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The English Riviera

Updated on January 31, 2013

Ah.... The Riviera Touch.

If I say the words English Riviera what do you see in your mind?

The Côte d'Azur, that's what you see. The blue coast with it's white sand and clear blue sea, situated in the South of France on the Mediterranean coast.

I know this may surprise you, but the UK has it's own Riviera. It too is in the South. The South West to be exact.

In a beautiful area of the Country it lies on the Southern coast of Devon and can be seen on the map to the right for those who are not familiar with it's whereabouts .It is in the paignton, region south west.

As you can see from the banner above, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham make up the major three towns of this region.

Benefiting from it's own climate this area of outstanding beauty has a climate not dis-similar to that of the French Riviera.

Palm trees and warm climate plants are in abundance in this area and in Winter can have much milder temperatures than the rest of the British Isles.

This is because of it's unique microclimate

Barceló Torquay Imperial Hote
Barceló Torquay Imperial Hote | Source

Paignton.See the link to Côte d'Azur

Preston Sands Hotel - Paignton
Preston Sands Hotel - Paignton | Source
 Beach huts at Preston Beach
Beach huts at Preston Beach | Source

The Blue Coast.

In more ways than one.

When you look at the photographs opposite you will see the resemblance with the Côte d'Azurin France.Blue sea, white sandy beaches and cosmopolitan bars and restaurants.

The nickname of the English Riviera evolved in Victorian times and was linked to the French seaside town of Montpellier.

Torquay has a claim to fame by way of being the home town of thriller and crime writer Agatha Christie.Visit the town and you can tour The Agatha Christie Mile and follow the plaques which mark out her life and works.

Walk round Torquay and you get the feeling that you are in some foreign country or a tropical paradise with palm trees and exotic plants in full bloom.It is one of the best holiday destinations in England in summer. The area boasts some of the longest daylight hours in the UK and certainly in the South west.

From a population of around 70,000 off season this holiday destination booms to 1/4 million people during the summer months. This means that the town relies heavily on the Tourism industry to boost the economy.It has been said that the south west of England in terms of it's economy is one of the most deprived areas of the UK. To look at the evidence you wouldn't say it was a deprived area. I suppose it is mainly due to the fact that unemployment is higher than the national average due to the seasonality of the economy.

For an online visit to Torquay why not have a look at the live web cams around the town

Torquay.See the link to Côte d'Azur


When will you visit?

Mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 named after the original Celtic settlement Paega's town.

Paignton has much to offer the visitor. One of the biggest attractions is Paignton Zoo.Another is the Paignton to Dartmouth steam railway.

For more information about the area please feel free to click on the links

Brixham. See the link to Côte d'Azur


Claim to fame.

One of Brixham's claims to fame is having the famous ship The Golden Hind moored in the harbour.You will no doubt have learned that it was the ship of Sir Francis Drake.

Big Hearted Brixham

For a good look at Brixham take a look at the official web site for the town

A thriving fishing village, it's fish catch is sold daily at the fish market's around the harbour.

It has several beaches, mainly made up of shingle and rocks.

One of the favourites of all the beaches is Shoalstone, with it's FREE outdoor freshwater swimming pool.

After a day at the beach why not search for marine life in the rock pools filled with the warm sea water left behind at low tide.

Wish you were here?

English Riviera

Books by Agatha Christie

22 of 30 in the 30/30 Hub Challenge


Submit a Comment

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Thanks Deborah, yes it is a lovely part of the country. Thanks for the vote and share.

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 

    6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    this is a wonderful hub.. I would love to visit where Agatha Christie is from.... awesome

    I am sharing


  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    I love this part of the country, we are off to Devon in March for a few days, I am looking forward to it even more now!

    Many thanks and voted up.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Thank You poshcoffeeco, brought back some great memories, seaside Fish and Chips are the best. I'm so hungary now LOL.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Jools99, it brought back memories for me as I wrote it.I like Dawlish also. Thanks for the comment.

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools Hogg 

    6 years ago from North-East UK

    I visited Devon in my teens with my parents, stayed in Dawlish but visited Brixham, Paignton and Torquay whilst I was there. I went to Torquay for a girly holiday when I was 21 and we had a great time and it was red hot for a fortnight. I think Torquay has a very cosmopolitan air and is quite a classy place to visit but my favourite thing was Fish and Chips in Brixham, lovely. Great hub, brought back memories.


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