Fawlty Towers

Tourist Information

Hotel Gleneagles, Asheldon Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2QS

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Fawlty Towers

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Even though the comedy series Fawlty Towers was based in Torquay none of the show was ever filmed on the English Riviera. The one strong connection with the show was Hotel Gleneagles, but this property was demolished for redevelopment in 2016. This was where John Cleese and the Monty Python team first encountered hotel proprietor, Donald Sinclair, who would become the inspiration for one of comedy’s most famous characters.

During their stay at the hotel the Monty Python team experienced first hand the eccentricities of Donald Sinclair. Most notably Sinclair berated Terry Gilliam for using his knife and fork incorrectly and throwing Eric Idle’s bag over a wall believing it contained a bomb (it actually turned out to be a ticking alarm clock!).

While many of the Monty Python team decamped to the Imperial Hotel, John Cleese decided to stay on and take notes. He even invited his wife, Connie Booth (who later played Polly in the series) to come down and join him at Hotel Gleneagles. This was the beginning of one of the most famous and popular comedies of all time.

The first series (six episodes) of Fawlty Towers was broadcast on BBC 2 in 1975 and the second (six episodes) in 1979. To date, Fawlty Towers has been televised in over 60 countries.


Though Donald Sinclair passed away in 1981 his hotel lived on. After changing hands several times, it was taken over in 2006 by two experienced hoteliers who invested £1 million into the property and upgraded it into a stylish boutique hotel. Hotel Gleneagles locations was off Babbacombe Road, near Kents Cavern, on Asheldon Road (Torquay TQ1 2QS).

One popular myth is that the hotel shown in the opening shots of Fawlty Towers was based in Torquay. This particular building was the Wooburn Grange Country Club at Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. Unfortunately in 1991 the building was badly damaged by fire and subsequently demolished. Eight new homes were later built on the grounds.


Opening Times

Fawlty Towers (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)


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This Official Tourism Website is managed by the English Riviera BID Company Ltd.
Company number 10237792.
Registered address 5 Vaughan Parade, Torquay, Devon, England, TQ2 5JG.
Telephone 01803 211211 enquiries@englishrivierabid.co.uk

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