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- 23 Aug 2019, 3 nights
- 2 Guests
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Torquay in Devon is the epitome of a quintissential English holiday. Think sunny days, rocky coves in sandstone cliffs and walks along the harbour eating fish and chips. With summer's holidaymakers and day-trippers comes lively nightlife to complement a celebrated, fine-dining seafood scene. Known for hilly lanes, quaint villages, cream teas, sailboats and the seaside – this is storybook England by the sea.
There's a Torquay hostel in a bright-blue Victorian mansion – complete with a swimming pool and Lebanese restaurant – or another made up of cosy wooden cabins with colourful double beds. You'll have access to communal kitchens, and some hostels have free breakfast. There are usually dorms and private rooms available, and indoor or outdoor social areas to gather your travel buddies for a few beers in the sun. Most hostels in Torquay also have free Wi-Fi.
The main harbour and seafront quays are the glitzy face of Torquay, where rows of gleaming yachts provide views from grand English tearooms. The Inner Harbour is a sheltered arc of clean white facades dating back to the town's Victorian heyday. Pedestrianised Fleet Street is the place for restaurants and shopping of all kinds. The clifftop neighbourhood of Babbacombe is half an hour's walk north over the hill and has boutique shops, a theatre and a popular beach. A 45-minute walk inland to the west, Cockington Village has old English thatched cottages and cobblestone lanes.
Torquay has some intriguing historic sights. Kents Cavern is a network of caves, home to mammoth bones and prehistoric tools. At the living museum, Bygones, you can experience the inside of a replica World War I trench and a Victorian apothecary. Hikers might like to tackle part of the Southwest Coast Footpath, which runs through Torquay. A highlight of the 1014km route is hidden Ness Cove, only accessible through a smugglers' tunnel. Babbacombe's Oddicombe Beach has calm water for kayaking and swimming, while surfing is also popular on many of Devon's beaches, known for their bigger breaking waves.
To get to Torquay, you can fly to Exeter Airport. The town is a 45-minute train ride from there. Torquay Train Station is a 30-minute walk from the harbour and has connections to the neighbouring seaside town of Paignton (taking 50 minutes) as well as major cities across southern England. In summer there's also a ferry between Brixham, just outside the city of Plymouth, and Torquay. However, once you're in the town, most of the attractions and local beaches are within walking distance.