359km (223 miles) SW of London; 37km (23 miles) SE of Exeter

The resort of Torquay -- the birthplace of mystery writer Agatha Christie -- opens onto 35km (22 miles) of rocky coastline with 18 poor-to-fair beaches set against a backdrop of the red cliffs of Devon, with many sheltered pebbly coves. The entire area is filled with parks and gardens often planted with subtropical vegetation. At night, concerts, theatrical productions from London's West End, often-corny British vaudeville shows, and old-fashioned ballroom dancing keep the vacationers and many honeymooners entertained.

Torquay is more upscale than Brighton. Because of its easy commute from London, Brighton attracts a lot of tawdry "London-by-the-Sea" crowds, whereas Torquay, as a destination unto itself, draws a well-heeled clientele seeking a more tranquil seaside holiday.