Torpoint could be described as the gateway to Cornwall. It is situated on a peninsula in East Cornwall, across the River Tamar from Plymouth. A ferry connects Cornwall with Devon across the river these days, but there were always small boats ferrying people and goods across from Cornwall to England. The first official ferry service was started as far back as 1791, allowed by Act of Parliament. In 1832, the first chain ferry was started and three operate today. The ferry is still free for foot passengers and there is a small charge for cars travelling in the Plymouth direction.
Torpoint only became a town in the early nineteenth century. Before this, the nearby village of Antony was the main centre of habitation in the area. However, there had always been families living beside the river and there is some mention of this area in the Domesday Book.
Close to the town is a pretty stretch of water known as St John’s Lake. However, this can only be seen at certain times as it is completely tidal and dries out as the tide recedes. The old marina, Ballast Pound, is next to the local sailing club which holds frequent races during the yachting season. These races are heralded by a horn which is also blown at the finish of each race.
Torpoint is not a holiday resort but neither is it just a suburb of Plymouth. In fact, the local people cling to their Cornish identity even thou many refer to Plymouth as “the town”. For anyone exploring this part of the county by car, it is well worth a visit but is not the only place to stay in this area. There is also accommodation at Kingsand in nearby Cawsand Bay and the area as a whole offers many self-catering options.