After a well-earned rest after our virtual walk around Torquay harbour and sea front, we are now going further afield. If we take the road from the harbour, past the Regency houses and Living Coasts, the sea life centre, we eventually come to Daddyhole Plain, a plateau between Torquay and Babbacombe. This makes an ideal vantage point for watching the Torbay Air Display and the Red Arrows when they visit Torquay each summer.
This is the view looking towards Berry Head from Meadfoot beach
Continuing our walk eastwards, we can glimspe the Headland Hotel where our elder son and our daughter in law were married last year. This was originally built as a holiday home for the Russian royal family, the Romanovs.
Our route then takes us down to Meadfoot, where the lovely Hesketh Crescent was built (seen on our first stroll around the Bay) and in front of Hesketh Crescent is Meadfoot Beach with, on the headland overlooking the beach, Kilmorie flats which were built in 1961.
Meadfoot beach with Thatch Rock and the Orestone in the background
From here the journey takes us through Ilsham Valley, a grassy area, a nice place for picnics or for children to play …
If you walk up through the valley you eventually arrive at Kents Cavern, the prehistoric caves which were discovered in Victorian times. According to the late historian W G Hoskins, these are “the oldest recognisable human dwellings in Britain. Here Neanderthal man sought winter refuge fro the cold of the last Ice Age, and here have been fond a quantity of Mousterian implements deposited round about a hundred thousand years ago.” It is a very long time since we were in these caves, perhaps when our sons were about 8 and 11 years of age.
Ilsham Valley from above the valley, the sea in the distance
After Kents Cavern (no apostrophe, this is how it is spelt) we are in the ‘village’ of Wellswood. First we pass pretty cottages …
And a short distance away, built in the 1960s are some nouveau-Regency style houses, rather attractive but a little too Disney-esque for my liking, as if they were built for a film set.
Eventually we come to the parade of shops …
This area is known as Wellswood village, and on the right, behind the trees, is Wellswood C of E Academy (aka primary school) and St Matthias’ Church (Church of England).
Between the main road from Torquay to Babbacombe is an ornate drinking fountain and water trough, no longer used for these purposes but which was refurbished a few years ago and on the paving beneath the fountain are the names of seventeen renowned individuals who once resided in the area.
Wellswood is a very wooded area, and one day, on a walk around the area we wandered to a vantage point from where we could look above the trees, with just rooftops poking through the greenery.
On one house there is a blue plaque informing people that Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the great Victorian engineer, once stayed there for a short period.
The plaque is on the exterior garden wall, but it isn’t possible to photograph the house which is situated beyond a gated drive.
Leaving Wellswood behind us we are now on the main road to Babbacombe, but here we will rest and continue our journey next time. (This was the ‘scenic’ route from the harbour to Wellswood. There is a more direct route up the main road to Babbacombe, but I thought you’d prefer to see Meadfoot beach, Ilsham Valley and Wellswood.
This is the main road between Torquay harbour and the village of Babbacombe
Until next time.