An exciting new light trail is set to illuminate Torquay this Christmas.

From Saturday 19 November residents and visitors can enjoy the 1.5-mile route with glittering and unexpected surprises along the way.

Organised by us using funding secured through its successful Towns Deal Funding bid and supported by SWISCo and the English Riviera BID Company, the dazzling Illumination Trail will bring some Christmas magic to Torquay.

Light installations will guide people along the route between Torre Abbey, Torquay seafront, Fleet Street and into the town centre.

The trail, created by local company Future Technical Solutions (FTS) using low-energy LED bulbs, will allow people to stop and enjoy impressive light and sound displays.

Highlights include a light tunnel along Torquay seafront that works in co-ordination with the digital festoon lighting and a series of 16 prisms lighting up the ‘Banjo’ area. There will also be a 12-metre-high pixel mappable Christmas Tree that will provide a spectacular digital sound and light show.

Along the route, additional lighting will add some glittering Christmas magic to the town and around the harbourside, as well as in the trees and sunken gardens – even the pond in Abbey Park. There will also be lighting on the curly bridge at Abbey Sands. Several unexpected light installations will also be found along the trail, as well as entertainment walkabouts and other surprises on selected nights.

The first of its kind trail for Torquay will officially launch on Saturday 19 November and will run daily from 4:30pm, with sound elements until 9:30pm and the lighting until 11pm. The display will run until Sunday 8 January 2023, with a free online trial map and downloadable posters and social media assets for businesses.

The Illumination Trail forms part of the Bay of Lights initiative that incorporates everything from the Brixham Lanterns, Lights & ‘Iuminations, the Christmas Train of Lights from Paignton as well as seasonal events at local attractions including, Kents Cavern, and the Model Village.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “The Illuminations Trail will bring a bit of magic to Torquay this Christmas. The free to attend event will light up the winter nights and give everyone something to look forward to and ultimately enjoy with their family and friends. Expect a light festival that is about art, culture and bringing communities together.”

Cllr Swithin Long. Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said; “The Bay of Light’s Illumination Trail will provide a fantastic new attraction that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. It is our aspiration to ensure that the Bay of Lights offer grows across Torbay in all our towns. Designed to complement the festoon lighting along the seafront and Royal Terrace Gardens, we’re excited to be able to put on this trail which will hope will grow into an annual event.”

Vince Flower, Chair of Torquay Town Board, said; “Through the Torquay Town Investment Plan, we want to create a high-quality and vibrant place. What better way to do that, than by bringing people together at Christmas to enjoy something new. By supporting this event using Towns Deal Funding we are not only improving the town for local people, but also visitors, which in turn gives our economy a real boost.”

Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive Officer, English Riviera BID Company, said; “We are continually growing and expanding our tourism offer to encourage visitors to come to the English Riviera all year round. The Bay of Lights initiative is really going to be something special and magical, which is what we all want to experience at Christmas. Investment into events such as the Illumination Trail is so important as we strive to make the English Riviera the top UK destination all year round.”

To support the public launch event on Saturday 19 November, we will be offering our ‘pay for an hour, stay for the day’ parking offer in the following Torquay town centre car parks.

  • Lower Union Lane
  • Union Square

The fee of £1.40 (cash payments only) will cover parking from when people arrive until midnight on the same day.

Discover more about the Torquay Investment Plan and the work of the Torquay Town Board

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