Ten things you never knew about Torquay

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You never know, they might come up in a pub quiz…

  • Agatha Christie was born a mile from the Derwent Hotel in a now demolished house called Ashfield in Barton Road. She was baptised in the church just up the road from the Derwent hotel.
  • Henry Baskerville a Torquay coach driver who gave Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur CD a ride, lent his name to one of the world’s most famous stories The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Arthur once stayed at the Victoria Hotel which is right next door to the Derwent Hotel.
  • Vanishing Point – Torquay Harbour boasts an unusual piece of street sculpture. It commemorates the D Day embarkation slipways with a steel ring circling the quayside walkway and a seven metre diameter light cross set in the granite floor at the entrance to Beacon Quay.  The long and round lighting units spell out in Morse code Vanishing Point.
  • Red Sails in the bay? Red ochre, used to dye the trawler sails, was discovered by chance to prevent rust on the ships.
  • Legendary test cricket umpire Dickie Bird used to holiday in Torquay twice a year , reportedly enjoying kippers for breakfast.
  • Admiral Horatio Nelson dined at Torre Abbey just down the road, with the Cary Family who lived there.
  • London Bridge is the nickname for the curious rock ‘doorway’ at the east end of the Bay. It’s a favourite spot for coasteering.
  • Torquay museum is home to North Western Europe’s old human fossil, a 41,000-year-old jawbone discovered at nearby Kent’s Cavern.
  • Comedian Peter Cook and actress and writer Miranda Hart were both born here but neither stayed long! However for some reason, Cook returned here to marry his third wife.
  • Babbacombe Downs has the highest cliff top promenade in England.  And the view is simply fabulous!