"Torquay" Top 5 Page for this destination Torquay by EasyMalc

Torquay Travel Guide: 206 reviews and 471 photos


What does Torquay conjure up in people's minds - holidays by the sea?, Fawlty Towers?, Agatha Christie? Well it's all these things and more.
With a population of around 64,000 it is the largest of the 3 Devon towns that make up the urban area of Torbay, the other 2 being Paignton and Brixham.
Even without including the population of Paignton and Brixham it is still the 3rd largest town in Devon after Plymouth and Exeter.
It has built itself a reputation for being a holiday destination and consequently has never become a major manufacturing or industrial centre. The traditional 2 weeks by the sea in Summer has changed over the years though and Torquay has now become more of a weekend destination or a couple of days away. Having said that the population still swells in the summer but not by as much as it used to.

A Brief History

Most people would think that Torquay doesn't have any history to speak of, and it's true to say that it wouldn't be spoken about in the same way as say, York or Chester, but scratch the surface and you could be surprised at what you might find.
For starters it has some of the oldest history in the country as you will discover if you visit the fascinating Kent's Cavern (see my Kents Cavern tip).
History in the modern sense though really started with the founding of Torre Abbey in 1196 and it was the Abbey's monks that built the first fishing quay that gave the town its name.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII nothing much happened until the early 19th cent. when the town started to become a fashionable holiday resort, helped in no small way by the extension of the railway line to the bay.
Many celebrated people were attracted here and Torquay gained the title of 'Queen of the English Riviera'. The Queen's tiara may not be sparkling quite so much these days but it's still a place that many people love to visit.
There are plenty of gaps in this brief history which I hope to plug during the course of writing these pages so please keep calling back to see what's new.

Did You Know?

Did you know that:-

Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator of Arabian Nights and Kama Sutra was born in Torquay
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote De Profundis and The Cry of the Children whilst recuperating in Torquay
Isambard Kingdom Brunel wanted to live in Torquay but died before the house that he designed was built
Oscar Wilde wrote A Woman of No Importance whilst staying at Babbacombe
Nigel West, author of espionage books, was MP for Torbay
Peter Cook, the satirist and one half of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, was born in Torquay
Miranda Hart, the sitcom comedienne was born in Torquay
Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, was finally captured and arrested at his home in Torquay
Easymalc drinks here often

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of things to do
  • Cons:Can be busy in Summer
  • In a nutshell:A great place to stay for enjoying the South Devon Coastline
  • Intro Updated Jan 15, 2014
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Reviews (34)

Comments (7)

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    I enjoy in virtual tour in your town! I will return to learn more and I already see it is beautiful place with lots of things to do and see and no wonder that was inspiration for many people.

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Jan 31, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      Thank you for taking the time and trouble to take a look - and for the ratings of course. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    What a superb place to explore... Thanks, Malcolm, for your brilliant description and valuable travel advice...

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Jan 9, 2016 at 12:06 AM

      Thank you for taking a look Victor - and of course for the ratings.
      I'm glad you enjoyed it

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Of course Agatha Christie because me and my wife always were her fans! Lady Agatha has written brilliant and intellectual novels and stories! And she was first English woman who said me what people in the islands think about “bloody Johnny Foreigners”!
    What else? When you say Devon and Exeter I always recall the War of the Roses (1455-1485), both Earls, Devon and Exeter were stubborn Lancastrians. My summary is that England is England point your finger at something you will point in history.

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Dec 11, 2013 at 5:08 AM

      You know a lot about English history Oleg. Hopefully there will be a lot more English history on my pages to come.

    • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
      Dec 11, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      I will read with pleasure!

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Hm, I probably first think "Agatha Christie" when reading about Torquay. Fantastic page with wonderful pictures here. Love Cockington! All these beaches, cliffs etc. ... a very scenic coastline.

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Oct 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Nice to hear from you Ingo. Thanks for visiting my local pages. Torquay is very different from Dresden. Hope you're well.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Yes, I must admit it. Fawlty Towers is in fact what comes to mind when I think of Torquay. But I’m glad to see that the town has other attractions as well.

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Nice to see plenty of sunshine in the photos!

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Jul 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      The sun would have shone even more if you'd come down last weekend :)

    • Gillybob's Profile Photo
      Jul 21, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      Aw, sorry mate - it's ridiculous the prices they think they can charge for train tickets in the UK - a few people won't make Buxton because of it. :-(

      Still, the sentiment is appreciated. :-D

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Great opening picture. PJ

    • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
      Feb 6, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      O boy, A once in a lifetime trip?

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Feb 6, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      Yeh! Sort of, but it was nothing compared to a real balloon trip I took up in Yorkshire many years ago. To say it was an experience would be an understatement - and I'm definitely not an extreme sports entusiast believe me

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