Why I just love Torbay
Danielle Price a regular English Riviera visitor
- Credit: Submitted
The English Riviera is open at last. Fingers crossed it stays way!
Boris Johnson's Covid road map has given the green light for the resort to do what it does the best - welcome guests as the best holiday destination in the UK.
It promises to be a busy one down on the English Riviera as holidaymakers stick to 'staycation' and holidaying at home.
Here regular visitor and former Devon student Danielle Price explains why she just loves the Bay. From the Midlands, she even wrote her her degree dissertation on the resort!
Living most of my life in the English Midlands, I have always seen the sea as a form of escape. I consider myself lucky enough to have been able to experience the sea during childhood holidays to the coast, whether it be the generally cooler English Coastline, or the warmer waters of the Spanish Coastline. In the UK, the most frequent place my family would visit is Torbay, Devon; an idyllic little spot that now forms one of my favourite places in England.
Even before I was born, my parents would often travel down to the English Riviera on holiday – in part thanks to my mom’s relatives who would take my uncle and mom there when they were children. It was because of this my mom suggested Torbay as a short holiday break as a change when my parents didn’t fancy travelling abroad, and when me and my brother were born, it was generally their go-to holiday spot in England. Although we visited other coastal areas, such as Bournemouth and Blackpool, there was just something magical about Torbay that kept bringing us back.
My earliest recollections of our Torbay holidays were times we spent as a family on the numerous golden beaches dotted around the coastline. Goodrington, Preston and Paignton Sands were usually the main beaches we visited, but I think of Goodrington most fondly as we’d often be based there. A lot of evenings we’d spend time at Goodrington Sands. We’d walk along the promenade, play in the Gold Coast Amusements, and go rock pooling when the tide was low. As the sun set and the sky darkened we’d retreat up Goodrington Road to our caravan in Beverley Park. I remember these being happy family times and thanks to my dad’s habitude for photography, we have many captured memories of our holidays here.
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As we got older and outgrew the caravan as a family, my parents decided that we should stop in different accommodations. For a few years we stopped in apartments in Goodrington, and one time had a few days in the Inn on the Quay to celebrate my birthday. After this, we tried somewhere new again, and started staying in Brixham, where we’ve stayed ever since.
My love for the bay really came through during my time in Sixth Form. I studied Art at A Level, and one of our projects was ‘landscapes’, which I translated into seascapes. This gave me an excuse to paint pictures of scenes around Torbay, and also allowed me to research South Devon artists who I could then include in my portfolio. After finishing my A levels I secured a place at Plymouth University (which I chose for having the course I liked, as well as being close to Torbay)! On free days I’d often catch the train over to Torquay or Paignton and spend the day there, sometimes dragging people with me.
My adoration for the English Riviera actually inspired me to focus my final university project on it. My dissertation was a mix of an essay and as creative writing, so I wrote poetry and stories set in locations around the bay. I even incorporated Brixham’s historical Great Gale into a poem! It was a fun project and gained me a high mark in my degree so was worth every trip I took there as ‘research’!
Torbay will always remain special to me. It’s hard to point out why I love it so much because it seems to stem from a combination of things. I enjoy the scenery, visiting the different towns dotted along the coastline, the attractions, the restaurants (Cattleman’s Steakhouse at the Parker’s Arms springs to mind), the boat trips (Brixham to Torquay and Dartmouth), the natural surroundings, and most importantly - the memories shared with the people I love.
It’s an incredible place to stay, and I can’t wait to visit again.