History of Babbacombe Downs


'[A] beautiful spot...Red rocks and wooded hills like Italy, and reminding one of a ballet or play where nymphs appear, such rocks and grottoes, with deepest sea on which there was no ripple.' – Babbacombe Bay, described by Queen Victoria in her journal of 1846

Our B&B entrance is clad with photographs of the building in its various guises, as well as Babbacombe Downs. Once a coaching hotel and previously known as The Regency, our property dates to 1846. 

During the period, the English Riviera became a picturesque refuge for the rich and famous. Among its fan were Queen Victoria, who made personal visits to Babbacombe to sketch the cliffs, and Oscar Wilde, who lived in the village from 1892-3.

The area has been a beloved year-round holiday destination ever since. Babbacombe Downs is a long stretch of common land skirting the wooded cliffs, where families have played and couples have courted for over a century. It's an impressive drop to the shore below, but in 1926 Babbacombe Cliff Railway opened, a charming funicular that scales the 240ft cliff with ease. 

Beyond its sandy beaches, Babbacombe Village has everything you need for a peaceful holiday. Explore the world in miniature at the fascinating Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens, or wander down our street for a matinee at Babbacombe Theatre. Source local, artisan picnic or ingredients in the Victorian-inspired St Marychurch precinct, smell the roses in Tessier Gardens, or sip a crisp cider at the Cary Arms.