Torquay, is on the English Riviera, famous for it’s warm weather and Mediterranean atmosphere. Turquoise sea, red cliffs, long sandy beaches and secret shingle coves combine to create one of the UK ’s most beautiful coastlines.
Renowned as a ‘water sports mecca’ you can try sailing, diving, water-ski-ing, windsurfing, jet ski-ing, kayaking, kite- surfing, skim boarding, coasteering or just enjoy swimming in some of the warmest waters you are likely to find in the UK. Rarely rough and virtually devoid of currents and undertows the Bay is a great place families to relax on the beaches.
Torquay’s two most famous residents were crimewriter Agatha Christie and ‘Basil Fawlty’, the remarkably rude character from the 70’s sitcom ‘Fawlty Towers’. These days you are more likely to encounter a hotel (or hostel) owner with a rather sarcastic ‘Basil-like’ sense of humour than to find yourself in a murder scene!
My favorite pastime in the area is wandering along the coast path. As soon as you leave the harbour you feel as though you are far from the town, enjoying clifftop views across the bay and strolling through beautiful woodland trails. You can enjoy a dip in the sea, take your mask, the snorkeling around the rocks is spectacular.
A swim after dark can be a magical experience because Torquay is one of the few places in the UK where you can witness phosphorescence!
Along the 22 miles of the English Riviera coastline there are 20 beaches, each one with it’s own special character.
The English Riviera was awarded this internationally important status in 2007 in recognition of it’s rich geological, historical and cultural heritage.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Torquay is the Prehistoric Kents Cavern. There have been many fascinating artifacts discovered in the cave system, the most important of which is a human jawbone, currently the oldest ‘anatomically correct’ human fossil in Europe.
Over looking Torre Abbey Sands (the main beach) is the impressive Torre Abbey which is the oldest building in Torquay and a great introduction to the history of the area.
The thatched cottages of Cockington village give you the feeling you have stepped back in time. The historic manor house set in beautiful parkland houses workshops where crafts people demonstrate ancient skills and you have opportunity to buy their wares.
On summer evenings you can enjoy the open air Shakespeare in the perfect location.