Torquay Backpackers Hostel is a convenient, inexpensive, friendly place to stay in Torquay, with easy access to the citys attractions (mainly the beach and boat harbour). In view of good transportation links, it is a good base from which to explore other places where there are no hostels, as rates at bed and breakfast establishments are at least double those charged by hostels.
Torquay Backpackers is located in a Victorian mid-terrace house several stories high (but without an elevator) at 119 Abbey Road in the center of Torquay, a very popular seaside resort in the county of Devon, southeast England. It is easily located with the aid of a street map, but such is the warren of streets, the traffic in the center of Torquay, and the confusing mixture of one-way and pedestrianized streets that it can be difficult to find when driving, especially as stopping on Abbey Road is prohibited and the hostel sign is difficult to spot. A conspicuous nearby landmark is the large, imposing concrete Central Methodist Church on the corner of Abbey Road, known locally as the ugly church.
Overnight parking is possible in the health center parking lot at the rear of the hostel by arrangement with the hostel owner, and there is daytime parking (free on Sundays) in a parking structure accessible from Abbey Road, which is closed at night. The long distance coach station is a short walk from the hostel, and the train station is nearly a mile away. Although there is a frequent city bus service along Abbey Road and a bus stop opposite the hostel, this does not go to the train station, and so guests arriving by train are advised to walk or take a taxi.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The sleeping accommodation consists of one double room and several five-bed, mixed-sex dorms, some of which have an attached shared bathroom, arranged on several floors. In addition, there are shared, mixed-sex bathrooms on every floor, but in the case of these shared bathrooms, the showers are operated by tokens obtainable from the owner and only allowing a limited number of minutes. There is space to change in the shower area, and there are hooks for clothes and soap dishes. The dorms have room locks, and although there are lockers, these are not located in the dorms. Long-term overseas visitors wishing to work or study in Torquay are especially welcome, and special room rates apply.
This hostel is clean and tidy, has a generally cheery, if rather worn, aspect and is decorated in a variety of colors with pictures, murals, and maps on the walls. There is a reasonably well equipped kitchen, a lounge/dining area, and a TV room in the basement. There is a PC with free internet in the lounge. The hostel provides free tea and instant coffee but not meals, and so guests are expected to be self-catering or use one of the many nearby restaurants and takeaways.
Smoking is prohibited by law inside the building, and although the consumption of alcohol is permitted, there is strong disapproval of drunkenness. There are several picnic tables in the yard at the front of the building, and smoking is permitted here. This could be annoying for nonsmokers entering or leaving the building, but smokers would probably only wish to sit there on warm, dry summer days. Guests are mostly young, although all age groups are welcome. Both the guests and the owner are friendly and helpful. Guests wishing to throw a party would need to consult the owner, who lives on the premises with her large dog. There is a library of tourist literature/leaflets but no book exchange.
Torquay Backpackers is altogether a good choice in view of the reasonable rates, friendliness, and proximity of the many attractions of one of Englands prime seaside resorts and is therefore recommended.