The church of st George and st Mary is beautiful,a chapel has existed here since saxon times.The present structure dates from 1210.The church was damaged in 1943,by two German bombs.You can still see the crater left by them.
Torquay harbour has a small commercial fishing fleet who land their catches here and supply several local pubs, hotels and restaurants. The main species caught are mackerel, dogfish, bass, pollock and whiting with some cod and flatfish. Strangely enough the "Torbay Sole" which you'll often find on restaurant menues isn't caught here but is an Atlantic species, usually known as "Witch", and is mostly landed in North Cornwall and Wales.
As well as the commercial fleet there are a couple of leisure fishing boats available for charter and several places around the area where you can fish from the shore. Website below has details of these.
Torquay's Clock Tower, the landmark that is, is a memorial built in 1902 to Richard Mallock who died in 1900. The Mallock family owned Cockington Village for several hundred years and were major investors in the town's 19th century development. Bizarrely in the 1960's the town planners built a roundabout at the base of the tower, covering the stepped first couple of feet.
In 2010 the Borough Council, with a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, decided to renovate it and restore the original base by removing the built up roundabout. During the renovation the original bell that chimed the hours was discovered inside, tucked away in a nook, and this too has been restored and is now back in action.
it's still a roundabout but at least now it is an attractive and useful one.
The Clock Tower pub, on the other hand, looks like an attractive boozer but inside is just another "Sky Sports" venue with naff beer and not particularly welcoming staff. I suppose on match days it probably comes into its own - which is a scary thought!
Good location for sitting outside in the sun though - but note you MUST SIT - that's the local bylaw.
Whilst other resorts have their "Pleasure Piers" here in Torquay the Princess Pier was designed as a purely functional groyne as part of the harbour defences when it was erected in 1890. In 1894 a wooden deck was added along with a few benches and at some later date a sort of pierhead consisting of kiss-me-quick type stuff was built which became known as "The Islander".
This burnt down in 1974 and upon looking at the potential to rebuild it was discovered that the pier's main body was in an advanced stage of decay, particularly the steel understructure which was badly corroded and in need ot urgent work. This "urgent" work was done in 1978 with and seemingly quite impressively since the contractors were nominated for a 'Business & Industry Panel for the Environment" award in 1979 when the pier reopened.
The present-day pier is still pretty much part of the harbour wall with a deck and some seats. It doesn't actually go anywhere, except out to sea, and doesn't actually do very much of anything except provide a popular place to fish from and sometimes in summer as a dock for cruise and other pleasure craft.
You would have thought that this neo-classical late Victorian/Edwardian building on Torwood St, just up from the harbour, would have been a listed building. It seems not judging by the garish facades of the fast food places and the taxi office on the ground floor. I'm not sure what the building's original function was but the name "Carrick" is embossed on the frontage and so maybe it was something to do with the Carrick Gazette which is a local newspaper.
I think the upstairs bits are used by the nightclubs Attic and Venue whose entranceways are a little bit more subdued - at least during the day.
Not long after the Second World War the four towns around the bay, Babbacombe, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham teamed up to market the area as a whole as the "English Riviera" which in a lot of ways it is. There's some fine architecture, classy hotels, the seafront with its beaches of course and when the weather is good you could almost imagine yourself in Nice or Cannes. In fact Torbay is often used by UK film and television companies as a budget alternative when shooting scenes supposedly set around the Mediterranean.
So instead of having a Torquay Tourist Information Centre the town instead has its "English Riviera Visitor Centre". But this is a TIC by any other name. Here you'll find friendly, knowledgeable staff who can assist with just about anything you, as a visitor, could need. They can arrange accommodation, theatre and event tickets, National Express bus tickets, public transport info and much, much more, As the well as the usual freebie info leaflets and maps they also sell guide books and Ordanance Survey maps and even stock copies of Agatha Christie's books - Agatha having lived here in the town.
The office is located at 5 Vaughan Parade which is on the harbourside just before the marina.
Website is also very useful with comprehensive local information and an online accommodation booking service.
Torquay is the Capital of 'Agatha Christie' Country. The world's most celebrated mystery writer was born in the town in 1890 & used many places in Devon in her best selling mysteries! On the 'Agatha Christie Mile' one can see the picture of Miss Marple's detective work, stay at Agatha Christie's honeymoon hotel, vist exclusive exhibitions of her life at Torquay Museum & Torre Abbey & solve a mystery of your own!! Furthermore there are three marvellous trails around the coast & countryside of South Devon, totally dedicated to the life and work of Agatha Christie. Leaflets & books giving more information are obtainable at the Torquay Tourist Information Office.
Agatha Christie was born (1890-1976). Her first script, 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles', was discarded at least six times by publishers before at length getting accepted. Its publication in 1920 introduced the world to Hercule Poirot, one of the most celebrated of all names in detective fiction. Persistence, as well as her ingenious plots, made Agatha Christie the foremost writer of detective novels in the 20th century. She was born Agatha Miller on Sept. 15, 1890, in Torquay, Devon, England, & educated at home by her mother. While working as a volunteer nurse during World War I, she began her first book. Major recognition came with the publication of 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' in 1926. There followed about 75 thriving novels, 25 featuring Poirot. Her other famous detective, Miss Jane Marple, first appeared in 'Murder at the Vicarage' (1930). Presentation of Christie's mystery play, 'The Mousetrap' (1952), set a world record for the longest permanent run at one theatre. Among works tailored for film were 'Witness for the Prosecution' (published 1953), 'Murder on the Orient Express' (1934), & 'Death on the Nile' (1937).
(F 43) - Whitby-class Frigate
HMS Torquay was in July 1954, and participated in the Suez operation in 1956, whilst in 1958 she was diverted to Tobruk following the assassination of the Iraqi Royal Family. In various dates between 1967 and 1985 the ship served as a navigation training ship based in Portsmouth. In 1977 the Torquay attended the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review off Spithead when she was part of the 2nd Frigate Squadron. The ship was paid off in 1985 sold for scrap in 1987 and broken up in Barcelona, Spain.
The Torbay Palm Tree or Cabbage Tree is not actually a palm, but is in fact a lily, originating from New Zealand. It is one of the easiest exotic plants to grow, is very tolerant of wind and coastal exposure and can reach heights of up to 5 metres in the right spot. When mature these plants produce large panicles of fragrant white flowers, after which it will branch, creating a striking, bushy crown. Although these trees flourish in other parts of the UK their popularity in Torquay is attributed to their first being introduced to the UK in that region.