[tawr-bey, -bey]
Torbay, city (1991 pop. 54,430) and district, Devon, SW England. The district comprises the former municipal borough of Torquay and the urban districts of Paignton and Brixham. On Tor Bay is a noted tourist resort area, known as the "English Riviera." William of Orange landed at nearby Brixham in 1688. A cave on Windmill Hill contains animal bones and flint implements from the Paleolithic period. An annual yachting regatta is held at Torbay, which also serves as a conference and retirement center.
Borough of Torbay
colspan=2 align=center - Geography
Status: Unitary, Borough
Region: South West England
Ceremonial County: Devon
- Total
Ranked 288th
62.88 km²
Admin. HQ: Torquay
ONS code: 00HH
- Total ()
- Density

/ km²
Ethnicity: 98.8% White

Torbay Borough Council
Leadership: Mayor & Cabinet
Elected Mayor: Nicholas Bye (Con)
MPs: Adrian Sanders (LD)

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. Historically part of the county of Devon, Torbay was made a unitary authority on April 1, 1998. Tourist authorities call it the English Riviera on account of its beaches and mild climate; it is a popular area with holiday makers.


There are 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.

Torbay, as an administrative area, was created in 1968 as a County Borough, from the amalgamation of the Boroughs of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. In October 2005 Torbay became the first area of the South West to have an elected Mayor with Nick Bye being the successful candidate.

The 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 Breccia cliffs.

Torbay is 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 tree (Cordyline 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 region.

The area has a large number of European students learning English.

The 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 Rail network:

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.

Torbay lacks direct motorway links and is served by the A380 road from Exeter.

This 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.

The bus franchise is largely operated by Stagecoach Devon of the similarly named group, that operates a large share of the market in Torbay and the neighbouring towns of South Devon.

Famous people

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, the great industrialist and architect of the nearby Atmospheric railway, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Prog-rock band Wishbone Ash, and supermodel Lily Cole also come from the borough. The BBC1 actress Rebekah Gibbs who played Nina Farr in Casualty and current Pink TV (France) presenter Mark Binmore also originate from the area.


External links

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