TDA and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust (TCCT) on behalf of Torbay Council are currently inviting offers from businesses interested in entering into a lease to operate a horse drawn carriage service around the grounds and picturesque estate of Cockington Court in Torbay. 

Set in an award-winning country park, a few miles from Torquay town centre, Cockington Court is a thriving centre of creativity and a popular visitor attraction cultivating art, culture and local talent. Cockington Court comprises of an historic manor house, craft studios, tea rooms, walled art garden, a rose garden, contemporary art gallery and children’s play area. 

The manor house recently underwent extensive renovation at a cost of £2.85m, part funded by the European Development Fund, Torbay Council and CABE, transforming the former aristocratic home into office space, craft studios and function rooms. The estate sits within 460 acres of country park which is managed by TCCT. 

There has been a long tradition associating Cockington with its iconic horse and carriages and horses are an important part of the country park. 

Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council said: The carriage operation at Cockington is an opportunity to continue a very special sense of heritage at the site. The provision of carriage rides around the Cockington estate and grounds is well-loved by visitors and locals alike so we look forward to hearing from interested parties.”  

As Torbay Council’s appointed operators of Cockington Court, TDA appreciates the heritage of horse and carriage rides at Cockington Court and is keen to continue it. Plans are to have a horse and carriage operator in place ready for the main 2022 summer season. 

Marissa Wakefield, Director at Cockington Court, said: “TCCT very much values the presence of a carriage operator working onsite. In order to provide the much-loved tradition of horse and carriage rides at Cockington, we are now accepting invitations of interest to run the operation. We’re looking forward to securing a long-term partner so that we can once again enjoy seeing horses and carriages full of happy visitors around the estate.” 

The premises available to let include one stable block and storage facilities of equine equipment, both situated at the centre of the Cockington Court estate, with the lease being offered for a period of up to 5 years. As part of the lease agreement, summer grazing will be available between 1 April and 31 October. The successful bidder will be required to make alternative arrangements for grazing outside of the summer operating period.  

Interested parties are required to provide a business plan and show evidence of previous experience in their submission. Bids will be assessed on the strength of business plan, with particular focus on the sustainability of the business and the standard of operation. Tender documents will be required to be signed no later than 29 April 2022. 

For further details of this business opportunity or to arrange an onsite viewing, please telephone 01803 926310, or email

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