Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Postcards from Devon

Fields near our barn in Waddeton
Berry Head Nature Reserve 
Brixham Harbour
Fishing boats in Brixham Harbour
Stoke Gabriel
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. 

:: Crabbing at Stoke Gabriel ::

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!


Jennifer Hays said...

Wow, it looks wonderful! I have never gone crabbing, but would love to try. Your hair looks very nice, I love the shorter length on you. Hope you're enjoying some peaceful time at home now.

daydream in colour said...

What beautiful pictures. It looks like you've had a wonderful time traipsing about the country. Enjoy some nesting time at home now. xx Susan

Librarian said...

A wonderful holiday for you as a family! That barn looks luxurious - gone are the days when holiday accomodation meant you got the discarded rickety furniture from the owners' own place.
Maybe you'll think back on this week in winter and will then feel like making an embroidered holiday diary.

Lyn said...

It all looks idyllic, with lots of lovely family memories made to treasure in years to come. Xxx

Happymum said...

Beautiful pictures, we have so many wonderful places in the UK don't we. Our kids loved crabbing at Canoe Lake Southsea and also Bosham harbour at the back of the church

CJ said...

Yes, that is a fantastic hat. I love Dartmouth too, it's so pretty. Glad you had a good break. Hope those crabs didn't bite Ziggy on the nose. Lovely to see him joining you on holiday. CJ xx

Jocelyn Thurston said...

Wonderful holiday photos and memories for sure.

galant said...

Lovely photos of what was obviously a lovely holiday. I am so lucky … I live there, not more than 2 and a 1/2 miles from where you stayed in Waddeton!
Margaret P

galant said...

PS Your photo which you have captioned "Dartmouth" is actually, Kingswear, on the opposite side of the River Dart from Dartmouth, Gillian.
Margaret P

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Jo said...

Wonderful photography and fabulous holiday memories. Jo x

sewing green lady said...

Super holiday photographs it all looks so pretty and wonderful weather too. x

Anonymous said...

I love Angus.......not in a " stalker " way I promise, but he seems like SUCH a nice little boy. I was particularly fond during his badger phase when you would make him badger clothes and toys. He looks great in that hat.


Floria lena said...

Amazing photography...Thanks for sharing lovely photos with us.
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Gillian Roe said...

That's such a lovely comment. He is still firmly within the badger phase. :-)

Gillian Roe said...

Of course it is Margaret, thank you. That's what comes of posting late at night when you're tired and have sorted through hundreds of photos!

Katie said...

Such beautiful photos, looks like a truly blissful trip! I'm always on the lookout for lovely dog-friendly properties too, this looks like a gorgeous one. Hope you're well x