Revision as of 15:08, 18 April 2010
- For other places with the same name, see Torquay (disambiguation).
Torquay (pronounced "Tor-key")  is an English town on the coast of Devon in the West Country and, since the 19th century, a fashionable seaside resort in the English Riviera. The town is situated on the English Channel, on the southern edge of Torbay, an east facing bay that is part of the larger Lyme Bay.
Torquay's advantages as a seaside resort and destination are obvious, with no less than nine (9) sandy beaches and extremely high standards of water quality (holder of 3 European Blue Flags, more than any other English resort). Torbay enjoys a warm micro-climate that allows palm trees to grow readily.
Torquay is (in)famous as the setting of Fawlty Towers, the hotel owned by Basil and Sybil Fawlty in the classic 1970s British television comedy.
Torquay has two railway stations. Torquay railway station is situated near the sea, close to Torre Abbey Sands. Torre railway station is situated a little inland adjacent to the road leading to Newton Abbot. Not all trains stop at Torre.
Torquay is connected to the UK motorway network by the A380, which traces the outskirts of the town as Hellevoetsluis Way and Hamelin Way, leading to the A38 and then on to the M5 at Exeter. The A3022 branches from the A380, leading into Torquay as Riviera Way, to the seafront as Newton Road and then Avenue Road, and then on to Paignton as Torbay Road. The A379 runs past the harbour to the Babbacombe and St Marychurch areas of Torquay, and then north along the coast to Teignmouth.
Two bus routes operated by Stagecoach Devon pass through Torquay - the 'Bayline' number 12 service between Newton Abbot and Brixham, and the X46 service between Exeter and Paignton - while other routes operate within the town 
- Kents Cavern - which was home to early man for some 700,000 years and where tourists can visit this subterranean wonderland. The Caves have attracted many famous people, among them Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, King George V of the United Kingdom and Haile Selassie who was so impressed with his visit that he gave his guide, Leslie Powe a gold sovereign.
- Living Coasts - a large coastal zoo.
- Babbacombe Model Village - it has attracted children and adults of all ages for generations and is considered one of the best examples of a model village in England.
- The Princess Theatre
- Torre Abbey - a Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1196.
- Babbacombe Cliff Railway
- Cockington Court and Country Park - world famous village.
Torquay is also set along a coastline renowned for its beaches, having no fewer than nine popular beaches. The high standards of water quality and beach facilities mean that many carry coveted awards. The nine main beaches of Torquay, a string of nine beautiful beaches and coves stretched out along the palm lined coast, are as follows:
- Maidencombe Beach
- Watcombe Beach
- Oddicombe Beach
- Babbacombe Beach
- Anstey's Cove
- Meadfoot Beach
- Torre Abbey Sands
- Corbyn Sands
Union Street and Fleet Walk shopping centre, located near to the Harbour, offer a wide range of high street shops, ranging from independent boutiques to large chain stores. The Pavilion Shopping Centre is a few minutes walk from the seafront and provides a selection of interesting small independent retailers and gift shops in a beautiful 19th century building.
The Willows, located a few miles from the centre offers a large Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's, Next and electronics stores.
Chefs in the area are spoilt for choice when it comes to locally sourced seafood and meat. The cuisine has a distinctive west country flavour. Adventurous diners can take a culinary journey around the world, sampling everything from French, Italian and Spanish, to Indian, Thai, Moroccan and Mexican.
Accolades like AA Rosettes, Michelin Stars and Les Routiers can be found, while even several of the fish and chip shops are award winning. From restaurants with stunning views across the emerald bay, to Country pubs offering hearty fare, Torquay has it covered.
There are numerous pubs, clubs and bars close to the harbourside, ranging from traditional English pubs to classy wine bars.
Torquay is well supplied with bed and breakfast (B&B) and self catered accommodation. The Tourist information centre is a good source of quality information about accommodation and Torquay in general. 
- Astor Apartments (Torquay Self Catering), Astor House, Warren Road, Torquay, TQ2 5TR (See website for detailed directions), ☎ +44 (0)1803 782461 ([email protected]), . Astor House apartments are located in a prominent position in the heart of Torquay just above the beach with the Princess Theatre just below Rock Walk and the town centre a short walk past the marina. From £215.
- Trinity Mews (Torquay Self Catering), Trinity Mews, Trinity Hill, Torquay, TQ1 2AS (See website for detailed directions), ☎ +44 (0)1803 782461 ([email protected]), . Trinity Mews Self Catering Holiday Apartments is located in the very heart of Torquay, Devon. Situated just off the harbour and within a short walk of a wide selection of cafes, restaurants, shops and entertainment - yet based in a tranquil setting on a quiet no-through road. From £185.
- Braddon Hall (Hotel in Torquay), Braddon Hall Hotel,70 Braddons Hill Road East, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 1HF (See website for detailed directions), ☎ +44 (0)1803 293908 ([email protected], fax: +44 (0)1803 293908), . The Braddon Hall Hotel is the perfect choice for a holiday on the English Riviera, being ideally located only 500 metres from the harbour, shops and beaches. From £155 Weekly.
- The Beulah Apartments (Torquay Self Catering), Meadfoot Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2JP (See website for detailed directions), ☎ +44 (0)1803 297471 ([email protected]), . The 3 star Beulah Holiday Apartments are in a quiet and convenient position, set back from the road, only 250 meters from Torquay Harbour and centre. The 10 well-equipped apartments comfortably sleep from 1-5 people. From £165 to £545 per week.
- St Christophers Holiday Home (Torquay Self Catering), Meadfoot Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2JP (See website for detailed directions), ☎ +44 (0)1803 297471 ([email protected]), . St Christophers Holiday Home is situated in a quiet road only 225 metres from Torquay harbourside and town centre. The 5 star luxury detached house has 5 bedrooms sleeping up to 10 people. From £500 to £1745 per week.
- Appletorre Flats (Torquay Self Catering), Vansittart Road, Torquay, ☎ 01803 296430 ([email protected]), . 3 star self catering apartments close to Torre and Tor Abbey Sands with self contained flats that can sleep 2 - 5 people.
- Torbay Apartments (Torquay Self Catering), Meadfoot Beach and Corbyn Head (100 Metres from beaches (see website)), ☎ 01803 214023 ([email protected]), . An exclusive collection of quality self catering apartments and Villa in Torquay.
- West Wing Cottage (Torquay Self-Catering), RockSide House, Headland Road, Torquay, TQ2 6RD (See website for detailed directions), ☎ +44 (0) 1558 650399 ([email protected]), . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 10am. West Wing Cottage is an exclusive holiday home set in extensive landscaped gardens offering sweeping views of the calm waters of Tor Bay and the three major towns on its shore: Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Newly-renovated, very secluded and yet close to all the tourist amenities and attractions From £498 p/w.