Pictures of Torquay
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The cafe culture of Torquay rivals that of the French Riviera. Torquay, on the English Riviera has been a long standing holiday destination for decades, it was once the haunt of the rich and famous and was hailed by Alfred, Lord Tennyson as 'the loveliest sea village in England', although no longer a village, Torquay remains one of England's finest coastal resorts with an enchantment all of its own.
Favoured by a mild climate, Torquay has an abundance of Palm trees, tropical plants and colourful flowers in bloom at every season of the year. Flower filled sweeping promenades and gardens enhance the almost Mediterranean feel of the seafront and harbour where hundreds of tall mast yachts, cabin cruisers and fishing boats are moored. There is a continuous 'buzz' about this lively place, once thought of only as a town for the retired. These days, Torquay appeals to all the family for there is truly something here for everyone.
Interestingly, on an historic note, beautiful Torre Abbey was founded here in the 12th-century, in 1588 the abbey's tithe barn was a prison for sailors captured from the Spanish Armada and 'Queen of Crime' Agatha Christie was born here in 1890. The place has no shortage of history nor, colourful characters.
Many grand buildings from the Georgian and Victorian era's dominate the town, whilst a short distance inland the village of Cockington shows a wealth of thatched cottages, an Elizabethan Manor House and a 14th-century forge. Within easy driving distance to the west of Torquay lies Compton Castle, a fortified manor house built early in the 14th-century and once home to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, step-brother to Sir Walter Raleigh. The fabulous Imperial Hotel was built in 1866, it has a stunning interior with many original features and its notable guest list included the Queen of Holland and other crowned heads from Europe and England.
It is though the sea that continues to be the main attraction. Swimming, sun bathing, sub-aqua diving, water-skiing, sea and river trips, sea fishing and with day trips as far afield as the Channel islands, the range of traditional sea-side activities is endless. Nightlife is well catered for with a wide choice of theatre's, restaurants and ballrooms. For little children there is the fun of building castles in the sand, play parks, gardens and playgrounds. There is a wide range of exciting shops and boutiques, excellent hotels, inns and good pubs.
Attractions include: Babbacombe Model Village, Royal Terrace Gardens, Kent's Cavern, Torquay Museum, Living Coast Experience, Abbey Park, Princess Gardens, Cockington Court and Babbacombe Cliff Railway.
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