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Victorians “Take the Waters”

Victorian Torquay seaside

It may seem like a long time since it was fashionable for the Victorians to “take the waters” in seaside towns such as Torquay and spa towns like Bath and Harrogate, but it seems it still takes place.

This week, we’ve had a guest and her husband staying with us, and the lady had recently been suffering from cancer. Having gone though a rather traumatic and harrowing experience, I’m glad to say that she’s now on the road to recovery and although there will be ongoing treatment and checks, she will be ok.

She called me as she wanted to check a few things before booking, and it made me think that many people come to the seaside in lovely locations like this on the English Riviera to help make them feel better. Although we probably no longer think the waters have healing powers as many of the Victorians did, we’re aware of the health benefits of spending a few days relaxing in the sea air and being able to switch off completely in very different surroundings to those at home.

The 25 is an ideal place to relax, being adults only, there’s not going to be any screaming in the dining room in a morning (unless you can hear Julian in the kitchen!). Several of our rooms are located at the back or side of the house where it’s quieter and generally, apart from Julian and I cleaning for part of the day, then most other guests will be out and it will be pretty quiet if you need to rest or have an afternoon nap.

Relaxing is very easy with our super-comfy beds and black out curtains, and if you want to just take it easy and not really do much, you can watch the world go by and read a book or watch a film on Netflix without even having to go out.

If you decide to venture out, restaurants, bars and some tourist attractions are in walking distance, and only a short walk away at the end of our road you’ve got Torre Abbey where you’ll find not only an interesting house and garden to explore, but plenty of benches to sit and look out to sea, and also a café or two.

Torquay has the traditional promenade and pier, and Rock Walk which is a path on the opposite side of the road to the promenade which meanders amongst the sub-tropical plants where on a summer’s evening you’ll hear the crickets chirping.

Why not sit on the beach (only a ten minute walk) or paddle in the sea, or if you don’t fancy getting your feet wet, you can appreciate it from just opposite where the Abbey Sands development houses a row of restaurants, bars and cafés, all with outside seating to enjoy the sun’s rays well into the evening.

Whilst there’s a list even longer than your arm of things to do if you want to be active and fill your day or even a week, likewise, it’s very easy to do nothing much at all in Torquay. It’s a great place to be able to just wander round at your own pace, sit a while, eat, drink, and really take it easy.

It was in 1859 that the railway was built, bringing in visitors to Torquay, and it’s still a convenient way to travel here today with a direct train from Paddington. When Queen Victoria visited Torquay herself it was by boat though in 1933. Not far from there is Living Coasts, now a sea life centre but it was the site of the Marine Spa which used to offer seaweed bathing and other beneficial treatments from the public including invalids. If you want a relax at a spa whilst staying with us we’ve now teamed up with a local award winning spa – see

So, over 150 years later, it seems not much has changed in Torquay. Many people still look on a break at the seaside as improving their health, reducing their stress levels and allowing them time to relax. Many still arrive by train. Many still relax with a promenade. Next time you’re in need of a relaxing break, why not choose The 25 in Torquay?


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