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#Grock of Torbay

“Written by the Grock of Torbay

Watching the tide roll away

Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the pier at Torquay

Enjoyin' my time"

A walk on the calm side…….

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”*

It’s not difficult to see why the Victorians embraced life by the sea, a leisurely stroll along the promenade is invigorating at any time, refreshing the lungs with fresh clean air.

My regular route takes me down Mill Lane and left onto Avenue Road. At the next traffic lights I go through the Swan Gate, the entrance to Torre Abbey. As I pass by, I often day dream about life in the 12th century when the monastery was founded. Ahead lies the Spanish Barn, which was used to house nearly 400 prisoners of war, from The Spanish Armada in 1588. Through the archway and the first sight of the sea, across the 9 hole pitch and putt golf course. Up past the tennis courts and bowling green, into the attractive Abbey Gardens.

Torre Abbey

Through the gate, and cross Torbay Road, and a closer look across the horse shoe shaped bay, to Paignton and Brixham. Onwards to Abbey Crescent, with its curved modern building, which is home to a selection of restaurants and bars. Down on Abbey Sands, at low tide, a beach artist can often be seen:

Abbey Sands

Along the palm lined prom, ahead is The Princess Theatre, adjacent to Princess Pier. A great place to sit on a bench and watch the world, or at least the boats, go by (This is where my Blogging name came to me!). Next is The English Riviera Wheel, with great views over the bay, and Rock Walk behind, for the more energetic walker! With the Marina on the right, and the recently restored Victorian Fountain on the left, the Pavilion stands regally, ahead of the Harbour.

Torquay Harbour

As I approach, there are the crab and lobster pots, looking slightly dis-organised, just by the boarding point for the Brixham Ferry. Walking along the left side, we come to the bars and restaurants which surround the Harbour. The Offshore is a very pleasant watering hole, with plenty of outside seating to enjoy a Bays beer, brewed in Paignton.

Passing along the top of The Harbour, past the department stores, Hoopers and Debenhams, I look out over the Inner Harbour with an array of smaller vessels moored neatly. At The Clock Tower, it’s down the opposite side with its tea shops, galleries and bars. The netting which covers the Living Coasts, keeping the penguins and other sea life safe, can be seen now, up at Beacon Quay. As I approach, I can see my two favourite restaurants up Beacon Hill, The Elephant and No 7 Fish Bistro.

The upright masts of the Harbour bridge stand out, especially at sun down with their blue lighting. The bridge is at the entrance to the inner Harbour, and separates the outer Harbour with its bigger vessels. It is usually closed to sea traffic, and it is where I cross for the return journey to Carlton Court.

*Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

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