On our first day in Devon, we decided to check out the local coast between Teignmouth and Torquay, with both places being less than 10 miles from our condo. The forecast included sunny periods in the morning and early afternoon, changing to clouds and rain by late afternoon/early evening.
We departed the condo, after breakfast, heading along the A381 for the 5 miles to Teignmouth.
Views of River Teign from A381
On arrival, we found 2-hr street parking a short walk from the Grand Pier. At first glance it is your typical seaside resort, with all the usual tourist attractions – beach, pier, amusements, etc. However, once we walked around the promenade area, we quickly realised Teignmouth is actually a very pleasant small town; albeit, tourism is the primary driver.
Teignmouth Town Beach
We arrived about high tide and as seen above, there isn’t much beach left when the tide is in. However, it didn’t prevent lots of families from enjoying some beach time.
Teignmouth Grand Pier
One of UK’s many piers, this one was built in 1865 and extends about 700 feet offshore. Unfortunately it was extensively damaged during the 2014 storm, so is undergoing a 10-year refurbishment, to return it to its original glory. Access is provided through the amusement arcade, which is located adjacent to the shoreline. Exiting the rear of the arcade you enter a small area of open deck, but the remainder of the pier is closed for repairs.
View from the outside deck of the pier
The promenade area was spotlessly clean and very well developed, with flower gardens and various artworks constructed from recycled materials.
One of the promenade flower gardens
Artwork created from old CD’s
Artwork constructed from old photo carousels
After strolling along the promenade, I wandered around the point, at the river entrance and over to the rear beach, which is really picturesque. The quiet and sheltered bay, with golden sandy beach, is a mecca for boaters and many other water users.
Two views of Teignmouth’s rear beach
Ferry landing at Teignmouth’s rear beach
Our parking time was approaching, and even on a Saturday morning the council’s parking Grinch was on patrol, so it was time to head back to the car and continue down the coast.
Crossing the bridge over the river, we headed into Shaldon, on the opposite bank of the river from Teignmouth. OMG!! can we say narrow streets – the main street through the town was 2-way, but only single lane. Did I forget, you also had numerous pedestrians on both sides, needless to say progress was rather slow. We then headed along Marine Parade, which afforded great views across to Teignmouth.
Shaldon Beach from Marine Parade
Entrance to River Teign from Marine Parade Shaldon
Driving along Marine Parade was most interesting, as the only parking lot was at the end of the street, resulting in a constant stream of pedestrians opposing, on what was a single track lane. This required many stops and starts.
Entrance to the SW Coastal Path that goes around the headland
Yes, those are miniature palm trees in UK, at the entrance to the coastal path. I had planned to hike down to Ness Cove Beach, but no parking was available, so we headed to our next stop at Maidencombe Beach. Accessed via aptly named “Steep Hill”, it had ample parking and even a pleasant pub, where we enjoyed a Sunday roast.
The Thatched Tavern at Maidencombe Beach
After parking, we wandered up to the Thatched Tavern for lunch, enjoying a very pleasant Sunday Roast – beef, yorkies, gravy and all the trimmings. Being a sunny day, we enjoyed lunch sitting at one of the many tables in their huge garden.
Only 1/2 pint of bitter (3.8%) for lunch
Departing the pub, Judi headed back to the car, while I continued down the cliff to the beach. Not too bad going down, but definitely a good hike coming back up to the parking lot.
Photo taken from about 1/2 way to beach from parking lot
A beautiful, quiet and secluded beach with really easy water entry, but it was a good hike back up to the parking lot.
Continuing towards Torquay, we stopped at Babbacombe Model Village, which had ample parking right next to the main road. The model village is Torquay’s # 1 rated attraction, with 93% of reports rating it as excellent or very good. Admission prices are UKP 10.95 (adults) and UKP 9.95 (seniors 65+). We initially figured it would be a kids attraction and would require a quick wander through the displays. Wow! how wrong we were, this is for kids of ALL ages. It was amazing, so we spent almost 3 hours.
Judi thoroughly enjoying the walk through the model village
Opened in 1963, it has evolved significantly, with new models and/or entire displays added every year. It now comprises over 400 buildings and 13,000 figures. The entire displays are located outside, consequently they are subjected to the not overly pleasant UK weather, so for many of the displays they have 2 complete structures. One is on display, while the other is being maintained and re-painted.
The attention to detail is incredible, as the village is an excellent representation of British lifestyles over the past almost 60 years. Enjoy the gallery comprising just a few of my photos.
A selection of photos from around the model village
Departing the model village, we headed along the coast, where possible, to Torquay. However, it was almost 18:00 and the rain had already started, so we drove through downtown Torquay and headed back to the condo.