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10 Fun & Surprising Facts About Torquay

John Cleese - Self Catering Holiday Accommodation to Rent in Torquay Devon

If you’re looking for self catering holiday accommodation or cottages to rent in Devon, let us make the case for the wonderful Torquay.

Torquay is known for its beautiful Mediterranean style beaches, vibrant café culture and nightlife. But you might be surprised to know these 10 interesting facts about its rich cultural heritage, history and geology.


Torquay is located in the English Riviera, which was designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2007. The area was granted this status because it has such varied geology covering several geological periods.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, had a coach driver by the name of Henry Baskerville who was from Torquay. Sir Arthur borrowed Henry’s name for one of his most famous stories – The Hound of the Baskervilles.


Torquay boasts more attractions than any other holiday resort in the United Kingdom.

Agatha Christie - Self Catering Holiday Accommodation to Rent in Torquay Devon


Agatha Christie, who is the bestselling female author in history, was born in Torquay and lived there as a little girl.


Torquay was originally known as Torrequay. It then became Torkay or Torkey before settling on Tor Qauy. Over time, the two words were joined together.


In 1970, John Cleese stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay when filming for Monty Python (it has since been demolished). It was here that he created his most popular comedy, Fawlty Towers.


You can see the remains of two Ice Age bear skulls (thought to be a mother and cub) embedded into the walls of Kents Cavern.


A human jawbone found in Torquay’s Kents Cavern, is one of the oldest human fossils in North-West Europe. It is one of only two places in the world to have evidence of three human species living in it.

Berry Head - Self Catering Holiday Accommodation to Rent in Torquay Devon


Formed over 400 million years ago, the rocks the Tor Bay sits upon was created in Tropical seas south of the Equator. Back then, the majority of Britain was covered by a shallow and tropical sea that contained an abundance of sea creatures and coral reefs. These creatures dropped to the floor and helped form the pink and grey limestone rocks you can see at Hopes Nose and Berry Head.


Torbay’s “English Riviera” name was created in the late 18th century when the area started attracting a lot of tourists. The balmy microclimate attracted rich families who built large homes and gardens in a Mediterranean style in a bid to get away from the cold conditions found in the rest of the country.

These 10 facts only scratch the surface of what Torquay and the English Riviera have to offer! If we’ve convinced you to come and holiday here, why not stay in our luxury self catering accommodation right in the heart of Torquay.