone Age sites, and guided walks are both informative and enjoyable. Prepare to be amazed by the remarkable discoveries made within these caves.

Venturing Further Afield

  1. Within an hour of Torquay, you’ll find several family theme parks. However, many of these are more suited for younger children. We recommend Woodlands as the best option for this age group. With its toboggan run, water slides (remember to bring spare clothes!), huge indoor play area, and animal petting zone, Woodlands guarantees a day filled with excitement. Booking online in advance will ensure you benefit from discounted rates.
  2. If you fancy a shopping trip in the beautiful city of Exeter, we suggest taking the train. The coastal train journey to Exeter is stunning. There are 3 stations; St David’s (closest to the University), Central and St Thomas. You could alight at St Thomas station and enjoy a short walk to the lovely Quayside, where kids and adults can try the excellent Clip ‘n Climb for a thrilling energy-burning session. Also at the Quayside is the tourist information office where you can find out about visiting Exeter Cathedral, Exeter Museum, and Exeter Underground Passages which are all a short walk away. Return to Torquay via Central station.
  3. For forest walking, mountain biking, and the thrilling GO APE experience, head to Haldon Forest, located on the Torquay side of Exeter.


If you’re concerned about keeping your teens and ‘tweens’ entertained, think again. With a bit of planning, your visit to Torquay and The English Riviera can become one of the most memorable holidays you’ve ever had. If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to ask. As locals, we’re here to help. Is there anything specific or a particular activity we haven’t covered? Let us know, and we’ll provide you with all the details you need!

Teenagers on holiday
Teens holiday in Torquay

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