Field Trips


The field trip day provides an opportunity to experience what makes the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, the first urban Geopark, so special. Visit some of our key sites, experience a journey through time, unravel the incredible stories of our past, or soak up the atmosphere of our heritage and cultural sites.

The cost of the field trip is included in the conference registration fee, and you can make your choice when you register on-line for the conference. 

Whatever your preference we’ll have professionals on hand to guide you through our landscapes and a packed lunch of local goodies to keep your strength up!

Whether you are interested in the geology of our area, want to explore and enjoy the spectacular coastline and wildlife, soak up the atmosphere of our historic houses, see crafts people at work or meet the incredible community behind the now world famous Paignton Geoplay Park, we have a field trip for you.

Please be sure to read the descriptions below and pick the trip that is suitable for your level of fitness and agility.

Field Trip 1. Geopark Rocks

Geology in detail, management, research and conservation.

This trip will visit geologically significant locations across the Geopark, to provide you with an understanding of the geological evolution of the area from the Devonian to Pleistocene. This trip will be led by geology professors from one of our key strategic partners, the University of Plymouth.

The trip will visit fossiliferous Devonian carbonate platforms and shallow clastic seas, see structural evidence for Variscan deformation, evaluate Permian desert environments, see evidence for Mesozoic gold mineralisation and investigate how Pleistocene climate change influenced environments, landscape and life in Torbay.

Accessibility: Please note that option 1 includes some very steep coastal walking and some clambering and rambling across uneven rocky shores.   Suitable footwear, fitness and agility are essential.

Field Trip 2 – Geopark Stories

Accessible Geology, for Non Geologists, and its influence from the past to present.

Explore a landscape untouched by glaciation, revealing stories unseen elsewhere in the world.

Unravel the tales of tropical seas and scorching deserts, raised beaches and drowned forests, hippopotami and mammoth, straight-tusked elephant and sabre-toothed tiger, cave bear and from earliest man to Napoleon. This trip includes the opportunity to visit Hopes Nose, Kents Cavern and Berry Head.

Accessibility: Please note that option 3 includes some very steep coastal walking and some clambering and rambling across uneven rocky shores.   Suitable footwear, fitness and agility are essential.

Field Trip 3 - Overground, Underground and Cruise

Enjoy the Geopark from the best vantage point – the sea plus our heritage revealed.

Enjoy a special tour of Kents Cavern, one of the most important Stone Age cave sites in Europe, making it Britain’s premier prehistoric cave and a chance to view the famous 41,000 year old Kents Cavern jawbone and other artifacts at Torquay Museum.

Take the funicular cliff railway down a fault line in the cliffs at Babbacombe and enjoy the hallowed ground and English decadence of days past at Torre Abbey. Plus, weather dependant, head out on a cruise to take in the spectacle of the entire Geopark from the sea.

Accessibility: Suitable for all. 

Field Trip 4 – Culture, Creativity and Community


Explore the Geopark. Visit our tourist attractions, community projects and museums to appreciate the local experience of living in the English Riviera. And here are some of the sites in the English Riviera, to give you a taste of what’s on offer!

Soak up the atmosphere and admire the art collection at Torre Abbey.

Built using considerable amounts of stone from the very headland it overlooks, the Abbey has witnessed, survived and even played a role in some epic moments of history.


Then head to a magical hidden valley surrounded by the rolling countryside of Cockington Country Park.

It’s here you will find Cockington Court Craft Centre where can watch sparks fly at the blacksmithy and glass being blown as well as visiting the other local craftspeople demonstrating and selling their products. 

From people of the past to people of the present this trip provides an opportunity to visit the now famous Paignton Geoplay Park, meet members of the Paignton Community Partnership and here all about our geo-themed Play Park.

Accessibility: Suitable for all



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