IS THIS TORQUAY'S BEST KEPT SECRET?
If you've been watching The Hotel
programme on TV recently it might have made you laugh – perhaps not as much as
Fawlty Towers but for every person
tempted to visit Torquay there may have been twice as many 'put off'.
What a shame, you might think,
but is the real secret out? Does
Torquay in fact want to deter visitors, not attract them?
Maybe this is why a proper access
road to the resort has been put on ice for over 20 years (a scaled down version
finally started this year)
Impossible, unlikely, you say, but
perhaps these are the reasons the residents might want to keep the 'Bay' to
One of the most beautiful
coastlines in the UK with child-friendly waters and sandy beaches from Torquay
through Paignton to Brixham. Sailing,
yachting and water sports aplenty with the Royal Torbay Regatta celebrating 150
years this year.
A unique micro-climate where palm
trees last through the winter months – the Met Office say this is because
Torbay is uniquely situated in the lee of Dartmoor which attracts the extremes
of the weather to its craggy moors.
Dartmoor itself , one of the world heritage sites – not on
everybody's back door but that is the case in Torquay, it is only 20 minutes'
Excellent shopping with top department stores like John
Lewis in Exeter and Austins in Newton
Abbot or unique individual shops and businesses in nearby Totnes ('twinned with
The Express train to London can be accessed from Paignton
and Torquay via Newton Abbot while France and Spain are serviced by regular
ferries from Plymouth, less than an hour's drive away.
Excellent 18 hole golf courses at Torquay, Churston and
Dartmouth itself, with the Royal Britannia Naval College and
its eminent history, not to mention Michelin starred restaurants and fabulous
Brixham – where William Prince of Orange landed in 1688 – a centuries'
old fishing port.
Paignton – with its' own Regatta and old fashioned pier and
the unique Oldway Mansion built by the Singer (sewing machine) family and which
interior was modelled on Versailles.
A visible testament to all this
is the sheer number of historical figures who lived here. In Torquay alone, people
such as Agatha Christie, (who was born here) Charles Kingsley, Charles Darwin,
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Oscar Wilde, Robert Graves, Rudyard Kipling, Sir
Edward Lutyens even Sean O'Casey! In
fact there are increasing numbers of blue plaques being erected all the time as
more people of renown are discovered having lived in Torquay.
So – do the residents of
Torquay really want to extend an eager welcome to tourists and outsiders
or is it best to appear just a little
bit inept, a little bit lacking – perhaps just enough to 'put them off'?
What do you think..