Babbacombe Model Village is an enchanting place. As the name suggests there are minature towns and famous attractions such as stonehenge. The landscaped gardens are lovely too. It is years since I have visited, but I will be returning with freya when it reopens for the season, she will love it! They illuminate the village on an evening in the summer and a new light show is planned for this year.
Check out their website for photos.
Admission is £6.90, Definately open daily in the season, more sporadic in the winter.
The beaches in Torquay are not the best in the area, mostly pebbly, but they are adequate. This is one of the more popular beaches Oddicombe, reached by the Cliff Railway or a steep winding road. Other beaches worth a mention are Ansteys Cove, Babbacombe, Petitor (nudest beach) and the main Torquay seafront beach which is sand.
An amusing story about Torquay beach, there is only a beach there because building sand is shipped in every year to make the beach. A few years ago there was a national competition to find the best beach in Britain for building sand castles. Strangly Torquay won! I wonder why, hmmmm?
On Babbacombe Beach the Murder of Miss Keyes took place in 1884 by John Lee who became known as John Babbacombe Lee. They tired to hang him 3 times each time failed to kill him. He became known as "The man they could not hang". When he was released from prison in 1907, he fled to America with a barmaid, leaving his wife & children in a work house & died there in 1945. Nice chap!
Speakers Corner is a very new addition to Torquay with this stone only being laid in February 2005. There was no one around it being very vocal when I passed by, but I think it is a great idea & hope it gets a lot of use.
You can find the Speakers Corner on the promonade just behind the Pavillion.
Babbacombe Downs is a wonderful elevated park with fantactic views over Lyme Bay, on a clear day you can see as far as Weymouth and Portland Bill. The promenade here is the highest in Britain, Babbacombe theatre sits at one end and the Cliff Railway to Oddicombe beach, 240 feet below sits at the other.
Cafes, hotels and a couple of pubs line the road up here, it is a very popular area with visitors in the summer.
Kents Cavern is a fascinating attraction for all members of the family. It is the oldest inhabited dwelling with it being used for over 700,000 years continuously. Many objects have been found to back up this claim, including an axe 450,000 years old and a human jaw bone over 31,000. It is an easy walk through the caves, with the newtork being relatively on the level. Kents Cavern is considered one of the most important palentogolgy sites in Europe.
The cavern is open daily from 10:00 to 16:30, with tours running throughout the day, admission is £6.50, under 4s free. There is of course a cafe and shop here too.
Their web site below is excellent for more information.
Locals have named this new attraction opened in 2003 as "The big hairnet", it's real name is "Living Coast" its a sea life and bird centre.
You can find peguins, puffins, comorants a huge list of birds here, plus South American fur seals. There was a lot of controversy when Living Coasts opened, not only because of the visual impact of the "hairnet" on the waterfront, but also about the captivity of the seals and sea birds, particularly as they are on the cliff side next to the sea and not actually being able to have access to it.
Living Coasts considers itself a conservation centre and is linked with Paignton Zoo.
Open daily from 10am to 17:00. £5.70 entrance. The cafe here has great views!
The wonderful Edwardian Pavilion on Torquay promenade was built in 1912 as a theatre and dancing hall, the writer Agatha Christie met her first husband here at a dance in 1913.
This gorgeous building has had many uses over the years, theatre, cinema, dance hall, bingo hall, roller skating rink. Due to the building not being looked after it was closed in 1976 and was considered for demolition. It the reopened as an ice skating rink for 4 years. I actually used to go skating here during that period (but it was awful wax not real ice!). The building was then in 1987 re opened as a shopping centre after being sympathetically renovated as it is today, with a great restuarant upstairs and on the terrace. I have spent many hours on the terrace in the summer over the years.
Lots more history of the pavillion on the below web site.
The Torquay museum is an interesting place to spend a couple of hours, exhibits include local natural history, the fascinating life of Agatha Christie, Egyptology and archaeology & ethnogrpahy as well as local pictorial records. There is also a reference library, cafe & of course a shop.
I visited a few months ago for the first time especially for the Agatha Christie exhibition which was very well done and interesting. Unfortunately photographs were not allowed.
Admission is £3.00 opening times are 10.00 - 17.00 daily, closed Sundays in the winter.
These two innocent looking slipways in Torquay harbour have caught a lot of media attention over past few years.
It was from here 1000s of British & American soldiers departed for the D Day assult in Normandy in June 1944. Torbay council want to demolish them & re-develop the waterfront, English Heritage have listed the slipways as grade II, to try to protect them as historical monuments. The debate rages on.............
Walk up past the Forge and bare right and you will enter a beauiful meadow leading towards Cockington Court and Church.
The Domesday Survey of 1086 shows that at the time of the Conquest, Cockington was a thriving Saxon manor.
Today Cockington Court offers a cafe and local craft centre. Behind the manor house is a rose garden. Next to the manor house is a small church with a Norman tower.
In the summer there are a variety of events which take place, including Cricket matches on the meadow, a "last night of the proms" night and during August Cockington Fayre.
We took a boat ride around the coastline of Torquay and saw the beautiful town from different perspectives. It's a nice thing to do when the weather is good and if you want to see most of the coast.
For those days when the weather does not conform, the English Riviera Centre provides a wealth of activities indoors.
The Living Coast opened in July 2003,part of Paignton zoo,its a lovely day out for getting back to nature lots of birds,seals and fish, the top attraction are the penguins
Cockington village stands in a hidden valley just a few minutes from Torquay seafront.Beautiful thatched cottages,lovely woodland walks and lakes.