Summer at Torre Abbey

Torre Abbey is thrilled to announce a season of exciting events and experiences taking place throughout the summer holidays. From the highly anticipated return of outdoor theatre shows to teddy bear themed children's picnics and the inaugural Summer Fair, summer at the abbey promises endless family entertainment amid its picturesque surroundings.

On show until Sunday 3 September, the Abbey will continue to display the family-friendly exhibition celebrating everyone's favourite bear - Paddington: The Story of Bear. On loan from the esteemed British Library, visitors can explore Michael Bond's creation of Paddington in a fun, educational, and interactive manner, following a trail of marmalade to discover more about his mishaps and adventures. The exhibition has activities for all ages to practice their hard stares, take their own self ‘pawtrait’ and follow the trail of marmalade left by Paddington, as well as a special printed guide for families. 

Throughout the summer, Torre Abbey will host a series of children's activities to honour its special guest. There is an abundance of engaging experiences to keep little cubs and their sticky paws busy. Children and big kids alike are invited to embrace their inner architect and join the King of the Castle sandcastle building competition. This event offers the chance to win a family annual pass to Torre Abbey. Join the Torre Abbey team at 11:30am on Tuesday 1st August at Torquay's Abbey Sands beach to showcase your sandcastle building skills, its free to enter. Whether you are a sandcastle novice or a seasoned pro, this competition caters to enthusiasts of all ages. For each sandcastle entered, participants will receive a complimentary pass for one entry to Torre Abbey house and gardens.

Continuing the celebration of Torre Abbey's summer exhibition 'Paddington: The Story of a Bear,' on Wednesday 16 August, Torre Abbey's gardens will be transformed into a teddy bear picnic, inviting children to bring their beloved stuffed friends for a two-hour session, that will include interactive storytelling, teddy bear themed arts and crafts, and a treasure hunt. Additionally, on Thursday 17 August, Clare Helen Welsh, a former primary school teacher turned writing tutor and children's author, will lead a Children's Storytelling Workshop. Clare's passion for inspiring children to write their own stories will be highlighted in these creative workshops, set in the beautiful surroundings of Torre Abbey's Spanish Barn. The sessions will feature storytelling and creative activities and are tailored for children aged 2-6 years. Tickets for both of these activities are priced at £7 per child, which includes admission for one accompanying adult, with entrance to Torre Abbey house and gardens and the Paddington: The Story of a Bear exhibition included.

With the children taken care of, Torre Abbey is proud to present two extraordinary open-air theatre productions, set against the breath-taking backdrop of our 800-year-old medieval abbey and gardens. Immerse yourself in the thrill of live theatre amidst the serene setting of Torre Abbey's gardens. These unforgettable performances promise unique experiences, each offering a distinct perspective on Shakespearean tales.

On Thursday 17 August, the talented 440 Theatre will bring their Shakespeare 'Double Bill' to Torre Abbey, combining the iconic story of forbidden love in Romeo and Juliet and the downfall of a tragic hero in Macbeth. The 440 Theatre Shakespeare Double Bills showcase quintessentially British comedy, expertly delivered by four actors in two 40-minute productions in one night. Prepare to witness Shakespeare as you have never seen before, as two of his greatest tragedies are transformed into outrageous, laugh-out-loud comedies.

Continuing the summer of Shakespeare, the Duke's Theatre Company will take the stage at the abbey on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 August, performing Twelfth Night. This classic comedy has been reinvented for the open-air performance, breathing new life into the tale of love and mistaken identity. A romantic comedy unfolds with a madcap farce at its core. Torre Abbey is delighted to host these open-air theatre productions once again, as the historical setting and beautiful gardens create a truly unique atmosphere, making them a highlight of the summer programme.

Adding to the summer extravaganza, Torre Abbey will launch its first ever Summer Fair, inspired by an 1849 print depicting a celebration on the front lawn of Torre Abbey. This family-friendly event will be taking place on Saturday 19 August and offers an array of children's activities, including forest school workshops, donkey rides, beekeeping experiences and talks, children's storytelling, carnival games, a bouncy castle, and more. Live music performances will take place throughout the day, and over fifteen local craft stalls (from some of our Winter Fest suppliers) will be on site, offering an array of goods and food and drink will also be available.