|Fields near our barn in Waddeton|
|Berry Head Nature Reserve|
|Fishing boats in Brixham Harbour|
|Lichen on a boat cover|
The past few weeks have been a blur of travelling and visiting, packing and unpacking. Not long after we finished school and work we were in Durham, then back for a couple of nights before heading to the West Country for a week, then the children and I went to stay with my friend Abigail and her family, arriving home today. I am looking forward to not packing or unpacking anything for a few weeks, not spending so much time sitting in the car, and catching up on washing, admin, emails, blogs, sleeping in my own bed, just a bit of nesting.
Amid all this travelling our break in Devon was a blissful week of blue skies and relaxed family time. I seem to have taken a hundred photos but everything was so pretty; the fields so close to harvest time; the fishing boats clustered in the harbours; the brightly painted houses which hug the hills around the River Dart, and the landscape while slopes so sharply down to the river. It's all beautiful.
We stayed with my parents in a little hamlet called Waddeton in a converted barn and I cannot say enough good things about this place which was beautifully converted with lots of space indoors and out, a well equipped kitchen, amazing showers, huge comfortable beds and very dog friendly too. This was the first time we'd travelled with Ziggy and it went really well. He's much happier in the car then he ever used to be and came out and about with us each day, enjoying lots of walks and sniffs.
Here, in roughly the order we visited each place, are my holiday highlights.
:: Berry Head Nature Reserve ::
We found a bird hide with the most spectacular view and spent ages in there looking out, sharing one pair of binoculars. I loved the way the hide windows concentrated the view and we were fascinated by the brave/mad people climbing on the rock face and jumping into the water below.
:: Exploring the bustling fishing town of Brixham ::
We wandered around the harbour watching all the activity, stopping for a coffee, and bought Cornish Pasties to take home for lunch.
Despite living as near to the coast as we do, Bella and Angus had never been crabbing before, and I think it was the highlight of their holiday.
Stoke Gabriel is such a pretty village and one of the few places where you feel like you've escaped the inevitable crowds of holidaymakers that fill the West Country every summer.
:: Visiting Dartmouth ::
We took a steam train for the first leg of our journey to the town of Kingswear, which was all very Agatha Christie, although sadly we didn't get time to visit the Greenway Estate, her holiday home, then crossed the River Dart by passenger ferry.
Approaching Dartmouth by boat is a lovely way to arrive as you get such a nice view and don't have to try to find anywhere to park.
Dartmouth is one of my favourite places in Devon and the most interesting town, full of maritime history and lots of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
We bought crab sandwiches from a tiny shop that only really sold crab sandwiches, and ate them in the park looking over the harbour. It was lovely.
:: Thurlstone Rock ::
This was at the end of the week and the weather was starting to change, but it didn't stop us spending hours exploring the rock pools and clambering over the rocks.
That hat Angus is wearing below is his pride and joy. We bought is when we realised we'd left his sunhat at home, and he loves it so much. It has poppers and clips and a mosquito net, and he insists on wearing it whatever the weather.
Overall it was a really restful trip. We were out and about a lot, but at a very leisurely pace, and we spent a lot of time relaxing back at the barn. The only bad thing I can say about the week is that we didn't get time to fit in a cream tea. There's no embroidered holiday diary this year, but I read, watched films, crocheted and sewed a lot. I've started a blanket and an EPP quilt - lots to show you soon!