As one of the UK’s best loved holiday destinations, you’ve no doubt heard of the English Riviera, but how well do you know this popular resort in South Devon? Here’s some fun facts about the area, so you can wow your friends and family during your next visit!

Did you know… Torquay was once home to bears? Visit Kent’s Cavern in the town to see the remains of two bear skulls which are embedded into the cave wall, they are believed to have been from a mother and her cub and is proof that bears once lived in the English Riviera!

Did you know… The English Riviera has England’s highest cliff top promenade? You can find it at Babbacombe Downs and the views are exquisite.

Did you know… The Queen of Crime called the region home? Agatha Christie remains the best selling female author of all time and was born in Torquay, she not only based several of her stories in the town but was inspired by Belgian refugees when she worked there during WWII to create Hercule Poirot. You can follow the Agatha Christie Mile around Torquay which will take you to some of the places she visited and associated, including Torre Abbey which has a poison garden to commemorate her.

Did you know… it isn’t just the highest promenade you can find here? The English Riviera also has the highest and the shortest lighthouse in the UK. You might wonder how that can be, well, the lighthouse at Berry Head stands at 5m but the light can be seen above Mean High Water of 58m.

Did you know… it’s the best place to build sandcastles? That’s according to a study which took place in 2014 and found that Torre Abbey Sands won an award for the Best Sand to Make a Sandcastle with in the UK.

Did you know…. Cockington Church featured in the Domesday Book? Yep, known as St George and St Mary’s Church, it is believed that the church in the chocolate box village of Cockington is almost 955 years old and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Did you know… The oldest human fossil can be found here? Much like the bear skulls, the oldest human fossil in North West Europe was discovered at Kents Cavern. The jaw bone is believed to be over 40,0000 years old.

Did you know… Basil Fawlty is based on a real hotelier. John Cleese claims that he came up with the idea of Fawlty Towers while filming for Monty Python and staying at a hotel in Torquay. The show has always been associated with Torquay, despite having never been filmed there. Monty Python on the other hand, was filmed in and around both Torquay and Paignton.

How much did you already know about the English Riviera? Did you learn anything new? Find out more about visiting the English Riviera here.

As it has been known as a family friendly holiday resort since Victorian times, it is no suprise that the English Riviera remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.