In September 2007 the English Riviera received international recognition for its rich geological, historical and cultural heritage when it became one of just 67 areas around the world, endorsed by UNESCO, as a European and Global Geopark.
Situated within the stunning, rolling hills of South Devon and the geology of the English Riviera has created the beautiful coastline of today, which links the rich diversity of landscape with wildlife, people and culture.
Undeniably, the geological tale behind the English Riviera Geopark is quite spectacular and one of extremes. From a seascape bathed in the warm and beautiful tropical seas of the Marine Devonian to a landscape of arid, barren Permian desert and from our earliest relatives, living in caves, to modern civilization.
The shape of the Bay provided the naval fleet safety during times of crisis and thus was a catalyst for the building of the Napoleonic Forts while its sheltered natural harbours led to the growth of what, at one point, became the UK's largest fishing port. The beauty of the area influenced the early development of a tourism industry thus instigating the requirement for the exploitation of its geological resources in the form of extensive limestone quarrying, in addition to the marble and terracotta industries.
The English Riviera resort towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham lie, like a be-jewelled necklace, around one of the most beautiful bays in England. The resort is a top destination for visitors and its history as a popular resort stretches back centuries.