Torquay (pronounced "Tor-kee") is an English town on the coast of Devon in the West Country. Since the 19th century, it has been a fashionable seaside resort in the English Riviera. The town is situated on the English Channel, on the southern edge of Torbay, an east facing bay that is part of the larger Lyme Bay.
Torquay's advantages as a seaside resort and destination are obvious, with 9 sandy beaches and extremely high standards of water quality (holder of 3 European Blue Flags, more than any other English resort). Torbay enjoys a warm micro-climate that allows palm-like trees to grow readily, though these are not true palms but rather Cordyline australis - Cabbage Tree.
Torquay is infamous as the setting of Fawlty Towers, the hotel owned by Basil and Sybil Fawlty in the classic 1970s British television comedy. The TV show was inspired by the now closed Gleneagles Hotel which the cast stayed at while filming Monty Python's Flying Circus.
The coastal area of Torbay which includes Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, was given the nickname 'English Riviera' because of the large amount of sandy beaches and the relatively warm climate compared to the rest of the country. Officially known as Torbay, it is almost completely made up of tourist resorts and small fishing communities. It is in a natural east-facing harbour.
Torquay is also known for being the place where explorer Percy Fawcett was born.
By carTorquay is connected to the UK motorway network by the A380, which traces the outskirts of the town as Hellevoetsluis Way and Hamelin Way, leading to the A38 and then on to the M5 at Exeter. The A3022 branches from the A380, leading into Torquay as Riviera Way, to the seafront as Newton Road and then Avenue Road, and then on to Paignton as Torbay Road. The A379 runs past the harbour to the Babbacombe and St Marychurch areas of Torquay, and then north along the coast to Teignmouth.
By trainTorquay has two railway stations.
Both stations are on the Riviera Line serving Exeter, Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Torre, Torquay and Paignton.
Torquay railway station is situated near the sea, close to Torre Abbey Sands. Torquay railway station is also part of the Manchester Picadilly to Paignton line.
is situated a little inland adjacent to the road leading to Newton Abbot. Not all trains stop at Torre.
By planeThe nearest airport is Exeter Airport (EXT).
Kents CavernHome to early man for some 700,000 years, tourists can visit this subterranean wonderland. The caves have attracted many famous people, among them Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, King George V of the United Kingdom and Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie who was so impressed with his visit that he gave his guide, Leslie Powe a gold sovereign.
phone: +44 1803 202470address: Torquay Harbourside, Beacon Hill, TQ1 2BGA large coastal zoo.
phone: +44 1803 315315address: Hampton Avenue, Babbacombe, TQ1 3LAThis is considered one of the best examples of a model village in England.
Torre AbbeyA Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1196.
phone: +44 1803 328750address: Babbacombe Downs Rd, TQ1 3LF
phone: +44 1803 607230address: Cockington Ln, TQ2 6XASet in a country park a mile away from the seafront, Cockington Court is an historic manor house with over 20 craft studios, tea rooms, walled art garden, tudor rose garden, contemporary art gallery and a children’s play area.
phone: +44 1803 293975address: 529 Babbacombe Rd, TQ1 1HGThe oldest museum in Devon. A Victorian museum centred around Agatha Christie though with many other exhibits throughout the ages.
phone: +44 1803 326108address: Fore St, TQ1 4PR
phone: +44 115 967 9991address: 10-12 Vaughan Rd, TQ2 5EQA tall ferris wheel, similar to the London Eye, offers souvenir photographs. Booking online saves 20%, private bookings are also available.
Harbour Amusementsphone: +44 1803 297990address: Victoria Parade, TQ1 2BDAs with any seaside town, there is an amusement arcade which provides a great way to get rid of loose change.
phone: +44 844 871 3023address: Torbay Rd, TQ2 5EZTorquay's main theatre overlooking the waterfront.
phone: +44 1803 328385address: Babbacombe Downs Rd, TQ1 3LU
phone: +44 1803 299330address: St Mark's Rd, TQ1 2EL
BeachesTorquay is also set along a coastline renowned for its 9 main beaches. The high standards of water quality and beach facilities mean that many carry coveted awards. Torquay's beaches and coves are stretched out along the palm-lined coast:
Torre Abbey Sands
phone: +44 1803 294892address: Union St, TQ1 3UTA small shopping centre with a Gregg's, Shaul's Bakery, Saver's, Superdrug, Wilko, Iceland, GAME, O 2 , The Entertainer, That's Entertainment, Peacock's, F. Hind's, Specsaver's, Chiselcraft and Shaw's the Drapers.
phone: +44 1803 200508address: Fleet Walk, TQ2 5EA
The Willows, a few miles from the centre, offers a retail park with a large Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's, Next and electronics stores.
The Willowsaddress: Nicholson Rd, TQ2 7XA
Accolades like AA Rosettes, Michelin Stars and Les Routiers can be found, while even several of the fish and chip shops are award winning. From restaurants with stunning views across the emerald bay, to Country pubs offering hearty fare, Torquay has it covered.
Bamboo Sandwich & Coffee Barphone: +44 1803 326015address: St Marychurch Rd, TQ1 4TYA small cafe, with a great sandwich selection.
phone: +44 1803 329928address: 24 Princes St, TQ1 3LWFish & chip shop and restaurant, winner of several awards including Best Fish & Chip Shop 2007.
phone: +44 1803 200044address: Beacon Hill, TQ1 2BHTorquay's first Michelin star restaurant. Specialises in seafood.
phone: +44 1803 213936address: 14-16 Parkhill Rd, TQ1 2AL
phone: +44 1803 211009address: Unit 3, Ground floor, Abbey Crescent, Torbay Rd, Torquay TQ2 5HDJust across from the beach.
phone: +44 1803 690264address: Cockington Ln, Torquay TQ2 6XADating back to 1936. A country pub surrounded by great countryside.
phone: +44 1803 217960address: Lower Ground Floor, Winter Garden, Fleet Walk, TQ2 5DZWetherspoons pub. The unusual name dates back to 1846 and refers to green ginger wine sold at the time.
phone: +44 1803 200755address: 6 Park Ln, TQ1 2AUApparently Torquay's oldest pub dating back to 1540.
phone: +44 1803 293729address: 20 Newton Road, TQ2 5BZLebanese (halal), European and English cuisine in the Beirut - Bistro. The Richwood is a Victorian mansion, comfortably furnished, centrally heated throughout, with a cosy bar, heated swimming pool and sun terrace. All 13 bedrooms are en-suite, have colour TV with DVD players and tea and coffee making facilities. Evening meals are available (booking and orders in advance), with a choice of home-cooked international dishes. Free Wi-Fi. Free private parking, first come, first served; alternative free parking on the Newton Road. Pool table and games room. TV lounge with international satellite programs. 30ft x 15ft heated swimming pool (25°C) open from June to October. Sunbathing terraces, pool snack bar, hot spa, CCTV and security system.
phone: +44 1803 294722address: Meadfoot Sea Rd, TQ1 2LQThe Meadfoot Bay is an award-winning family-run guest house situated in the area of Meadfoot, just a stroll from Meadfoot Beach and a short walk from Torquay harbour.
phone: +44 1803 293908address: 70 Braddons Hill Rd East, TQ1 1HF500 metres from the harbour, shops and beaches.
phone: +44 1803 293381address: Meadfoot Sea Rd, TQ1 2LQ
phone: +44 1803 298292address: 28-30 Croft Road, Torquay, TQ2 5UETorcroft Hotel is a stylish and friendly B&B. They have 11 rooms including 2 large balcony rooms, 2 deluxe double rooms, a family room and twins and doubles. All rooms are en-suite and have flat screen TVs. Free parking and Wi-Fi. Great breakfasts.