Hidden Devon beach café in ruins after savage fire

A fire has caused massive damage to a cafe at a Torquay coastal beauty spot. Watcombe Beach Cafe was engulfed in flames at the weekend.

Fire crews were called to the cove - which officially reopened to the public last year - on Saturday. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Video taken at the scene by Ziggy Austin shows the devastation caused to the single-storey cafe. The inside of the building has been reduced to a blackened shell with a furniture, a fridge, walls, ceiling and other appliances destroyed.

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The cafe itself has not been open for some time and had previously been defaced with graffiti. In his video Ziggy says: "It looks like people have given up on Watcombe Cafe for now. One hell of a mess."

Surveying the damage and charred debris on the ground he adds: "It must have been one hell of a blaze. I don't know who has been down here, whether it was the fire brigade who came down and checked."

You can see more on his video here. Watcombe Beach itself was closed to the public back in 2020. The sandy cove on the edge of Torquay was once one of the resort’s most popular destinations.

The circular bay, surrounded by steep wooded cliffs, is at the end of a steep road leading down from an unsurfaced free car park. However, gradual deterioration, storms and a flood led to disaster which resulted in the closure of the beauty spot.

It was closed by Torbay Council in February 2020 after storms and heavy rains destroyed much of the path and steps leading down to the beach, making it difficult to access the beach safely. But it opened again last summer after new steps were built.

Devon and Somerset Fire and rescue confirmed: "We were called at 6.53pm on 27 April and sent three appliances as the building was well alight. Crews using water jets and breathing apparatus to extinguish the fire. The building was badly damaged by the fire. The cause of the fire is currently undetermined."