English Riviera Airshow, Torbay, 2020


English Riviera Airshow 2020

Red Arrows

The Red Arrows have always supported the show in Torbay

Message from the Show

In line with government guidance, it is with regret, we will be cancelling the English Riviera Airshow, which was due to take place on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June.

We have informed our partners, suppliers and traders of this decision and thank them for their understanding. As one of Torbay’s flagship events, and an event that grows in success each year, we thank residents and visitors for their support and are sorry that we have had to make this decision. We hope that the event will return in 2021.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “It is imperative that we follow all government guidance and this applies to the English Riviera Airshow. Cancelling the airshow on social distancing grounds is to protect both residents and visitors to the Bay.

If you have pre-booked parking, you will be receiving a refund in due course. If you have any other enquiries, please email events@torbay.gov.uk

Torbay Airshow 2019

1st & 2nd June 2019

The Typhoon has displayed at all Torbay Airshows

The Torbay Airshow enjoyed huge success in its first three years but there was concern that the 2019 show may not go ahead when the local authority said it was unable to afford all of the promised £90,000 towards the estimated £200,000 cost of the show. However, in November it was confirmed that the show would be safe, with sponsorship and donations making up the shortfall.

The airshow is very well supported by the RAF and also attracts top civilian displays. Once again this year the show enjoyed the very first public display of the season by the Red Arrows, who had only just returned from their training in Greece and came direct to the Torbay sunshine without even going to their home base first. Other RAF teams joining the Red Arrows on day one were the Typhoon, Chinook and Tucano as well as the BBMF's Dakota, Spitfire and Hurricane. The Royal Navy selected Torbay, too, for one of only six UK displays in 2019 by the Black Cats solo Wildcat and the army were represented by The Tigers Parachute Display Team.

Apart from the Fireflies, who cancelled before the show, there was a full programme of displays in sparkling weather on Saturday but the weather did not hold for Sunday's airshow. The flying began with the Red Arrows as scheduled but their display was curtailed because of the low cloud. The Chinook was able to battle the conditions but other displays were first postponed, then cancelled when the weather refused to improve. (... continued below the table)

All are due to fly both days
Red Arrows
Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)
RAF Tucano
Chinook (RAF)
Black Cat (RN)
Dakota (BBMF)
BBMF Spitfire & Hurricane
The Blades
Fireflies (cancelled)
Tigers Parachute Display Team
Strikemaster Mk82A G-SOAF
TwirlybaticsTwirlybatics, Pitts Special G-TWRL, Corrine Dennis
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

Like several of the other seaside shows, it is possible to watch the aircraft from nearby hills, seeing the display against the background of Torbay and Brixham. A popular viewpoint is Roundham Head, along the child and wheelchair-friendly South West Coast Path, from where there are extensive views across Tor Bay, taking in the display, and over Goodrington Sands towards Brixham.

Listed time slots
May change and will not necessarily display in the listed order within each time slot
11.30 - noon-Red Arrows
noon - 1pm-Chinook
Tigers Parachute Display Team
1 - 2pm-Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
2 - 3pmTigers Parachute Display Team
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Tucano T1
The Blades
Royal Navy Black Cat
3 - 4pmChinook
Red Arrows
4 - 5.30pmTucano T1
Royal Navy Black Cat
The Blades
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

Torbay Airshow 2017

They did it again

The Chinook displayed on Sunday

Following broad acclaim for the show's debut in 2016, the Torbay airshow repeated their success in 2017. The show was again based over the sea at Paignton and provided some spectacular air displays, including the first display of the season by the Chinook on Sunday 4th and the 2017 debut of the Red Arrows, who flew on both days. The noisy Typhoon had already performed this year, but Torbay saw its first seaside displays.

Unfortunately, overrunning winter maintenance meant the Lancaster was not able to display, but the BBMF were represented by their Spitfire and Hurricane.

In an innovation for 2017. visitors could also get tickets to go aboard HMS Somerset on the Sunday and find out all about a Royal Navy Frigate and how it works.

The full flying schedule is in the table

Flying Schedule (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
Red Arrows
Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)
Belgian F-16
Chinook (Sunday only)
BBMF (Due to overrunning maintenance the Lancaster, which had originally been scheduled, did not fly)
Team Raven
Lauren Richardson
Gerald Cooper
Piston Provost
Tigers Parachute Display Team
Cancelled or Withdrawn
Swordfish. Unserviceable for the whole of 2017 season. (Originally scheduled by Fly Navy)

Torbay Airshow 2016

Impressive Debut

Strikemaster: a popular display in 2016

This brand new airshow in Torbay was a resounding success, proving that, despite the gloom and cancellations in the post-Shoreham era, airshows can, and do, succeed and prosper.

Flying (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
BBMF Spitfire & Hurricane (The Lanc was originally scheduled but was not airworthy) (Saturday and Sunday)
Red Arrows (Sunday only)
Typhoon (Saturday and Sunday)
 King Air Display Team (RAF) CANCELLED
Tigers Parachute Display Team (Saturday and Sunday)
Twisters with lights and fireworks (Friday evening)
Calidus Autogyro
The Blades (Saturday and Sunday
Breitling Wingwalkers
Sea Vixen (Saturday)
AeroSparx with lights and fireworks (Friday evening)

The RAF supported this new airshow with an impressive lineup including the Red Arrows, the Typhoon and the BBMF's Spitfire and Hurricane although the Lancaster, originally due to appear, was still undergoing repair and was not ready in time for the show. The King Air display team had also been scheduled, but did not fly as they had cancelled all displays in 2016.

The show was not without its controversy. In particular, parking was restricted in a huge number of roads and, although some concessions were made at the last minute, local residents and traders expressed some disquiet over the disruption to normal local services. Nevertheless, the show was a major fillip to local tourism and trade with estimates of crowd numbers varying in the 100,000 - 150,000 range and auguring well for a repeat in 2017.


Local area

Getting to the Show

By car

Paignton is off the A380 from the east and the A385 from the west. These in turn connect to the A30, A38 and M5. Journey times would be about 2½ hours from Bournemouth, 3½ hours from Portsmouth or Bristol and 4½ hours from central London, depending, of course on traffic conditions. Use sat nav TQ4 6AG until you get close but ignore the sat nav in favour of show signs when you see them.

By coach

National Express have several coach services that visit Paignton, which is now accessible by many towns and cities along the south coast: from Eastbourne, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Newquay, St. Austell, Truro Falmouth, St. Ives and places in between. Another service goes to Paignton on the way between London, Heathrow and Exeter, visiting Reading on the way; and another goes from Yorkshire, visiting Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Birmingham, Bristol and Taunton.

By Train

Paignton is easily accessible from main railway hubs such as Exeter, Bristol, Birmingham and Reading, with connections to the rest of the UK. Paignton station is about 5 minutes walk from the flying line.

Click here to create a pocket timetable for your journey between any stations on the National Rail network.

The variety of rail tickets and fares can be very confusing. Trainline and Raileasy web sites list all ticket and fare options for the time and day of travel you choose but they both levy an admin fee. Click either of the blue ticket agency names to go to their web site.

Travel Advice

Road traffic updates
Highways Agency
Incidents and enquiries
National Railway Map
DIY pocket timetable
Journey planning by public transport
Route planners (Road)
Bing (Microsoft)

Accommodation near the show

It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.

There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.

Expedia lists a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres. They also give, and take, Nectar points.

Click the blue Expedia name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into the link but when the list comes up you do have to enter your dates and adjust the number of rooms and guests, if necessary.

There is a Premier Inn on Paignton seafront (but not on the flying line) and another two within three miles.

Weather for the show area

UK Met Office Forecast

A full 7 day Paignton weather forecast from the UK Met Office

The Met office seven-day forecast includes maximum, minimum and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind direction, gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.

The BBC's five-day forecast has overall conditions including temperatures, UV range and a description that may help to determine how pleasant the day will be for the visitor.

Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.

2020 Show Basics


Airshow links

Show's web site


Not required. This is a free show.


Sat Nav TQ4 6AG
For links to travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting there' tab


Torbay Council