The world-famous Riviera Line passes through some of the lushest scenery in the country. Discover some more of the delights to be found on this historic line.
The Riviera Line Part II
The Riviera Line links Exeter St Davids with Paignton and passes through some of the lushest scenery in the country, including our own Dawlish Warren. But what else do the stops on this world-famous line have to offer? Let’s have a quick look at some of the things you can do in the stops along this historic line.
Teignmouth has the dubious honour of being the last place in the country to have been invaded by a foreign power. It was 1690, and the French fleet was anchored off Torbay, having defeated an Anglo-Dutch Fleet at the Battle of Beachy Head. A small group of boats decided to head up the coast and attack Teignmouth. They burned several houses and did a whole lot of looting.
Nowadays, of course, Teignmouth is a peaceful seaside town that is extremely popular with holiday makers. The sea-sports centre is a big draw for people from all around the area, and there are regular boat trips available in the high-season.
Always worth a look too is the Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum. Though relatively small, it is packed with several centuries’ worth of artefacts and memorabilia from the town’s colourful past. The influence of the sea is ever-present, as with most stops on the South Coast, and the contents of the museum reflect this trend. You can’t miss it; it’s been done up to look a little like a lighthouse.
Just short ride from Dawlish Warren on the Riviera line is Newton Abbot. Like Teignmouth, the town has strong links with fisheries in Newfoundland, thanks to the latter being ‘discovered’ and claimed for the English Crown by residents of the area.
If you’re around at the beginning of September, you may be lucky enough to catch the annual Cheese and Onion Fayre in honour of locally-revered Saint Leonard. Saint Leonard was a Frankish noble in the court of Clovis I, the founder of the fabled Merovingian dynasty. Both he and Clovis converted to Christianity at Christmas 496 CE.
Leonard asked that he be given the right to free prisoners who he deemed worthy of freedom, at any time. Thus during his lifetime he gained high regard for his intercessions to free prisoners and has become the patron saint of those in captivity. Throughout the ages, prisoners have reported that prayers to Saint Leonard have resulted in chains breaking before their very eyes!
Quite how his cult spread to the South of England is a matter of historical mystery, but the fact is that Newton Abbot still has a small tower from a church dedicated to the Saint, and that is just one of a great many religious sites in the area dedicated to his name.
If you want to know why the locals celebrate this esteemed personage with a Cheese and Onion Fayre once a year, you will have to ask one of them! It used to be on Leonard’s Feast Day – the 6th of November. Perhaps the locals thought it would be of greater honour to the Saint if they held the festival in September when the weather was still quite warm and more people would come to eat cheese and sniff onions in honour of Leonard and all the prisoners he has released…
So that wraps up some more of the delights to be found on the Riviera line. Join us next time for the third part of our Riviera line series.
Enjoy A Family Holiday in Dawlish Warren
If you’re looking for a great value holiday that the whole family will enjoy that’s also in a perfect location to experience the English Riviera on The Riviera Line, look no further than Welcome Family. This 4* holiday park is one of the best holiday parks in Devon and located in the sunny Dawlish Warren seaside resort.