400 million years ago if you were standing on the end of Berry Head you would have been underwater. What’s more the sea above your head would have been warm and under your feet would have been a huge coral reef, stretching for miles around. Running down to the shores of this sea from the uplands of Dartmoor was a hot desert across which great tropical storms swept from time to time. Flash floods carved out the desert and carried huge amounts of rocky material down towards the sea, depositing it on a floodplain and in the sea itself.
These were the conditions in which Tor Bay as we know it was born and today a reminder of how Tor Bay once was, can be found all along the coastline; fossil burrows at Saltern Cove, a 400 million year old coral reef at Dyers Quarry; caves at Kents Cavern where you can see fossil bones of animals and early humans and over 34,000 palaeontology specimens at Torquay Museum.
In September 2007 it received international recognition for its rich geological, historical and cultural heritage, it became one of just 57 areas around the world to endorsed by UNESCO and welcomed into both the European and Global Geopark Networks.
For more information visit the English Riviera Geopark website.