Well it was off to an early start to our travels this year courtesy of the Firefighters Charity, before I go to talk about our trip I must give praise to the charity they do a wonderful job looking after Firefighters both serving and retired (I have been out of the service for 13 years) and if there are any firefighters reading this post give them a look if you need help they are wonderful. We stayed at the charity’s property in Devon, Harcombe house in Chudleigh Devon, the house stands in some 300 acres of land and in the grounds there is 28 three bedroom bungalows for rent or for firefighters who need recuperation, they also have an excellent state of the art rehabilitation centre providing all kinds of physio treatment on all levels.
The first place we visited was the town of Exeter really nice town with lots of good bars and restaurants, some great architecture especially the cathedral, whilst we were there I got to use the excellent curry finder app on my iPhone to hunt out a good Indian restaurant we found an excellent Indian restaurant called The Ganges an excellent place to eat read my full review on my Yelp page.
Today it was off to Cornwall, we booked Travelodge in Newquay as we were travelling right down to Lands End. We booked a room in their winter sale at the bargain price of £12.00 a bargain in anyone’s book. Our first stop was Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor a nice pub hotel dating back to 1750, the pub is steeped in stories about smugglers and the rum trade and was the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s book entitled Jamaica Inn The pub is just what you would imagine low ceiling’s timber beams and a very large inglenook fireplace with a roaring fire, the perfect setting for a good hearty breakfast which was enjoyed by all. Now the last time we visited Jamaica Inn was about 30 years prior to this visit, back then as I remember the Inn had a resident parrot in a large cage in the main entrance area, and when I spoke to the proprietor about the parrot he informed me that in fact he is still is alive and living with one of the staff and is in fact approx 80 years old, amazing apparently he had to leave the pub as his language became a bit too colourful a great story I’m sure you would agree.
Our next stop was Lands End
Now Lands End as the name suggests is the southern most tip of England, though some would argue that the Lizard Point is, but Lands End is probably the most well known. It is a spectacular piece of coastline with some great coastal walks, there is a hotel and attraction complex tea rooms shops etc “Lands End Landmark” but the greatest thing to see in my opinion is the coastline itself. On the day we visited the weather was perfect, clear blue sky’s plenty of sunshine, it was so clear in fact we could see the Scilly Isles of some 28 miles away so a perfect day to visit the area, also as it was January, no crowds we could not ask for more. We left lands end and drove along the coast road to Newquay which was our next stop, we thought we would book somewhere about half way as the journey to Lands End is some 100 miles from our base in Devon. Once again a Travelodge bargain at £15. (Read my review on my Tripadvisor page). Newquay has grown somewhat since the last time I visited with lots of building work going on, mainly apartments no doubt for holiday lets, Newquay is also the favourite haunt for Stag & Hen weekends as there are many bars & nightclubs, but we had no problems as it was January but maybe this is one to watch out for if you are going in the summertime.
12th January 2012
Up bright and early, breakfast then onto our next stop which is the home of Rick Stein the celebrity chief. Padstow now Padstow is a lovely picturesque fishing town on the north Cornwall coast with lots of quaint shops many restaurants and some fantastic beaches a must visit. Top tip have a Cornish pasty whilst you are here, they are first class. Next stop Port Isaac a really picturesque fishing village dating back to the eighteenth century it is also the filming location for the TV series Doc Martin, it has lots of quaint cottages and couple of nice pubs, but the only thing is that most of the cottages are rental property’s which is a shame really as what was once a no doubt thriving fishing village is now just becoming a tourist attraction but I suppose the same can be said lots of pretty seaside villages, but well worth the visit.
Well that’s about it on this trip the remainder of the week was spent relaxing at Harcombe house which like I already said is a wonderful place, we could noy have asked for better weather , the sun shone most of the week just perfect. Our next trip is to the Destinations Travel Show at Earls court London so watch out for the story of that trip, then in March we are off to Morocco to visit the city of Fes (or Fez as some people spell it) and Rabat, so watch this space.