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Retire in Torquay Guide

If Torquay is on your retirement radar, our detailed Retire in Torquay Guide is your go-to resource. Delve into the crucial aspects of life here, including living costs, climate, housing options, healthcare services, and residency procedures. We also explore the city's social dynamics, volunteering scenes, transportation, and how walkable its neighborhoods are.

Known for its stunning coastline and warm climate, Torquay is a popular retirement destination for international retirees. The town offers a relaxed lifestyle, beautiful scenery, and a range of amenities and activities. However, like any place, retiring in Torquay comes with its own set of challenges, from adjusting to a new culture to navigating the healthcare system. Here’s a closer look at what it’s like to retire in Torquay, UK.

Cost of Living

Compared to other parts of the UK, Torquay offers a relatively affordable cost of living. Housing tends to be less expensive than in larger cities, and daily expenses such as groceries and dining out are also reasonably priced. However, international retirees should be aware that the cost of living can vary depending on lifestyle and personal spending habits.


Torquay is known for its mild and temperate climate. The town enjoys warm summers and mild winters, making it an ideal location for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities. However, like much of the UK, Torquay can be rainy, so it’s a good idea to have a raincoat and umbrella handy.


Torquay is home to several well-regarded hospitals and clinics, ensuring that retirees have access to high-quality healthcare. The town’s proximity to larger cities also means that specialized medical care is readily available if needed.

Public Healthcare System

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provides comprehensive healthcare to all residents, including international retirees. However, it’s important to note that eligibility for the NHS depends on immigration status, so retirees should check their eligibility before moving.

Residency Options for Retirees

There are several options for international retirees looking to settle in Torquay. These include retirement visas, which allow retirees to live in the UK for a specified period, and permanent residency, which offers more long-term stability.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Torquay offers a range of recreational activities for retirees. The town is home to several beautiful parks, including Babbacombe Model Village and Cockington Country Park. The coastline also offers opportunities for walking, swimming, and boating.


From traditional British pubs to international cuisine, Torquay has a diverse food scene. Some popular spots among locals and retirees include The Elephant, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and Hanbury’s, a well-loved fish and chips shop.

Learning the Language

While English is the primary language in Torquay, there are opportunities for retirees to learn other languages. The Torquay Language School offers courses in several languages, including French and Spanish.

Local Culture

Locals in Torquay are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. The town has a strong sense of community, with many local events and festivals throughout the year. However, like any place, it can take time to adjust to the local culture and customs.

Meeting People and Volunteering

There are many ways for retirees to meet people and get involved in the community in Torquay. Volunteering is a popular option, with opportunities available at local charities such as the Torbay Hospital and the Torquay Community Larder. Joining local clubs and societies can also be a great way to meet people.

Housing Options

Retirees in Torquay have a range of housing options to choose from, including apartments, houses, and retirement villages. Many retirees choose to live in the town centre, which offers easy access to amenities and public transport.


Torquay has a good public transport system, with regular bus and train services. The town is also walkable, with many amenities within easy reach. However, some retirees may choose to have a car for convenience and to explore the surrounding area.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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