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The English Riviera - Torquay, Paignton and Brixham


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From Genteel Resort to Salty Fishing Port
Brixham Harbor

A replica of "The Golden Hind", the ship in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe, is a visitor attraction in Brixham harbor. Legend has it that locals watched Drake defeat the Spanish Armada from Brixham's harbor walls.

© Ferne Arfin licensed to About.com:United Kingdom Travel

The self-proclaimed English Riviera wraps itself around Torbay on the Devon coast offering visitors a variety of splendid beaches, sheltered marinas,plenty of rainy day attractions and enough Agatha Christie connections to keep even the most avid fan busy for days.

The "Riviera" is made up of three separate towns - Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Each has its own character and specific appeal. Together they make the perfect holiday or vacation destination for multi-generational families who like to give each other a little space.


Torquay is the kind of resort your grandparents would love. Even if you are, yourself, of grandparent age, it's still the sort of place for your grannie, if you know what I mean. Genteel and quiet, it's grand hotels and small guest houses are the sorts of places where carefully dressed older guests take tea and enjoy the sunshine.

It's also Agatha Christie's birthplace and its annual Agatha Christie Festival, around the time of the late mystery writer's birthday in September, attracts Christie enthusiasts from all over the world.


Paignton, the center of the three towns along the bay, is family oriented, with lots of self-catering accommodations and family attractions. Its wide, sandy beaches are particularly child friendly and children love its summertime seafront illuminations.


The deliciously picturesque fishing port of Brixham, pictured above, supplies most of the seafood consumed in restaurants up and down the Devon Coast as well as further afield. Its harbor, now home to a replica of The Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake's ship, is also where locally based deep sea trawlers land their catches of plaice, Dover sole, lobster and shellfish. Fishing has been Brixham's main industry since the middle ages. The village is also the place where William of Orange landed with his Dutch army to become King William III of England.

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