Category

Trips

Sunday Cycle – Powderham Historic Vehicle Gathering

We had tickets to this years Powderham Castle Historic Vehicle Gathering, run by the Crash Box and Classic Car Club, so I thought we would make the most of it, catch a train into Exeter St David’s and cycle along the river to the show (what an idiot)! Living in a small village can sometimes make using our bikes quite difficult, unless you want a challenge and lots of hills to cycle up, we are lucky that we have a train station in our village which runs fairly frequently. We caught the first train on a Sunday at 10.44am and loaded our bikes on. It wasn’t too busy which was great, last time we tired to get on with our bikes we were turned away because it was too busy, so we were pleased to have got on. St David’s is only about 26 mins or so away so not a very long journey.

We soon arrived into St Davids and hauled our bikes back off the train and began our journey. We went left out of the train station and headed over the railway lines and along the river. It’s a very flat ride which is great for people like me who are a little rusty when it comes to cycling, it was my bikes first outing of the year – shameful! We pedaled along with Dave leading the way and me playing catch up, I think he forgets I have smaller legs than him. Before we knew it we were crossing over at Bridge Road and having a pit stop at The Turf Locks

We carried on along the newly tarmaced cycle way towards Powderham (new to us anyway) and approached the bridge to cross the railway lines, from here we could just about see where we needed to get to, we carried on a little further and found the entrance. Upon arriving we were met by a very friendly young boy who told us where we could lock our bikes up and which way the entrance was. We were amazed to see how the show had grown since the last time we visited! It was a really nice atmosphere with people of all ages wandering around and marveling at all that was on offer. There were cars from all over the world, Traction Engines, Trucks, Trade Stands, Bands, a Dog Show and lots of different food stalls.

We walked the whole site trying to work out which was the best way to see it all, in the end we opted for weaving up and down and think we managed to see most things, including a few people we knew too. It was a really hot day so we sat under a tree for a little while and had something to eat before heading back out on our bikes.

The cycle back seemed a lot quicker than on the way there, it was also a bit busier along the tracks, so a lot of people weaving and dodging happened. Before long we were sat on a bench outside at The Mill on the Exe, with a well deserved ice cold drink and a plate of cheesey chips, before catching our train home!

Despite me having to pedal for my life to keep up with Dave I love our Sunday cycle trips and hope to get out and do a bit more cycling before the winter months draw in!

 

A wonderful wedding! Froginwell Vineyard – Woodbury Salterton

Weddings are magical in their own respect, however when it’s a wedding for some of your closest friends it’s even more magical!
This weekend we were delighted to be invited to witness our lovely friends Helena and Gav tie the knot! It has been a date firmly stamped on our calendar for months and soon creapt around.
Once shoes were shined and a sweep of lipstick applied we headed out the door and make our way to the venue.
After going on a dog walk and stopping in the cafe on the way home the bride and groom chose Froginwell Vineyard as the destination to declare their love for one another and what a stunner they chose! It is located on the A3052 road to Sidmouth, past Westpoint, Crealy and Greendale, it’s easy to find and is adjoined with the entrance of the White Horse Inn car park on the right hand side. We parked in the car park and made our way up the gravel driveway to see what the day had in store for us all. We followed the signs around to the back of the building which opened up into a beautiful Vineyard surrounded by East Devon countryside.

We were quite early so sat and admired our surroundings for a little while and chatted with a slightly nervous groom and some of the wedding party. It was soon time for us to take our seats and await the bride!
An air of excitement buzzed throughout the venue as we waited for Helena and her Dad to come down the aisle. I think I had a bit of an idea of the kind of dress she was going to wear but when the curtain was pulled back, and she appeared with her armed looped in her Dad’s, she looked absolutely beautiful! Helena wore a floor length lace, embroidered dress which had an opening at the back and suited her slim frame just perfectly. The service was a lovely personal one with a few readings from family and friends, soon after Gav and Helena were pronounced husband and wife, to a huge round of applause!

After we all shuffled out of our seats and were handed glasses of Pimms or Prosecco we went in search of the bride and groom to congratulate them. They were so very lucky with the weather, having had beautiful weather the weekend before and the beginning of the week, rain was forecast for the day, however we managed to miss most of it meaning we could all mingle outside nibbling on canapes.

It was soon time for us to take our seats, eat and await some highly anticipated speeches. I totally forgot to take a picture of our mains, it’s a shame because it was amazing!  We had platters of different kinds of meat, salads and potatoes. For pudding were a trio of small treats, small but just the right amount, we had lemon cheesecake, a fruity meringue and a little chocolate brownie, it was delicious! All supplied by Dartmoor Kitchen

After a little break in between eating it was time for the speeches! Up first was Helena’s Dad who gave a lovely speech about both Helena and Gav, leaving many with a tear in their eye, second up was Gav who spoke about his beautiful wife and little boy and thanked everyone for coming and then last but no least was Best Man Alex, he had the whole room chuckling and, mostly, only had nice things to say about Gav and his lovely new wife. Once the speeches were over you could see the boys relax and start to let their hair down a little more. Roll on the rest of the day!

After the speeches we all got up and went back outside to enjoy the estate, people mingled on picnic benches and caught up with old friends. The day soon turned into the evening as it does at weddings (i’m sure they are on a different time zone, they always seem to whizz by!) and further guests started to arrive, along with a lovely Volkswagen Camper Photo Booth (which I again stupidly forgot to take a photo of), the DJ was fully set up and although not many people were on the dance floor yet he was having a great time!

Next up was the cake cutting, although this was no ordinary cake, it was a tower of cheeses, which were then cut up for guests to have with biscuits later on in the evening, it was a great idea and the cheese was delicious!

However cheese was not a direct replacement for cake, there were tonnes of cup cakes made by the lovely Katie, which were amazing too and all gluten free, not that you would ever have known, yum, yum!

On to the last part of the celebrations and the P-A-R-T-Y…

The first dance was a lovely one, played out to a Mumford and Son’s song (I can’t remember which one, sorry guys), soon after this everyone was up and dancing. The DJ was brilliant, he wasn’t your average cheesy disco DJ but a guy called Offbeat Entertainments he had most people up and dancing and was a genuinely nice guy! We danced the night away until it was time for something a little special, we were all asked if we could step outside so that we could light some sparklers for the bride and groom. It was such a lovely idea and something we hadn’t done at any other wedding before

After all the sparklers had been extinguished we all went back inside to finish the night off with a lot more dancing, before we knew it the evening was coming to an end and a lot of people were saying their goodbyes. We were one of the last lot to leave and after saying our goodbyes and thank you’s to the new Mr & Mrs, we bundled into the car and made our way home. We all had such a lovely day and hoped it was everything the bride and groom had dreamed of.

Thank you so much for having us Gav & Helena, we had the best day! Last but not least, many, many congratulations to you, you make the perfect couple and Fraser is a lucky boy to have a Mummy ad Daddy like you guys ♥ xx

P.s These have got to be some of most beautiful wedding flowers I’ve seen ♥

 

Kensington Palace Gardens – The Orangery

Bank Holiday weekend continued…

Mum and I woke on Sunday morning to very sore feet and aching legs, however on the cards today was a trip to Kensington Palace Orangery, for Afternoon Tea – yum! I booked quite late so could only get a table for 11am, our train was at 3pm so thought it would work just right.
We willed our legs out of bed and got ready for the day ahead. We packed up our bags ready to check out later (the joy of Airbnb is that some of them have relaxed check out times which was perfect for us with lots of bags) and made our way to the tube station. Today we were faced with tube line maintenance so had to improvise a little to get to Kensington but we managed with relative ease. We got off at Notting Hill Gate and made our way to Kensington Palace by foot from there, we wandered along and eventually got to Kensington Palace Gardens, we walked along the cobbled road and were amazed by some of the beautiful Embassy properties that lined the street.

We found the entrance to Kensington Gardens and made our way along through the park, we were quite early for our Afternoon Tea so made the most of our surroundings. We walked in the park and sat on the grass next to the Round Pond and watched as people wheeled in little wooden boats to float on the pond. Before we sat watching the world go by we took a little walk around the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens, it was absolutely stunning and smelt divine! It was being replanted at the time we visited but it didn’t seem like there was much more to do. The garden team had created a White Garden to mark twenty years since Diana’s tragic death, it was designed to be viewed from the walkway, with planting being simple, joyful and elegant, it was all that and more!

As soon as you walked in to the garden through a tunnel of greenery you were hit with the smell of the delicate white roses, it was a smell I wished I could have kept forever, so calming and soothing. We had seen some stunning gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show the day before but I felt like this one told a story just as well as all the others we’d seen at the show.

We had to tear ourselves away from the garden as it started approaching 11am. We walked up the path, lined with neatly cut hedges, to the stunning Kensington Palace Orangery. Upon arrival we asked if we could be seated outside as it was such a beautiful day, we were told there wasn’t any space but were happy to sit inside as it was so open anyway… now for the slightly disappointing part! I had booked for us to have Afternoon Tea on an automated system, however upon arriving we were informed that it actually didn’t start until 12pm. We were told that we could wait until then or have something else, we were a little disheartened but decided to go for something else instead, it actually turned out OK! Mum ordered a Ham and Cheese Croissant and I ordered a Hot Waffle with Caramel Apples and Cinnamon Cream and we both had half each… it was absolutely delicious! In hindsight Afternoon Tea would probably have been too much for us and this was just right. The service was good and very efficient. If you are ever in the area I would highly recommend a pit stop here for lunch or breakfast, it was a real treat

 

Once we had devoured every last crumb we begrudgingly made our way back to our apartment to collect our things and make our way home. We had a lovely time in London and hope to go back again sometime soon

Mother and Daughter Bank Holiday Weekend Away – Chelsea

The Chelsea Flower Show is an event my Mum has wanted to do for many years, Dad has never been very keen so Mum and I thought we’d go it alone!
We booked our tickets with relative ease, I had always heard it was hard to get tickets but I found them easy enough. We decided to make a weekend of it so opted for Saturday tickets – the last day of the show in which they sell everything off! After scouring the internet we decided to give Airbnb a go and booked our stay at ‘Michael’s Apartment’ in a new apartment block called Chelsea Creek, a 10-15min walk from Fulham Broadway Tube Station. We found Airbnb to be a fair bit cheaper than a lot of the hotels we were looking at so if you are finding a short break to London pricey give it a go!
We arrived in London at around 7.30pm and started our journey to our apartment, after reacquainting ourselves with the tube (we got on the wrong one at first – my fault!) we soon found our way to Fulham Broadway Station and exited through the barriers into a shopping centre. We hadn’t eaten dinner so stopped in a Nandos before collecting our apartment keys. Once we had filled ourselves with chicken we opened up Google Maps (our best friend for the weekend!) and followed the dots on the map towards our destination, a short walk straight on, right then straight on, easy! Soon we were faced with a huge new, fancy looking apartment block which split off into different sections, our keys had been left with the concierge and they helpfully showed us where we needed to go. Thankfully the apartment was exactly as it looked in the pictures, it was clean, modern and had everything we needed.
We sorted out our luggage and soon headed to bed hoping to get an early night ready for what was bound to be a long day the next day!
Our alarm clocks started chiming at 6.30am, signalling the start of our day, we wanted to get there early to avoid the huge crowds that were sure to be there later on! We got up, showered, ate breakfast and ummed and ahhhed about what to wear that day, the weather was forecast sunny and warm but with showers, we both went for summery dresses and made sure to pack our brollies! A little bit later than planned we headed out of the door and on our way.
We took the tube from Fulham Broadway to Sloane Square which took no time at all, we headed out of the station and asked a Chelsea Pensioner the way we should go, although it was sign posted we weren’t quite sure, she was a great help and told us a little short cut, along with a few other ladies, so off we went! It had started to rain while we were on the tube but nothing to grumble about, as soon as our umbrellas went up they were back down again.
We entered the show through the London Gate entrance and were met with the beautiful Royal Hospital Chelsea it really is a stunning building, it is now home to the Chelsea Pensioners. They offer accommodation, comradeship and the highest standards of care for veterans, in recognition of their loyal service to the Nation. Any former solider of the British Army over the age of 65, who is facing spending their advanced years alone can apply for residence here. To read more about them you can visit the website here – Chelsea Pensioners
After we had finished marvelling at the building we made our way towards the ticket gates. Because of the devastating events in Manchester a couple of weeks ago we were subject to bag searches and airport style security, something which we didn’t mind at all, I would rather they were cautious! Once our bags had been searched we were free to go in. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, how big things would be and how long it would take us to get around the site.
Our first stop was the Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, there were five of them in total. We marvelled at Chris Evans and Mary Berry’s ‘Taste’ Garden, it was packed full of the type of fruit and veg you’d grow at home, voluptuous rows of cauliflowers and broccoli, lots of juicy ripe strawberries and rhubarb, it was all quite perfect, if not a little too perfect!
The next garden we came across was Zoe Ball’s ‘Listening’ Garden this one featured some copper coloured trough type shapes and they would make a deep vibrating sound on a loop and ripple the water, it was a sound that went right through you and really did get to all of your senses.
We wandered along squeezing through the crowds to look at the three remaining Radio 2 Gardens, the Anneka Rice ‘Colour Cutting’ Garden, Jeremy Vine ‘Texture’ Garden and Jo Whiley’s ‘Scent’ Garden.
We carried along and marvelled at everything along the way, we got to one stand where a chap had mastered the art of Stone Balancing, if you have never seen this before I would highly recommend a You Tube search, we couldn’t understand how he did it! The standard of some of the things exhibitors were selling was phenomenal, you would need a big hefty bank balance and a fairly big garden to house some of the things for sale, that didn’t stop us taking it all in though, a girl can dream!
After being distracted by all that was on offer for sale we decided to take a pit stop and rest our toes, we grabbed a quick cup of tea and some shelter from the blazing sun and tried to re-charge for a few minutes before making our way back out. We tried to work out what we had seen and what was on our list to see, the site is big enough that we weren’t sure what we had and hadn’t done. We’d managed to see a couple of the Show Gardens while it was still a little early and not so crowed but by the time we stepped back outside the crowds had started to grow.
There was one garden that you could queue to get a birds eye view of and that was the Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s, it was designed as a secluded, calming and private space that gives beauty and respite for those suffering from Cancer. It really was a beautiful garden which I think could only be appreciated from above. It was full of boxed hedges and granite benches which were broken apart to symbolise and demonstrate how life can be blown apart and then put back together after a cancer diagnosis. It was very secret garden like with a little wooden gate at the front of the garden.
After a lot more walking and a quick pit stop in the Whistlefish tent to snap up some beautiful bargain cards (10 for £8!) We found a spot in the picnic area and sat down on the grass for an early lunch, I think we’d earned it! A tip if you ever fancy the Chelsea Flower Show and one that friends gave me, is buy your lunch and drinks before and take a picnic, as you can imagine prices were on the steep side for food and drink!
After we had re-fuelled we carried on with the rest of our afternoon, it was gone mid day and I don’t think we’d even done half of it! We walked on to find the rest of the gardens we wanted to see. I think I had two favourites, The Morgan Stanley Garden, with all it’s beautiful colours, contrasts of wood and stone and also the World Horse Welfare Garden, this garden stood there like it had been there for years and years and the attention to detail was more than you could imagine, the pictures really don’t do it justice!
After a few little purchases from a couple of cheeky chaps that made garden ornaments out of reclaimed metal we headed into the tent a lot of you will be familiar with from the T.V, the Great Pavilion! It has Great in it’s name because it really is huge! We were conscious that the afternoon was getting on and we hadn’t even started yet, we decided on the route we would take and went for it. As it was the last day of the show a lot of the plants get sold off at the end of the day, 4pm to be precise, we noticed while looking in awe at some of the stands that a lot of plants had tags on them or raffle type tickets stapled to them, it soon became apparent that we should have done this tent at the beginning of the day in order to reserve the best of the plants! We of course hadn’t gone there with the intention of lugging some huge bush home (photo to follow of this!) with us but you soon get sucked into the hype! We meandered past some truly beautiful plants, flowers, cactus and shrubs; some of the bonsai trees there were just works of art, one in particular dating back to the 1800’s!! How do you keep something alive for that many years?
After we felt satisfied we’d seen everything we wanted to see and made a mental note of anything we’d like to go back for once the sell of started, we went back outside to have another look at anything we’d missed, by this time it was 3.45pm so only 15 minutes until the big sell off! We looked back over a couple of the gardens which already had queues of people eager to take home a little bit of the show gardens. We visited the Sophie Allport Stand and both bought ourselves a souvenir Chelsea Flower Show Mug, which I am in love with!
Before we knew it a chap came over the tannoy and did a count down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… it was sell off time!
It was craziness gone mad! People were taking home some of the strangest things (a square of moss anyone?) but also some beautiful things. It was also quite sad to see all of the gorgeous gardens pulled up and dismantled looking very sorry for themselves. Mum and I managed to bag ourselves a couple of bargains in a lovely little lemon coloured rose plant for a £1 each and a fruitful chill plant for £2 each. After going back three or four times we also both came back with a pretty Cactus type plant each too. At this point when it hurt our feet to walk any further, our legs had given up and our bags were so stuffed mine had literally started to come away at the seams we decided to call it a day! We didn’t do too bad having arrived early and leaving 15 minutes before the end of the show! We didn’t get to look around all of the trade stands but it was probably for the best seeing as we had no more arms to carry things! If ever we go again we shall take a trolley!!
All in all we both had a wonderful day at the show, seeing as neither of us knew what to expect and Mum more the gardener than me, I still had a brilliant day and came home inspired to bring some life into my gardens at home!
We even found this lady on the tube on the way home, what a beautiful Fuchsia, I guess she must have thought so too!!

Haldon Forest Trekking

Haldon forest has always been a favourite of mine, when we were small we used to take a trip to the forest and walk the coloured signed trails to see where we would end up and what we could find along the way.
This year we have bought a Discovery Pass and intend to make the most of it! The pass costs £30 for a year which allows you to park for free, discount in the coffee shop (it’s worth it just for this) and a few other discounts.
With our pass firmly stuck in the window and after a small battle to find a parking space (we made the rookie error of going at peak time – 11ish) we pulled on our muddy shoes and went off in search of a trail.
It was a beautiful sunny day so was fairly busy, we headed towards the big maps to have a look at where we’d like to go. We chose the Tree Trail which was 2.5 miles, it says on the website that this is a hard trail but I am not sure it is, perhaps if you didn’t have proper footwear? We found it to be OK though.

We set off along our way and found it to be a really picturesque walk in the sunshine. The signs were fairly easy to follow and helped us to navigate our way around easily enough. It was busy with bikes on the various different cycle trails so we had to be mindful of them too.

It didn’t take us too long to get round and we were appreciative of the views as we made our way around. We came across a few nice little features a long our trek, including a tunnel made out of branches

We were soon coming back up the hill which made for an even nicer view – the colour of that sky!

Haldon Forest has something for everyone whether it be the daring heights of Go Ape or the Gruffalo Trail for the younger ones, you’ll be sure to find something to please the most difficult of person. We enjoyed our morning out and will be back again soon I’m sure!

 

 

Yeofest – Yeoford

What better way to celebrate the end of winter than an annual local Ale festival, Yeofest!
As the name suggests it’s a festival celebrating ale (and a few ciders for us non ale drinkers) and raising money for the local community, which happens once a year – a date that is now firmly stamped on the calendar!
We started off in our village Copplestone and rounded up some thirsty troops. We filled our stomachs with Jacket Spuds before heading off to the train station to make our 4 minute train journey to Yeoford – yes we could walk but that would lessen the time we had for beer drinking and would take us all afternoon, trekking up hills.
We got off at the pretty little station in Yeoford, along with many others that had made the same journey and walked through the village towards Yeoford Village Hall. I believe that Yeofest was originally set up to raise funds for a new village hall, they have now achieved this to the highest of standards and continue to raise money for this cause.

Upon arrival we were met with many jolly faces behind tables set up with row after row of Yeoford branded pint glasses and programmes. Each person attending has to pay £3 for entry which gets you a programme with all of the different ales and ciders on offer and a lovely pint glass. The next stall was the token stall, it was £5 for a strip of 4 half pint tokens which are used to purchase your drink of choice, then crossed out when you’ve ordered.


We entered the hall to find it absolutely chock a block with ale fans. There was a band in the corner, lots of seating and tables and a stand selling lots of different snacks and of course a big row of barrels full of ale and cider


We stood in the hall for a good while catching up with friends and sampling what was on offer. There were over 20 ales to try and 3 different ciders, as the afternoon went on we were all starting to find our favourites and went back for many refills, even drinking the cider dry! A table became free and that’s where we ended up for the rest of the afternoon.

Yeofest is a lovely little local festival, it caters for all ages, there were several people there with their children with games set up for them. We thoroughly enjoyed it and the fact it raises money for a good cause. Everyone is there for the same reason and it’s a very friendly atmosphere even if you aren’t from the village, many laughs were had.
We will be sure to return again next year and look forward to sampling the next batch of ales and cider. It’s well worth the sore head the next day!

Well done and thanks Yeofest, see you next year!

 

 

Saturday Tea and Treats – Cakeadoodledo Quickes

Saturday’s are often spent apart for Dave and I (unless I am feeling generous and in the mood to get covered in car muck) – Dave is restoring a 1980’s Mark 1 Volkswagen Jetta at his friends workshop Resto Shack in Whitestone, he is there most weekends as it nears it’s final stages, meaning that I am at a loose end most Saturdays. What better way to spend my time than with lovely friends eating cake and drinking tea! This weeks trip was to Cakeadoodledo at Quickes we have visited here before when it first opened so we thought we would give it another try this weekend. It’s located on the A377 just outside of Newton St Cyres.

We found a table in the corner, ordered some tea and toast to start with while we pondered our choice of cake.

There was much more to choose from than when we last visited… so much so that we struggled to choose what to have, without being greedy and having a piece of everything!

There was something for everyone from Lemon Drizzle to a Tea Cake or something a bit different like a Creme Egg Brownie, or what Harriet and I went for Biscoff Bomb Cake!

The atmosphere is very causal, there can sometimes be a little bit of a wait but if you catch the attention of a waitress you will soon get seen to.

We very much enjoyed our morning at Cakeadoodledo and I am sure you would too. It’s dog and child friendly with a kids corner to keep your little ones amused. We will certainly be back again to sample more of what is on offer!

A Birthday weekend in Bude with an extra surprise!

This year will see us celebrating several 30th Birthdays, up first was the lovely Ellen’s! Normally we all go away for the weekend around this time of the year to keep away the January blues, however this year we thought what better way to keep them at bay than to tie it in and celebrate Ellen turning the big 3 0!

After trawling many sites online Ash (Ellen’s other half) came across a beautiful Farmhouse called The Old Farmhouse, located just 6 miles from Bude. It was a struggle to find somewhere that would fit all ten of us and a dog in with enough space that we weren’t all on top of each other. This Farmhouse was absolutely perfect and suited all of our needs and more! I know I say it often but the beauty of where we live in Crediton, is that Bude actually isn’t that far away from us, in fact it’s exactly an hour away so in no time we had arrived. We eagerly unbuckled our seat belts and jumped out of the car, even Buck the dog was excited to have arrived, I think he must have sensed our excitement. We explored each room in awe of the place, it was even better than we could have hoped for. We climbed the oak staircase in search of our rooms and again were amazed by what we found, the rooms were decorated very stylishly but in keeping with the 400 year old building, wooden beams lined the ceilings, even the door handles were lovely!

We all chose our rooms and unpacked our bags. Next on the list was to go and do the ‘the big shop’. Me, Ellen and Laura got back in the car and headed for the nearest Supermarket which was not too far away. We grabbed a trolley and filled it to the top, grinning when all of it came to just £90! We had enough to eat like Kings and Queens for the whole weekend all for just £9 each! When we got back to the Farmhouse Dan, Eliot and Laura had arrived leaving us waiting for just one more person. We packed all the shopping away and all stood about chatting for a while and cooked  up our first meal of the weekend… I say a meal in the loosest term, we went for party food and it was bleddy lovely. However before all of this happened I am missing one very important part to this post! Tom arrived shortly before and we were all stood around in the kitchen chatting, Ash had managed to get us all in there without us really realising, he cleared his throat and said he’d like to say a few words… we all thought he was going to thank us all for coming but oh how wrong we were! Before we knew it he had gotten down on one knee and asked his girlfriend Ellen to marry him!!! We were absolutely stunned, gobsmacked and delighted, all at the same time! All three of us Laura’s burst into tears of happiness and although they’d be too manly to admit it I am sure there were a few tears from the men too. That was it then, the Prosecco was popped and we all had a very merry night, partying into the early hours! What a lovely way to start our weekend away and what an evening to remember.

The next day we all woke up with grins on our faces, despite suffering some what from our night before! Dave and Joe cooked up a big breakfast which helped ease our tummies and we planned a trip into Bude to try and clear our headaches.

We grabbed every item of clothing we could squeeze on under our coats to keep warm in the freezing weather, jumped into our cars and made the trip into Bude. We parked up and started our walk along Summerleaze Beach.

We clambered over the rocks and made our way over to Crooklets Beach, eventually making our way up into the town after a few picture stops.

We made our way into the town and stopped in a little shop called Coast and Country Interiors we were enticed in by the beautiful rugs we could see in the window. We ended up purchasing a lovely Welsh Wool rug, oops! I was very pleased with my purchase and the lady in the shop was so nice and helpful. Be sure to check her out if you ever find yourself in Bude.

We made our way back to the car park and returned to the Farmhouse, where we spent the rest of the day chilling out and had a huge curry feast for our dinner, in fact it would be very boring if I documented Sunday as well because we pretty much did the same thing. It was nice to just go away and not have to rush about here there and everywhere, so Sunday was spent chilling out, playing games, eating and hot tubbing. We also made a huge roast for late lunch and sadly said goodbye to Tom and Laura shortly after as they had to get back for work the next day.

Monday soon came around and it was time to pack up and leave behind our amazing weekend. It a weekend we will not forget in a hurry and will look back at with very fond memories. I am still amazed at Ash’s proposal and I think Ellen was still in a bit of shock when we got back. All in all it was a fab way to spend Ellen’s birthday weekend and I am glad we got to spend it with some of our nearest and dearest.

Thanks for an amazing time guys 🙂 and HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Ash & Ellen x

 

 

7 mile accidental pub crawl! Copplestone to Crediton

After eating and drinking far too much over the festive period it was time to drag out our walking boots and head outside for some much needed exercise!
Our friends around the corner were looking after our other friends dog so what better excuse than to get out with the hound.
We wrapped up warm, stuffed our pockets with left over Christmas treats and headed out the door, to the misty, slightly drizzly winter weather.

We weren’t quite sure where we were heading but Ash had suggested a local walk, off we went turning right at the bottom of the road and heading up the hill. It was suggested we walk to Sandford to try out their award winning local pub The Lamb Inn, with looks of surprise we agreed to see how we go, Ash helpfully informing us it was ONLY an hour and a half walk… I think it was a trick 😉
With the promise of beer and a pub lunch willing us on, we carried on up the lane, dodging the odd car and tractor as we went. Our first stop was Newbuildings, located just outside of Copplestone, roughly 2 miles up the road. We stopped outside a tiny little Church called Beacon Church which was originally built as the school for the village. Ash couldn’t resist a photo opportunity with Buck and the nativity scene!


We carried on along our way until we came to a sign post, one pointing left to Sandford and the other pointing straight on to Crediton, we made our choice and headed left up the lane to Sandford. The lane seemed to go on for a little while but the views a long the way were lovely.

We threw the ball for Buck up the lane, which soon started descending down the hill into Sandford.
Sandford is a pretty little village located just outside of Crediton. Considering the size of it it boasts two village pubs, we only tried one this time, The Lamb Inn. We walked through the village admiring the beautiful old buildings, villagers Christmas decorations and beautiful door wreaths.

We soon arrived at the pub and pushed open the lovely coloured wooden door, eager to get in out of the cold. The pub was quite small but then extends into a restaurant and even has it’s own cinema upstairs! It had a lovely atmosphere and was full of people leaving us struggling to find a seat. We approached the bar and ordered our drinks, when we asked if we could order food we were informed that the kitchen was at capacity and they weren’t taking any more orders! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed but we understood and ordered a couple of bags of crisps to keep us going. We soon found a table and tucked Buck underneath with a well deserved bowl of water. A couple of drinks later and we had come up with a plan! We were going to keep going on our walk and carry on into Crediton, it’s just under two miles from Sandford so we thought we would just keep going and find somewhere to eat there. We finished up what remained of our drinks wrapped ourselves back up and headed out the door, waving and saying our good byes along the way. The food in the pub looked amazing so we will definitely be back, but perhaps we’ll book next time!

We’ve now learnt after being shouted at by a passing car that there is actually a pathway from Sandford to Crediton, it’s called the Millennium Green & Path which leads from the village into the top of Crediton though a woodland trail. Now we know it will make it a lot easier for next time! It took hardly any time at all to get to Crediton, passing some nice sites along our way, including pigs and a door for tiny people!

Ash and Dave dropped Buck off to Joe and Laura, while Ellen and I headed off to the local Wetherspoons – The General Sir Redvers Buller we found a seat and awaited the boys arrival. We all ordered our food quite swiftly, we were starving after our trek. As it usually does in a Wetherspoons our food arrived in no time and we had soon devoured the lot! We stayed for a drink and then decided we would head on to another pub in the town square – The Three Little Pigs, at this point we had already decided to catch the train home, there was no way we would make it back before it got dark! The Three Little Pigs is a bit of a mad pub (in a good way) it’s full of lots of retro things all over the walls and ceilings and is just a bit crazy. We played a few games of Uno all of which I lost in spectacular fashion. Keeping one eye on the time it was soon time for us to drink up and make our way to the train station. We quick marched through Crediton, took a little short cut and stood on the old fashioned platform waiting for our carriage to take us home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our unexpected and unplanned day, I think days like this are often the best, you can over plan things sometimes and doing things on a whim can often we much more fun. Now we know the way to go I am sure we will do this walk again in the summer. We think we walked over 7 miles in total, I’m sure we burnt off all the extra Christmas chocolate we ate! I hope it’s also given you an idea of some new pubs to try too 🙂

 

 

 

 

A tour of Haytor

A little break was needed from all the over indulgence that comes with Christmas. Our good friend Stu was down from Scotland for the festive season so we thought what better way to burn off some of those extra calories than a trip to the moors. We picked up Joe and his dog Buck on our way through to Exeter to meet Stu. Everyone accounted for we left Exeter and headed on the dual carriage way. On arriving at Haytor it seemed like everyone else had the same idea and we struggled to park. We eventually found a space… or rather made a space for ourselves on the end of a row, wrapped ourselves up and made our way across the road to the Tor. 

Buck was keen to lead the way, only running back to us to see if we had his favourite tennis ball out for him yet. We trudged on up to the tor but rather than climb it we bared left away from the growing crowds. We soon came across some of Dartmoor’s native ponies and rather a lot of people trying to take selfies with them, poor buggers!

We went along a little further admiring the view as we went, Dartmoor really is a natural beauty and somewhere I would like to explore more of in the coming months… if I can drag the husband out with me!

As we went along our way the boys found several rocks to climb, while Buck ran backwards and forwards chasing his tennis ball.

When eventually, after we could no longer feel our fingers or toes, the boys got down from the rocks (Dave had wiped out on his bum in the process) and decided we had had enough for the day and headed back to the car. Our next stop was one I was looking forward to very much – Ullacombe Farm shop for lunch!

Ullacombe is on the way back from Haytor, literally mins away, so it would have been rude not to pop in on our way home. We parked up and made our way in enjoying the warmth that greeted us. We managed to find a table for four and browsed the menu for our lunches. Upon ordering we were informed the kitchen had just closed for hot food no…..! We all made different choices and warmed ourselves with tea and coffee. After a short wait our food arrived, satisfying our hunger. Despite not being able to order hot food we still enjoyed our second choices.

Once we devoured every last crumb we decided to call it a day and made our way home. It felt good to get out in some fresh air, after all the excitement that Christmas brings and we’ll be sure to pop back to Ullacombe again soon, remembering to get there before hot food ends next time! It was also nice to catch up with Stu before he left to go back to Scotland.

If you have time this year go and explore the many places Dartmoor has to offer, I am sure you won’t be disappointed and there are always some hidden treasures to be found, like the lovely Ullacombe Farm Shop or maybe even a country pub!

Until next time Stu 🙂