Agatha Christie’s home town might not be exactly regarded as an unmissable thriller when it comes to hosting hardcore hen weekends - but it would be a real crime to overlook the surprisingly tasty treat that is Torquay. Still regarded, albeit tongue-in-cheek, as The English Riviera. Yes, there are the pensioner-engulfed tea rooms on the promenade, as well as the occasional conference for steam railway enthusiasts, but this is no longer a town of which Basil Fawlty would totally approve, as reflected not only in the stylish bars of Union Street or the truly juicy nightlife centred on the Harbourside, but also in the fact that Vince Vaughan recently filmed the comedy “Blackball” here!
Nine beaches and an almost continental-style warm climate ensure that Torquay is a big pull for watersports enthusiasts, first of all. Add to this a Quayside and busy marina flecked with "Torbay Palms" – Paignton’s very own version of the palm tree, no less – and you can appreciate why any self-respecting 18th century pirate wouldn’t even consider bringing his contraband anywhere else.
Viewed in some quarters as the south west’s clubbing capital, Torquay has more to recommend it than Beatrix Potter and Paignton Zoo - though at least, with those two, you’re well catered for if animals are your thing. There are plenty of organised daytime events to get your teeth into, and row after row of quiet little cafes in which to sit and ponder the wedding ahead. But, it would be a crying shame not to at some point take advantage of the terrific stretches of beach that draw the waterskiiers and sun-worshippers in their hundreds.
By night, you’ll love the hugely popular Harbourside area, where much of the town’s best pubs and clubs are - and the fact that most of the entertainment isn’t spread over too wide an area. You don’t need to be Miss Marple to work out that a combination of warm weather, friendly hosts, lively nightlife and excellent accommodation means it’s going ‘Torbay’ a good one alright.