Today we explored the TorBay area, driving from Torquay via Paignton and Kingswear to Dartmouth using a short ferry ride over the River Dart. From there via Dittisham to Totness and then back home. We could have taken a steam train from Paignton to Kingswear, but elected to be more flexible by car.
At Paignton we saw long rows of brightly-coloured beach huts, apparently still in use, but not at this time of year. Joan says you used to have to spend all day there because the lodging’s landlady would have kicked you out for the day. We tried to find some nice views at Brixham, but without much success. The road from there to Kingswear (weir, not ware) went through spectacular scenery.
Dartmouth, like all the towns in this area are totally tourist-oriented. The most notable establishment is the Britannia Royal Navy College which unfortunately was not open for sightseers. The town was full of old people, mostly visitors. We bought our sandwiches (M&S again) and drove out of town onto the hills where we found a scenic spot to enjoy them (the car park of a holiday village).
Totnes, near end of the navigable part of the Dart estuary, was also hilly like Dartmouth. [Australians] We were surprised and delighted to spot a prominent memorial to Mr Wills of Burke and Wills fame. [/Australians] The church on the main street proved to have more of those lovely Victorian stained glass windows I am so fond of. Tiring more than a little, we headed back to base for a longer-than-intended but most refreshing siesta. We had dinner at the Hole in the Wall pub (ca. 1540, the oldest in town) downtown, as recommended by our hostess. We was so keen to get us booked these and the place tomorrow night that she did all the phone booking for us, despite the restaurant being anything but busy. There may be an alternate game in play here…
After dinner we took a short drive to the channel coast and strolled around the deserted downtown area – almost everything was shut – off-season?