Many of our guests come and stay with us because they want to experience the “Best B&B in the World” and not necessarily because they wanted to visit Torquay. Most people know we’re in Devon, some know we are in the centre of the area known as the English Riviera. Almost everyone will have seen the seventies sitcom Fawlty Towers which was set in Torquay, but what is Torquay actually like now?
For me Torquay is the ideal town, encompassing everything you could possibly want in a relatively small area. As you would imagine, Torquay is a seaside town so it has a sandy beach only a 10-15 minute stroll from our door. It has a traditional promenade which is about a mile long if you walk end to end. Corbyn Head is at one end, with its pretty beach huts and a rocky outcrop, demonstrating perfectly why the area is recognised as a Geopark, marking the rich geological, historical and cultural heritage, as one of Earth’s extraordinary places, one of just 140 world wide.
Walk in the opposite direction and you come to the harbour area, once a thriving port, now more used to ferry trips for tourists and as a marine park for the boats of the rich and famous. It still oozes history, but the main fishing is now done just over the water in Brixham where they catch the largest value of fish in the country.
On the way to the harbour, you can walk on the other side of the road along “Rock Walk” which is actually a fault line exposed many thousands of years ago and now rising out of the ground majestically and offering an excellent vantage point for photos if you care to climb the steps up the cliff. Staying on the flat, you enjoy a stroll though an abundance of tropical plants which thrive in the milder climate of the English Riviera.
On the sea facing side of the road is the Princess Theatre, showing all manner of productions including regular visits from touring West End shows. A favourite is always an Agatha Christie mystery play as she was born in Torquay, and you can visit her holiday home locally, which is now owned by the National Trust.
Next to the theatre is Princess Pier, recently restored and worth a walk along to enjoy a summer’s breeze before heading back for a drink or a bite to eat at one of the trendy cafés, bars or restaurants situated along the front or in the harbour, many with outside seating to appreciate the sun’s rays and add to that Mediterranean vibe.
If shopping is what you’re after, Torquay has a very long traditional high street with all the usual chains present, but like any high street in the country has suffered lately with a string of top names going into administration. Thankfully our forward thinking council have been busy buying up property and have a regeneration project already well under way, bringing in mixed use and rejuvenation. If you’re looking for smaller independent shops, Cockington Craft Village is only a short walk from The 25 and some of the units in town are now being taken by independents too.
Nightlife is buzzing in town, yet far enough from The 25 that it’s nice and quiet here. There’s a good selection to satisfy all tastes with a whole host of restaurants, clubs playing Eighties to modern, cocktail bars, live music venues and traditional pubs, including the 400 year old Hole in the Wall pub.
Torquay was built on seven hills, but don’t worry, whilst many B&Bs are on a hill, we’re in the main tourist area which is relatively flat so many of our guests park in our car park on arrival and don’t touch the car again until they check out. It’s a flat walk all the way into town. It’s the roads off the harbour and behind the town centre which start to climb.
Talking of cars, you don’t need one. Why not arrive in Torquay by train? We have Torre Station literally at the end of our road and an eight minute walk down a gentle slope to The 25. Alternately, Torquay’s main station is about a 12 minute walk. With regular trains all over the place, an abundance of ferries and taxis, a land train and so much being in walking distance, there’s really no need to touch the car unless you fancy a day out on Dartmoor National Park which is a short car journey away.
We seem to have the perfect combination of environments. One minute you can be on the sea front, the next you are in the town centre. We also have Cockington village less than a mile away in complete contrast, like a chocolate box scene taking you back to the days of thatched cottages, surrounded by countryside, and on route you are taken through peaceful woodland.
So there’s a quick summary of what Torquay is like. I haven’t even mentioned any of the tourist attractions like the 175 year old Torquay Museum or the English Riviera Wheel, Torquay’s version of the Millennium Wheel. There’s so much more to Torquay to discover but I hope I’ve whet your appetite enough to make you want to come and stay.
We’re filling up fast for this season so get booking now at www.the25.uk