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Take a walk..... Daddyhole Plain, Torquay


This walk around one of Torbay’s three limestone plateaux gives great views of the Bay and the harbour. It travels through an area once formally cultivated by Victorian gardeners but now preserved as a wildlife conservation area, rich in rare plants and with its own colony of the nationally endangered horseshoe bats in a former wartime lookout post.


Difficulty: Moderate - A short stroll with some steep ascent and descent in places, including steps. Start: Daddyhole Plain car park TQ1 2LJ


Finish: Daddyhole Plain Length:1.9 miles (3.0 km)


Route Description 1. From Daddyhole Plain follow the South West Coast Path towards Torquay Harbour. Daddyhole Plain is a limestone plateau some 75 metres above the sea. Daddy is an old Devon name for the Devil, and according to local legend, the Devil lived in a cave at the foot of the cliff, formed when a large chunk of limestone fell into


the sea, creating ‘Daddyhole’. The possibility of further rockfalls means that nothing has been built in front of the Victorian terrace behind the recreation ground.


One of three limestone plateaux around Torbay, Daddyhole Plain has often been used for public gatherings and celebrations. In August 1815, a thanksgiving feast


was held for the poor after Napoleon Bonaparte had left the Bay.


From here the path burrows its way through an evergreen blanket of holm oak, sometimes known as holly oak (holm being the ancient name for holly) and actually a member of the holly family.


2. At the bottom of the steps just before Peaked Tor Cove, the path divides. Detour left to view London Bridge, a natural arch of Devonian limestone created by the erosive power of the waves and named by the Victorians who developed this path and quarried the limestone for local buildings as the town expanded in the tourist boom brought by the South Devon Railway at the end of the nineteenth century.


Tucked away above Peaked Tor Cove is the Torbay Home Guard’s Second World War mine watchers’ post. The site’s secluded location, thanks to the narrow cliffs, protected it from enemy aerial surveillance, and its own panoramic view across Torquay Harbour made it the perfect lookout spot for the detonation of mines on the seabed in the Bay in the event of an attack by sea.


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