English Riviera Global Geopark
South Devon's Outdoor Adventure Playground
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English Riviera Global Geopark
In 2007 the English Riviera was designated a Global Geopark and is one of just 9 sites in the UK and Ireland to hold this special status.
"When you’re on the English Riviera you are in a very special place, a Global Geopark, an international designation of quality recognised by UNESCO. There are only 90 Geoparks in the world and the English Riviera Global Geopark is the smallest, but it’s one of the most dynamic offering all kinds of activities and events for you to get the most from your leisure time here." Nick Powe, Chairman of the English Riviera Geopark Organisation.
At the heart of the Geopark is Kents Cavern, a world-famous prehistoric cave system where excavations uncovered the oldest remains of modern man in Europe – a jawbone dated at 42,000 years old, now on display in Torquay Museum. Formed over two million years ago, the caves are a popular international visitor attraction and host numerous events including bushcraft survival, Shakespeare plays and ghost tours in summer.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve near Brixham is one of the most dramatic sites in the Geopark. Formed from 400 million year old limestone, the reserve boasts some of the most spectacular views on the English Riviera. Its heritage is evident in the Napoleonic fort remains (the café and Geopark Visitor Centre are in the old Guard House) and it provides a home for many rare species of wildlife. Rock climbing and abseiling opportunities are available.
On the Water
Our landscape provides one of the best destinations in the UK for outdoor adventures. Whether you want to go coasteering, kayaking, kite surfing or mackerel fishing, you’ll find it here. There are numerous providers of these activities on the English Riviera – give us a call or visit our >maritime website for more inspiration at www.englishriviera.co.uk/maritime.
There are loads of opportunities to explore the stunning scenery of the Geopark - rock climbing, orienteering, sightseeing cruises - plus walking this beautiful stretch of the South West Coast Path is a must. Local food is really important here too, and you’ll find more of this at the Occombe Farm Cookery School. Groups looking for activity holidays in South Devon should look no further than the Group Excursions organised by the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust - ideal for team building and group holidays.
The key sites of the Geopark will offer you an insight into its history, formation and environment. Find out more in the free Geopark leaflet available from Visitor Information points across the English Riviera. An official guidebook and walks book are available from the Geopark Information Centres and the main Visitor Information Centre on Torquay Harbourside, or online at www.amazon.co.uk.
More indepth information on landscape formation, geology, conservation and heritage designations, education, culture and UNESCO can be found on the official English Riviera Global Geopark website www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk.
Download our Geopark Leaflet
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