Nestling below Haldon hills to the north, Teignmouth lies along a stretch of red sandstone coast at the unspoilt estuary of the river Teign, born on high Dartmoor. Wide spaces and rolling fieldscapes delight the eye with breath-taking panoramas from high ground. Lyme Bay's well-spaced arms protect smaller bays peering out over the English Channel between Portland and Start Point. Teignmouth claims record-breaking hours of sunshine and its remarkable geographical position ensures reasonable weather for much of the time. Dartmoor National Park's eastern approach or the city of Exeter can be reached by road in 30 minutes whilst Plymouth is about one hour's drive. Public transport links nearby Torbay and the market town of Newton Abbot.
When Isambard Kingdom Brunel pushed his Atmospheric Railway down the coast in the 1840s, Teignmouth became the second health resort in Devon. Humble occupations in salt production and fishing gave way to the demands of visitors. The wealth of affluent Victorians was significant to the re-invention of Teignmouth that had suffered a devastating invasion by the French in 1690. The 19th century saw a flurry of new business and buildings. The majority of commodities were brought in under sail and waterway traffic increased. Boat building contributed to the local economy. Clay and granite quarried nearby and barged down-river were important out-going cargoes.
Between 1940 to 44, a number of air raids claimed the lives and homes of many people. Post war regeneration re-shaped the town that now displays an interesting mix of architectural styles. Georgian cottages line narrow streets whilst Victorian structures are seen at their best along the seafront. A diminutive Orangery of 1842 is found in Bitton Park. Many of the impressive residences built on the hillsides have been converted to apartments in modern times. Enthusiasts discover extraordinary variety in seven churches and numerous public houses.
One of the best things about Teignmouth is that the centre has no hills to speak of and it is small enough to reach any part easily on foot. It's unpretentious enough to remain friendly. A handful of convenient chain stores are surrounded by many interesting small shops housing untold treasures. Street café culture thrives in traffic-free zones. The Railway Station is within a few minutes level walk of town and beach. The docks, used by ships from across the world create interest for everyone.
The Orangery Bitton House Mayor's Parlour Children's Play park
Culture Vultures can seek out links with John Keats who wrote part of 'Endymion' in 1818 at Keats House: the 19th century homes of renowned marine artist Thomas Luny or the genius code breaker and father of the computer, Charles Babbage : King of Harpists, Elias Parish Alvars born here in 1808. Colourful local characters continue to inhabit the town. The 3-storey Museum in French St is a not-to-be-missed treasure trove.
Contemporary interests continue through a growing colony of artists, live theatre and a newer focus of the annual jazz festival. Regattas, carnivals, cycling and walking opportunities as well as a host of water sports including diving and angling await those who love the great outdoors.