Covering the three South Devon towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, the English Riviera is the ideal place to relax, to soak up the atmosphere, to take in the scenery, the parks and the gardens, and to experience an enjoyable vacation in a classical English seaside resort. It boasts 22 miles of coastline, cliffs, coves and beaches, with many walks and stunning views to be seen from just about everywhere – across the Bay, over the English Channel, along the 40 miles of Lyme Bay and inland to the famous Tors of Dartmoor.
The English Riviera attracts visitors of all ages and interests throughout the year and boasts an enormous variety of scenery and attractions to suit every need. It is bound to attract you, too.
The south Devon coastline is blessed with long, sweeping sandy bays of golden sand, enclosed by rocky headlands and backed by extensive sand dunes. You can take your pick of what kind of beach you want: Resort beaches offer many of the traditional seaside amusements and facilities, while smaller rocky coves nestling at the bottom of wooded valleys provide hours of exploration, or the ideal place for quiet reflection. Children take delight in sand castle building and splashing about in paddling pools of their own creation.
At the heart of the English Riviera is Torquay. Torquay’s origins as a holiday resort date back to Victorian times when it was a fashionable destination for the English aristocracy. Today the legacy remains with its beautiful gardens, elegant Victorian terraces, clean white villas and the famous seven hills upon which it is built, all providing a backdrop to the popular modern facilities and a busy shopping center.
The focus of life of the town is its waterfront, where you’ll find the palm-lined promenade, seafront gardens, a lively harbour and an international marina. Yet within minutes of the town center there are beautiful beaches easily accessible by foot, road, or water. There is an abundance of sidewalk cafes, pubs, restaurants and nightlife, good quality shops and a host of family attractions. In short, you will not lack for something to do in this lively and lovely seaside town.
In addition to the delights of town, Torquay is famous for its picturesque walks, many with breathtaking views over the ocean. Inland there are many villages that are a treat to explore, and visitors to these picturesque villages can treat themselves to delicious cream teas and satisfying pub lunches as a reward after some lovely coastal walks. Brixham and Paignton, the two other towns of Torbay, have their own appeal and many attractions such as one of England’s biggest zoos, steam trains and Water Park. Do take a boat trip across the bay (Torbay), to appreciate the views that led to the area being named “The English Riviera”.
A few miles away on the beautiful river Dart lie Totnes and Dartmouth, historic towns of great character. Dartington Hall, near Totnes, is well worth a visit with its lovely gardens and open-air Shakespeare performances during June. Nearby is Cockington village, famous for its thatched cottages and blacksmith’s forge.
Whether you enjoy walking or visiting gardens, castles or stately homes; spending time on the beach; playing golf; whiling away the hours at the many local tourist attractions, or enjoying a cream tea, you’re bound to love South Devon!
Within the immediate area of Torquay, Meadfoot beach is generally quiet and has interesting rocks and places to explore, with beautiful views across the bay. And atop a low bluff above the beach, with views stretching to eternity, is the lovely Regency crescent of The Osborne, the most romantic hotel in Devon.
In its private grounds The Osborne Hotel is at the center of the crescent and the individually designed timeshare apartments in The Osborne Club fan out to either side. There are 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, most with sea views and all individually designed with every modern convenience. It is a property big enough to be luxurious and small enough to be able to care individually for every guest.
The Osborne was the very first English timeshare development, established in 1979. The club is affiliated to RCI for worldwide exchanges and has been a Gold Crown resort since 1993. It has long been sold out, meaning the developer is gone, and the Club Office handles resales on behalf of owners. It is a fixed week property; no smoking, no pets.
Each apartment is totally individual in design, furniture and decor and provides ‘home from home’ comforts with a high standard of accommodation. All the apartments are elegantly furnished, most with sea views, and have a lounge, dining area, well equipped kitchen (most with a dishwasher), comfortable bedrooms and bathrooms.
Each has a television with Freeview, DVD, radio//CD player, direct dial telephone, wi-fi access and central heating. Every apartment is fully serviced prior to guests’ arrival and is fully equipped. Beds are freshly made and towels neatly laid out. Apart from swimming towels all other linen is provided, even down to tea towels and oven cloths. Daily delivery of milk and newspapers is available, together with either a starter pack or comprehensive supply of groceries on the day of arrival.
According to the property’s Web site: “You may see a holiday as a time for effortless relaxation. If so you will welcome the prospect of attractive gardens by the sea, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fully equipped health suite with gymnasium, sauna, plunge pool and solarium, snooker room, an all-weather tennis court and a putting green, – all available without leaving the hotel grounds.
“On the other hand you may relish the chance to pursue a favourite activity or try a new one. Sailing, riding, archery, ballooning, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, golf, – these and many others can be arranged for you.”
In other words, there is quite a tempting range of facilities available, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fully equipped gymnasium, sauna, plunge pool and solarium, snooker room, all weather tennis court and a putting green.
These are all available without needing to leave the hotel grounds. Off site activities including golf, sailing, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, ballooning and horse riding can be arranged on your behalf.
Come to relax, come to play, or come to do both. You will fall in love with South Devon and the English Riviera. I guarantee it!
Some Web sites you may want to visit for more information:
- http://www.osborneclub.co.uk/ –The Osborne Club’s website
- http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/ –The English Riviera
- http://www.torquaynet.com –Photos and info about Torquay
- http://www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/ –Local news and all about Torquay and South Devon
- http://www.torquay.com/ –General information on the area
- http://www.southdevonrailway.org/ –South Devon Railway page
- http://www.southdevon.org.uk/ –South Devon
- http://www.visitdevon.co.uk/areas-to-visit/south-devon –The official tour guide to South Devon
"On the Road" is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of "On the Road" is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. 5-Star quality. However, these resorts are not usually the only timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out--- enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
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