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Devon’s beaches scoop top awards

The beaches of Oddicombe, Meadfoot, Paignton, Broadsands and Breakwater Beach have all received the prestigious Blue Flag award for clean waters, meaning they really are as pristine as they look
The English Riviera Tourist Board must be having to enlarge its trophy cabinet after a rush of awards have been heaped upon its south coast beaches. Altogether the Torbay area received 15 awards recently for having some of the best beaches in the country. This impressive track record follows its chart-topping success in 2011.

The beaches of Oddicombe, Meadfoot, Paignton, Broadsands and Breakwater Beach have all received the prestigious Blue Flag award for clean waters, meaning they really are as pristine as they look. Ten beaches on Devon’s south coast also received Quality Coast Awards for being clean and safe.

In addition to the five beaches mentioned above, Quality Coast Awards went to Maidencombe, Preston, Ansteys Cove, Torre Abbey Sands and Goodrington. The stringent standards to meet these high quality standards were measured by the Environment Agency. As well as bathing water quality, the beaches were judged across the board on safety, accessibility, facilities and litter management.

In addition to these coveted awards, 11 of Torbay’s beaches received a mention in the Good Beach Guide produced by the Marine Conservation Society. This comes on the heels of the highly rated Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Awards 2012 which were recently published, showing Torquay in the Top 10 Best Destinations in the UK. It was in fact the top-ranking holiday resort, after the top 3 positions were awarded respectively to the cities of London, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

According to Trip Advisor, it was Torquay’s attractions and history coupled with its sandy beaches and trademark palm trees that helped eased it into this top spot. Torquay continues to go from strength to strength with the new Royal Terrace Gardens and the Hi-Flyer Balloon complementing the prehistoric Kent’s Cavern attraction. Its association with literary greats such as Agatha Christie has made it a top destination for the arts, theatre and culture, placing Babbacombe Theatre in the #1 spot for Torquay attractions, according to Trip Advisor.

The delightful thatched village of Cockington, historic Bygones Museum and the Model Village at Babbacombe continue to delight visitors. The mile-long Agatha Christie Trail leads visitors on a self-guided walk of discovery past some of the thriller writer’s favourite haunts and her home and gardens at nearby Greenway are now open to the public, managed by the National Trust.

The beautiful sandy beaches and cliff walks of Torbay have been providing family fun for generations and they continue to host several local attractions geared to youngsters. The Living Coasts Coastal Zoo and Conservation Charity offers the chance to interact with penguins, otters, puffins, ducks and other creatures while Dinosaur World, Jungle Journey Adventure Golf and boat trips from the inner harbour are sure to make any holiday in Torquay memorable.

With a huge choice of self catering accommodation from studios to manor houses, including award-winning family and pet friendly properties, Torquay seems to be a deserving winner on all counts.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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