Torquay, fondly known as the “Queen of the English Riviera,” is a beautiful coastal town in Devon, South West England. With its picturesque setting, stunning beaches, and vibrant atmosphere, Torquay has become an attractive destination for people yearning to live a serene life by the sea.
And while Torquay has often been seen as either a retirement location or somewhere to go on holiday, the area is often being seen as an affordable move in Devon for those seeking a westcountry lifestyle.
And while there are good and bad things about moving to Torquay, we think overall this is a good place to move.
We’re going to dig into the pros and cons of living in Torquay to help you make an informed decision about whether to call it your new home, or pass and search elsewhere.
The Pros of Living in Torquay
1. Access to stunning beaches
Torquay is surrounded by a beautiful collection of award-winning beaches along the South Devon Coast, such as Meadfoot Beach, Oddicombe Beach, and Corbyn Beach.
As a Torquay resident, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in endless sandy shores, spectacular cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. These beaches are an excellent sanctuary for relaxation, sunbathing, picnics, and water sports activities, making them a prime attraction for residents and tourists alike.
And in the summer months, what can be better than having access to top quality beaches right there on your doorstep?
2. Lively Town Centre
The town centre of Torquay possesses a distinctive charm and vitality that captivates residents and visitors. And while this is not a particularly cultural hotspot, you’ll find everything you need and more.
In fact, Torquay’s bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere provide an enjoyable shopping, dining, and entertainment experience. With a plethora of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars, you’ll find venues catering to various tastes and budgets.
3. Access to Devon’s South Hams and Dartmoor
Living in Torquay offers easy access to the stunning South Hams district, which boasts picturesque scenery, charming villages, and an unspoiled coastline. You’re just a short drive from Totnes, Dartmouth and Brixham, some of the loveliest towns in the region.
Dartmoor National Park, with its awe-inspiring landscapes and abundant outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching, can also be reached in under a half hour.
Fans of country walks, hiking and generally enjoyig the outside lifestyle will be spoiled for choice in Torquay.
4. Direct Train Links to London
Torquay’s convenient rail links make it an attractive choice for those who want to remain connected to the capital. The direct train services from Torquay to London Paddington Station take around 2 hours and 45 minutes, making it feasible, albeit not ideal, for daily commuters.
For those with occasional business meetings or weekend trips to the city, this direct train service can be extremely beneficial.
Another benefit is the access to Exeter airport for those quick flights to different parts of the UK or even overseas.
5. Proximity to Exeter
Torquay’s close proximity to the city of Exeter, just about a half hour drive away, presents residents with additional opportunities for work, shopping, and entertainment.
Exeter is home to a significant number of multinational companies and startups, making it an economic hotspot and increasing the potential job market for Torquay dwellers.
6. Affordable Housing Options
While property prices have increased across the country, Torquay still offers competitive prices compared to more prominent cities across the UK. In fact, compared to Exeter or even Plymouth, you can find great value on a suburban house in Torquay.
The town offers various housing options ranging from modest apartments to large Victorian style homes. First-time buyers can still find reasonably priced properties, and there are also plenty of choices for those looking to upsize or downsize.
7. An Up and Coming Area
In recent years, Torquay has been going through a gradual transformation, with new developments and refurbishments taking place throughout the town.
The ongoing resurgence of the area is resulting in improved facilities, increased investment, and a blossoming art and cultural scene.
And while Torquay could definitely benefit from some additional investments, as we’ll see below, the town is mostly looking on the up.
The Cons of Living in Torquay
1. Slight Deprivation in the Area
Despite the ongoing improvements, Torquay still faces challenges related to deprivation. Certain areas of the town struggle with poverty, unemployment, and low education attainment. While this might not directly impact everyone living in Torquay, it’s a factor to consider when looking at the overall quality of life in the area.
If you are considering a move to Torquay, make sure to spend time in the town and chat to the locals.
2. Poor Traffic in the Town
Traffic congestion can be a significant issue in Torquay, particularly during summer when tourists flock to the area. The town’s narrow streets and limited parking availability can result in lengthy delays and parking difficulties, which can be frustrating for residents and visitors alike.
3. Slightly Run-down Nature of the Town
Torquay’s ongoing investment and revitalization efforts are still in progress, and some pockets of the town have a slightly run-down appearance. Although this is expected to change in time, it currently detracts from the overall charm and appeal of the area.
The town centre of Torquay is mostly well presented, but there are definitely some parts of Paignton and Torquay that are mostly past their best.
But with that said, this does present significant opportunity for those looking to invest in businesses in the area.
4. Lack of Employment Options
While Torquay provides proximity to Exeter and its growing job market, local employment opportunities are limited. The economy is predominantly focused on tourism, retail, and hospitality industries, which tend to offer primarily part-time or seasonal work, and limited career progression. This important factor may be a deal-breaker for those seeking a thriving job market within the town itself.
Torquay’s picturesque coastlines, desirable location, and emerging cultural scene, combined with its affordable housing and ongoing investment, make it an attractive choice for many people looking for a beautiful place to live.
However, one must carefully weigh the cons, such as traffic congestion, the run-down nature of some areas, and limited local employment opportunities before committing to living in Torquay.
We hope that this balanced overview will help you decide whether Torquay is the perfect location for your new home.