With an outstanding choice of bowling greens to play, outdoor bowling in Torquay is a real pleasure. If you are planning a bowling tour for 2017 or 2018, then take a look at some of the wonderful bowling greens on offer in and around Torbay. And if you stay at TLH Leisure Resort, you can rely on our resident bowling experts to make all the arrangements for your fixtures.
The English Riviera’s many great bowling greens attract teams from across the country and Torquay alone boasts 3 greens all close to the seafront and with views across the Bay. There are another 4 greens in neighbouring Paignton, Brixham and nearby Teignmouth.
One of our more popular bowling greens is situated within the beautiful gardens of Oldway Mansion, the original home of the Singer sewing machine family. This lovely setting has a remarkable history.
In the 1920’s Oldway Mansion ceased to be the private residence of the Singer family and in 1929 The Torbay Country Club was formed, offering facilities for golf, tennis, squash, and badminton. Inside the Mansion there was a swimming pool, a bar, café, a lounge, and billiards.
In 1930 a bowls section was formed and the club has enjoyed an active and social membership ever since. Despite the future of Oldway Mansions itself yet undecided, the club itself continues to thrive with approximately 250 members.
This picturesque club in Torquay has its outdoor bowling greens about as close to the sea as you can get without donning your swimsuits. It is also the home club of national champions Sophie Tolchard, her brother, Sam Tolchard and Natalie Melmore.
The club was formed in 1927 on the site of the current Princess Theatre but moved location in the 1930’s to King’s Gardens. It has approx 100 members and hosts the annual English Riviera Bowls Tournament. Hawk-eyed film buffs may also recognise it as the base for the Mel Smith bowling comedy, Blackball.
With magnificent views over Torbay, this bowling green is close to Torquay seafront and next to popular Torre Abbey Park. One of the oldest bowling clubs in the area, it was founded in 1899 and pays host to many touring sides every year. The story goes that, bizarrely, an elephant was the cause of the club having to move its green from the Torquay Recreation Ground to its current site. The elephant escaped from a visiting circus and trampled through a stream and over the green, flooding it in the process!
Yet another bowling green on a prime site with stunning views over Torquay, Victoria BC is situated in Torre Abbey Park, overlooked by historic Torre Abbey. The club is one of the most recent in its current form and was only born in 2000 when two smaller Torquay clubs decided to amalgamate due to falling numbers.
There are two full size lawn bowling greens in the gardens, the upper lawn green being used by visitors to Torquay who wish to try their skills at lawn bowls and the lower green being exclusively used by the club.
As a contrast to our coastal bowling greens, the idyllic rural village of Marldon is only 4 miles away from TLH Leisure Resort. The club was founded in 1987, but did not acquire its own green until 1995. Hence, as all matches were played away, the longstanding joke for touring sides was that they were unbeaten at home for 8 years! Marldon is also famous for being the home of the annual “Marldon Apple Pie Fair”. The fair has been held since 1888 in memory of local farmer George Hill, who would use his windfall apples to bake an enormous apple pie for the village. Events throughout the afternoon include local arts, crafts and food stands, falconry displays, games and even a novelty dog show.
No Better Place to Tour
Hopefully we have now whetted your appetite. If you’re part of a touring side, Torquay must rate as one of the best places to visit. Not only is there a wealth of friendly, accommodating and scenic clubs to play, with immaculate bowling greens, but there are so many other attractions in the area.
TLH Leisure Resort offers a range of bowls festivals and tournaments but also welcomes bowls groups and tours. Fixtures and transport can be arranged at all the local clubs mentioned. Take a look here for more details, or call our Bowls Sales Executive, Trudie, on 01803 400600.
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