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The hamlet of Maidencombe (mentioned in the Domesday Book, 1086) is on the most northerly reach of Torbay. Torbay is relatively densely populated, yet Maidencombe, still a part of Torbay, remains rural with a backdrop of farmland. Facing North/East, it stretches down to the wonderfully rich Devon sandstone cliffs, which overlook the sea and Lyme Bay. This red sandstone is responsible for the soil’s red colour and sometimes cloying texture but is a feature of the local farmland.

Maidencombe is also on the coastal path enjoyed by many on holiday. The local authorities control it as an area of preservation, and the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust manages it. Maidencombe has always been popular with residents of Torbay, and this naturally attracts visitors who appreciate nature, views, walks, and the country's style of life yet are within striking distance of a decent-sized town.

Due to the cliffs' nature and erosion, with large boulders occasionally plummeting to the shore below (mainly in winter), the beaches are not as broad and comfortable as Paignton, for example, and can be challenging to maintain. The small sandy coves and rocky outcrops are ideal for exploring and fishermen, but if the moods take, they are also safe for bathing. The actual Maidencombe beach is at the bottom of the aptly named “steep hill” and may have a kiosk selling refreshments (time of year prevailing), but if not, there is an excellent pub (The Thatched Tavern) before the drop to the beach.

Torquay is less than 4 miles away, and it can be reached either on foot, via the coast path (recommended for walkers) by car, or by bus, passing through St. Marychurch and Babbacombe on the way. Other popular rural places on the outskirts of Torbay are places such as Stoke Gabriel.

More reading:-

  • England – Black’s Guide Books for Tourists Adam & Charles Black Edinburgh 1857

  • Ward, C.S., & Baddeley, M.J.B. (Compilers). South Devon & South Cornwall – Thorough Guide  Series (third edition) Dulau & Co. Ltd. London c.1889; (ninth edition) Ward Lock & Co. Ltd.  London c.1923
    Hope-Moncrieff, A.R (Ed.) Black’s Guide to Devonshire (sixteenth edition) Adam & Charles
    Black London 1898

  • Norway, Arthur H. Highways & Byways in Devon & Cornwall Macmillan, London 1907

  • S. E. Devon – Bell’s Pocket Guides G. Bell & Sons Ltd. London 1929

  • Red Guides: Torquay & South Devon Ward Lock & Co. Ltd. London (Thirteenth Edition) 1931-

  • Mee, Arthur (Ed.) Devon (The King’s England Series) Hodder & Stoughton London (5th
    Impression) 1951; revised edition 1965

  • Hoskins, W.G. Devon William Collins London 1954; (revised edition) Devon Books 1992

  • Clifton-Taylor, Alec The Pattern of English Building Faber & Faber London 1975

  • Le Messurier, Brian The Visitor’s Guide to Devon Moorland Publishing Co. Ashbourne 1988
    (2nd. edition) ISBN 0 861890 232 7

  • Born, Anne, The Torbay Towns Phillimore 1989 ISBN 0 85033 694 5

  • Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nikolaus The Buildings of England, Devon Penguin (second
    edition) 1989 ISBN 0 14 071050 7

  • Department of National Heritage Revised List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic

  • Interest – Borough of Torbay, Devon, Area of Torquay May 1994

  • Power of Place – The future of the historic environment English Heritage December 2000

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