Fantastic Facts About Torquay
09 July 2020 -
That feeling when the coach rounds the corner and you see Torquay’s stunning waterfront and famous harbour! It’s like coming home. The swish of sea air ruffles over you, welcoming you back to the beautiful English Riviera.
While we wait for the tide of these difficult times to go out again, we’re heading out on an ‘armchair adventure’ to south Devon by coach; a helter-skelter of harbourside lanes punctuated with old-school arcades and bunting-clad fudge emporiums.
Did you know these fun facts about Torquay and the English Riviera?
Mr. Fawlty, I no want to work here any more
The popular British sitcom, Fawlty Towers, will forever be connected to Torquay. John Cleese visited the seaside town in 1970 and encountered an eccentric hotel owner and retired naval officer; Donald Sinclair while staying at the Gleneagles Hotel, (which is sadly no longer). This meeting was the catalyst to the creation of the hilarious and chaotic character Basil Fawlty and his farcical antics. Thankfully, Torquay’s style of hospitality is far better in real life and over 45 local businesses received accolades in last year’s English Riviera Tourism Awards.
The Great Dame of British seaside resorts
Torquay sparkles as the jewel in the English Riviera’s crown. It’s a well-stocked trophy cabinet bursting with awards and more attractions than any other resort in the UK. Repeatedly sweeping up Top UK Seaside Destination awards, and home to The Best B&B in the World (ranked by Tripadvisor) it’s easy to see why so many tourists promenade down to this palm-lined, harbourside resort each year.
Agatha Christie’s seaside residence
Known for her oeuvre of detective novels and crime fiction, Agatha Christie is officially the best-selling author of all time. Yes, even more popular than Shakespeare! If you’re looking to get a glimpse into her life then her holiday home is well worth a visit. Greenway is perched on a wooded hillside which tumbles down to the glittering Dart estuary, and here Christie would spend her summers reading a chapter or two from her latest mystery to her guests. Complete with secret walled-gardens, vineries and a restored peach house, it’s hard not to be inspired to write your very own Whodunnit.
Ahoy there, matey!
The English Riviera is also home to Brixham, a pretty fishing port stuffed with clusters of pastel-coloured fisher cottages leaning at all angles and, more notably, a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind, which he used to become the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe in an epic expedition of discovery (and plunder) in the late 1570s. The English admiral later went on to help defeat the Spanish Armada too!
Devon’s walk of fame
We’re not the only ones who think this section of the Devonian coastline is a postcard-perfect place to get away from it all. This UNESCO Global Geopark has attracted many famous faces throughout the years. In fact, the area is crammed with over 50 blue plaques; like a giant game of dot-to-dot citing the most well-known visitors and former residents. From Charles Darwin and Oscar Wilde to Rudyard Kipling and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, many came to experience the resort’s famous sea air.
Are you ready to relax and rejuvenate on the English Riviera too? With candy-stripe beach kiosks, thriving harbours and stunning bays, you can start planning a good old-fashioned British getaway with our range of south Devon tours.