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Boys to the left of me, boys to the right of me, and such a lot to drink! It's Devon boy heaven down in Torquay says Out UK's man-overboard Adrian Gillan.
Though it has the feel of a typical English seaside resort and with an image that won't ever completely shake off memories of Fawlty Towers, there's nothing retiring about Torquay, undoubtedly the heart and soul of the 'Gay English Riviera'. Its compact scene nestles between palm-clad hills and a harbour warmed by sub-tropical winds, wafting gay male mariners in from as far as Exeter and Plymouth.
The friendly and attitude-free Meadfoot Inn just above the harbour parade is a good place to start the evening off with the local crew. Then coast down to the harbour and soak up some of the salty seaside atmosphere until you're dizzy.

If you are the kind of person who likes to eat as well as drink and know your plaice from your cod, catch the freshest fish and shellfish dishes for miles around at Number 7 Fish Bistro down on the Inner Harbour. Then steady as she goes, and cast aloft up the winding hilly streets to the old-world Clipper Inn on Melville Street to sink a few more, before descending the steepest, narrowest, most winding stone steps you're ever likely to navigate between bars.


Club Ibiza back at the harbour parade lures a fairly mixed crew down its basement hatches, but local scene sailors account it's not as gay these days as of yore.


In summer, drop your kegs and let it all hang out at Petit Tor, a nudist beach with men-only area just to the north of town. And there is year-round cruising along the paths above Meadfoot Beach, but watch out for the tides and dodge the cliffs.
The garden gate leads to Meadfoot Beach, views of the East Shag and cliff walks to Daddyhole Cove (we kid you not!), the harbour and gay life as only Torquay knows it.

For a more relaxed atmosphere The Wilsbrook is an attractive, comfortable and friendly gay-owned and run mixed guest house close to the seafront, town centre and gay scene. As well as a warm welcome John & Lee offer free private parking, ensuite facilities, TV & tea/coffee facilities in every room, full English or Continental breakfast, guest lounge with digital TV & DVD facilities and a sun terrace.

The Wilsbrook.


Adrian travelled to Torquay in just over three hours by train from London Paddington with Great Western Railways.

Clipper Inn (14 Melville Street; T: 01803 380 388)
Club Ibiza (3-4 Victoria Parade; T: 01803 214 334)
Meadfoot Inn (7 Meadfoot Lane; T: 01803 297 112)
Number 7 Fish Bistro (7 Beacon Terrace, Inner Harbour; T: 01803 295055)
The Wilsbrook Guest House (77 Avenue Road; T: 01803 298 413) Website

Revised January 2016


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