Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Torbay, Britain

Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:08am EDT
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By Julie Mollins

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - With recession-beating "staycations" in vogue in Britain, the Torbay area in Devon -- the self-styled "English Riviera" -- is enjoying a boom.

The region centers around the southwestern resort of Torquay and takes in Paignton and the fishing village of Brixham. Here are some suggestions for visitors:


6 p.m. - Kick off the weekend by mingling with Paignton locals in the Waterside Inn pub while enjoying a pint and traditional pub fare.


11 a.m. - Visit mystery writer Agatha Christie's Georgian holiday home Greenway House on the River Dart in Galmpton, near Brixham. A painted frieze in the library serves as a reminder of its requisition by U.S. admiralty during World War Two. Finish up a tour of the garden and grounds with a light lunch or tea in the cafe.

2 p.m. - See spectacular pastoral views from the terrace of High Cross House on the Dartington Estate in nearby Totnes. The furnished International Style structure designed by Swiss-born architect William Lescaze was built in the 1930s as a home for the first headmaster of Dartington Hall School, which is now a charity estate for the advancement of the arts, social justice and sustainability.

4 p.m. - Wander through medieval Dartington Hall, purchased by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst in the 1920s as a site for an experiment in rural regeneration and the promotion of arts and crafts. British artist Henry Moore's reclining 1946 sculpture "Memorial Figure" is on view in the landscaped gardens. Stop for a drink at the White Hart.   Continued...