Princess Gardens




Torbay Council




Public Realm


Green Flag Award

Princess Gardens in Torquay, located on the English Riviera, features late 19th-century seafront gardens and cliff walks. A collaborative effort by LHC Design, Torbay Council, and Devon Gardens Trust resulted in a Masterplan Report. This led to ongoing improvements such as restoring the water fountain, reinstating historic planting layouts, and enhancing surfacing and tree planting. The successful interventions earned Princess Gardens a Green Flag Award, an international mark of quality, recognising it alongside some of the best green spaces in the world.

Project Vision

Princess Gardens is situated on the English Riviera within the town of Torquay. It comprises a group of late 19th-century seafront public gardens, and picturesque terraced cliff walks originally laid out to the design of the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, Major Garrett, between 1892 and 1894.

The gardens have undergone many phases and developments over the years, including a new extension on further land reclaimed from the bay which greatly increased their size. Some of the developments have had adverse effects on the Grade II registered garden, and in recent years, largely due to maintenance problems, they have entered the English Heritage at risk register

LHC Design has worked closely with Torquay Council Conservation and Recreational Officers and Devon Gardens Trust to understand the historical significance of the gardens, their development over time, the pressures for change and ongoing maintenance requirements. The culmination of this work has resulted in a masterplan report identifying works and potential future design enhancements for the gardens.

Project Outcomes

This report has been the catalyst for ongoing enhancements including restoration of the original water fountain, reinstatement of the historic Fleur de Lis planting layout and additional surfacing and tree planting improvements. The garden has subsequently been given a Green Flag Award, recognising it alongside some of the very best green spaces in the world.