Tag Archives: Devon

Devon 2012

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7th January

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.

9th January

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.

11th January

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.

Worcester

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Well it’s our last day here in Devon, and what a great few days we have had, weather’s been perfect, company great, a great birthday trip, what more could I ask for but we have on more place to visit on our travels and that’s Worcester. We decided to break up the journey going home like we did on our way down to Devon and stay in Worcester. Having never been to Worcester we were looking forward to it. We duly arrived at the Travelodge where we were staying which was really centrally located in the town right by the magnificent cathedral. We checked in and duly looked for a suitable place for a well-earned pint and a glass of wine for the ladies, and as I have an App on my iPhone that finds the nearest Weatherspoons pubs it was not to difficult a task. After a few beers and glasses of wine it was time to look for somewhere to eat, the consensus of opinion was Italian which as it turned out was the right choice. You see whilst we sitting having our meal we noticed some young people carrying advertising placards stating that the music artist Cee Lo Green was making an appearance in a local nightclub so we decided to go. It was a fantastic night and like promised Cee Lo Green came on about 1:40 am and he was brilliant, so it was the perfect end to a really great trip.

Read my reviews on the accommodation on our trip on Tripadvisor and restaurants on Yelp

Clovelly

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We decided to visit Clovelly today which for those who have never been is a historic fishing village in north Devon and I am delighted to say that it has not changed at all since we last visited more than twenty years ago, the place has been lovingly kept and the only thing that was different to when we went last was that there is a small admission charge which is ok as it pays for the upkeep of the place for all to enjoy. Just word of warning though the walk down to the harbour is down a very steep and cobbled road and the walk back is even more energy sapping. Read more about Clovelly here at  Wikipedia Clovelly.

Newton Abbott

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Decided to have a fairly low-key day, and just stay local as it was my birthday and we were going out in the evening for a meal, so we thought we would visit the town of Newton Abbott, what a disappointment it was in my opinion not a very nice place at all, a bit rough around the edges and quite dowdy, but we did come across a novel coffee shop called The Pharmacy Cafe. The place was an old Victorian pharmacy (the name gives it away) and it still has all the old bottles, jars, and the various draws where the drugs were kept still in place, give it a try if you are in town. It was then back to the house to get ready for the evening, which was spent  with my family and friends in a very nice pub called The Drum Inn in a place called Cockington near Torquay where a very nice evening was had by all

Sidmouth, Seaton & Beer

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Well it’s our first full day here in Devon, so it was off exploring this beautiful part of Britain, first port of call was Sidmouth a really pretty little town with some amazing architecture, and some wonderful period hotels. Sidmouth has a pebble beach like most of the coast in south Devon but still very nice to stroll along, as we had not had breakfast we decided to wander into town to find a cafe, as the prices on the seaside establishments where rather expensive (you pay for the view). On the way to get breakfast we came across Wally & Celia an old eccentric couple singing old music hall songs in aid of Help for Heroes they were marvellous (will post video clip on my return). The town itself has many really nice art, glass, and exclusive gift shops a change from the normal seaside shops. We found a nice little cafe to have breakfast “very nice indeed”, then suitably replenished, it was off to explore more shops. Then it was time to move on to our next destination Seaton.
What a sharp contrast Seaton was to Sidmouth the whole place seems rather run down, very dowdy indeed there was no period architecture no nice shops, not a lot going for it at all “sorry Seaton” so as you can imagine we did not stay very long. On the road we were on towards Seaton we noticed a sign to a place called Beer so we thought we would have a look on our way back, so after the disappointment off Seaton we gave Beer a visit, and what a jewel in the crown it was, a really pretty little fishing village steeped in history, and as it was lunch time we thought we try the local fare, at the Anchor Inn, what a lovely pub with a lunchtime menu for either £5 or £6 which is remarkable in itself but on top of that the food was to die for I had red mullet with chorizo on a bed of red pepper risotto with lime olive oil, quite how they can do that for £5 I really don’t know a truly great find, and on reading the literature in the pub Beer is one of Devon’s best kept secrets, how very true

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