Few people realise, visitors and locals alike, that Torbay has a very special place on the world map the reason being that it is one of only seven sites in the UK and of 140 sites world wide, that have been given UNESCO Global Geopark status. What does this mean? Well quite simply (if it is possible to condense the geological history of the world is a sentence or two) the bay lies on a series of unique geological formations that unusually can be viewed here on the surface.
Going back some 400 million years (officially known as the Devonian period we'll have you know) the features of our dramatic coastline and rocks were formed at the bottom of a warm tropical sea, then scorched by the equatorial sun. Now things have cooled down a bit since then but evidence of these earlier times can be seen at 32 designated geo sites along the coast ( for the list click on the visit website link below).
Once again Meadfoot is the centre of attention as the rocks found in the bay are some of the oldest in the geopark. In fact you may not know but at one point they thought that beneath our very feet there might lie a vein of gold bearing rock. But before you start digging up the car park (the thought had crossed our mind before we had it surfaced), the idea was abandoned after some preliminary drilling had taken place.