Torbay ( ) is an east-facing
bay and natural harbour, at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the
south-west of England, situated
roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth.
the ceremonial county of Devon, Torbay was
made a unitary authority on
April 1, 1998.
Tourist authorities call it the English Riviera
account of its beaches and mild climate; it is a popular area with
three main towns around the bay: Torquay in the
north, Paignton in the
centre, and Brixham in the
south, which have become connected over the years, swallowing up
villages and towns such as St Marychurch, Cockington, Marldon, Churston
Ferrers and Galmpton.
County Borough of Torbay was created
in 1968 by the amalgamation of the Municipal Borough of Torquay, Urban District of Paignton and Urban District
of Brixham, also taking in parts of the civil parishes of Coffinswell and Kerswells from
Newton Abbot Rural
District and Churston
Ferrers and Marldon from
Totnes Rural District.
The County Borough became the Borough of Torbay under local
government reorganisation in 1974. In October 2005
Torbay became the first area of the South West to
have an elected Mayor with Nick Bye being the successful
southern limit of Torbay is Berry Head, and the northern limit is Hopes Nose, although Torquay itself stretches
further north into Babbacombe
Bay, where the beaches at Oddicombe and Babbacombe can be found; these are noted for their interesting
bordered by the South
Hams to the south and west, and by Teignbridge to the north. Nearby towns include
Totnes and Dartmouth in the South Hams Newton Abbot and Teignmouth in Teignbridge.
Because of the mild climate, Torbay palm trees are a common sight
along the coast. However, this 'palm' is in fact a cabbage
australis), originating from New Zealand.
These trees flourish elsewhere in the UK.
It is suggested that the popularity of cabbage trees in Torbay is
attributable to their first being introduced to the UK in that
The area has a large number of European
students learning English
fishing port of Brixham is home to one of England and Wales's most successful
fishing fleets and regularly lands more value than any UK port
outside of Scotland.
Torbay's many geological features have led to the establishment of
the English Riviera Geopark
one of 53 geoparks
worldwide; as of July
2008, this is the sole urban geopark.
Torbay has three stations on the National
These stations are now operated by First Great Western
, as are some of the
journeys that operates through them since Wessex trains was taken
over by the company in 2006
lacks direct motorway links and is served
by the A380 road from Exeter.
road route into Torbay from Newton Abbot is congested in summer and
during commuter hours
. There are
plans to remedy the situation though no clear alternative have been
found as the road passes by areas of outstanding natural beauty. A
bypass has been planned since as early as the 1930s and has come
close on a few occasions to being built, however the latest plan
was halted in autumn 2008 so the long term future is uncertain. It
is most likely alternative schemes such as traffic calming and
alterations to the existing A380 road
be implemented instead.
The bus franchise is largely operated by Stagecoach South West of
the similarly named group, that operates a large share of the
market in Torbay and the neighbouring towns of South Devon.
Famous former residents of Torbay include authors Agatha Christie
(who set many of her novels
in a thinly disguised version of the borough), Charles Kingsley
, Edmund Gosse
and Rudyard Kipling
, comic, (half of a famous comedy team with Dudley Moore
; the great industrialist and
architect of the nearby Atmospheric
, Isambard Kingdom
band Wishbone Ash
, supermodel Lily Cole
astrologer Russell Grant
originate from the area.
Tennis player/TV presenter Sue Barker - Born Paignton April
twinned with Hameln in Lower Saxony, Germany (since 1973), and Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands (since 1989).