Torquay's "Riviera Wheel" and the harbor area from the train coming in from Paignton

Torquay’s “Riviera Wheel” and the harbor area from the train coming in from Paignton

Went to a lovely Mass at the Paignton Catholic parish (less than 5 minutes walk from where we were staying) at 10:00. I was a tad worried when I heard/saw the middle-aged music director warming up on his guitar. I am not a fan of guitar music at Mass. But we didn’t have any other choice (the nearest Catholic Church would have been in Torquay … and that was a 30min walk from the Torquay station.

That said, God is good and the music was actually quite good, reverent and hymn-based! The sermon preached was exceptional from a young on-fire-with-the-faith priest and the Church was packed. God is definitely good!

After Mass, Maggie and I walked to the station and picked up a train to Torquay, the next stop up the road. Torquay is a beautifully active beach/resort area with lots to see and do and ranked third-best destination in the UK in 2014.

And we did have a blast!

First, after walking about 20 minutes from the train station, we bought tickets for the Riviera Wheel, a 695-meter wheel that gives great views of Torbay even on the overcast day we had.

The view of Torbay from the gondola

The view of Torbay from the gondola


Miss Maggie in our gondola

Miss Maggie in our gondola


We then headed into the town itself to the Torquay Museum … and wonderful and diverse collection of things related to Torbay (the area around Torquay). Some of the many exhibits and rooms included:
A "samurai thru history" exhibit based on the movie, filmed nearby, The Last Samurai

A “samurai thru history” exhibit based on the movie, filmed nearby, The Last Samurai


An exhibit of "cats in history"

An exhibit of “cats in history”


Peruvian knitted hat brought back by a young student group's recent school trip to Peru

Peruvian knitted hat brought back by a young student group’s recent school trip to Peru


Full-size replica of an 1850s Devon farmhouse

Full-size replica of an 1850s Devon farmhouse

The best part of the museum, the Agatha Christie collection, was unphotographable! Which was a real bummer because not only were their actual sets from the BBC versions of the Agatha Christie stories (including Poirot’s den and Miss Marple’s grey wool suit) there were diary pages … manuscripts and first editions … and other bits and bobs of Agatha’s life. Seems Agatha spent much of her childhood in Torquay … her first honeymoon was spent in the Grand Hotel right next to the rail station … and she set many of her stories here and nearby (as well as her having her vacation home, just down the road at Greenway). The gift shop even sold new and used (including a complete first-edition set) of Christie’s novels as well as other really fun things to purchase. I wish they’d had cards or posters with the quotes up in the AC room … they were excellent on writing and no way for me to write them down!

Even though the day was overcast and even a little chilly, we had a fabulous time. We finished up our time with a late lunch/early dinner at a local fish and chips shop and then a quick train ride back to Paignton … to rest up for our day tomorrow.


Tomorrow: day 7 …. a trip to London to Kensington Palace …


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