Friday, 28 August 2015

Holiday in East Devon, Part 1

Well, it has been a while since my last blog post. We have been away for a fortnight in beautiful East Devon and since getting back a week ago life has been a bit mad but at last I have found time to sit down at the computer, begin to sort out some of the hundreds of photos I took and to write a blog post.

We travelled down to Devon on Thursday 6th August and while awaiting our allotted time to take over the cottage we were going to stay in we drove round through Budleigh Salterton to reacquaint ourselves with this lovely location, this is the place that time forgot, it is not at all commercialised and you could almost be back in the 1950's, it has that kind of feel about it.

Budleigh Beach looking west

Budleigh Beach looking east

Couldn't resist taking this boat, the name sums up what we were hoping to do this holiday

We returned to a lovely little cottage that we have stayed in four times before in the village of Knowle, just outside Budleigh Salterton. It is an idyllic location, up a country lane, quiet (apart from horses from the local riding stable clip-clopping up the lane on occasions), not overlooked and with a beautiful garden which we can relax in. As you can see from the following photos it didn't take us long to feel completely at home.

After settling in and having a meal we drove back down to Budleigh for an evening walk on the beach where we watched some big waves break on the shoreline.

This is the Otter estuary behind the beach at Budleigh

The following day we drove to Darts Farm near Topsham where we undertook the first of many walks we took on this holiday. We walked on part of the Exe trail - a new walkway/cycleway which has been created and goes right around the Exe estuary. This walk took us to Bowling Green Marsh, a local bird-watching hide where the birds come to feed when the Exe estuary is at high tide. We hit the tides wrong and there were not too many waders on the marsh but a lot of Canada geese flew in while we were there.

I love this sign marking the route of the Exe trail

The walkway/cycleway crossing the Exe

Canada Geese at Bowling Green Marsh

Looking down the Exe estuary

Walking back to Darts Farm

A lovely old bridge

On returning to Darts Farm we enjoyed a lovely lunch before purchasing some goodies to take back to our cottage for us to enjoy, this is a mega farm shop, on the expensive side but if you can't treat yourselves when you are on holiday when can you? 

We enjoyed lunch before starting our shop

Some of the farm shop goodies on display

Lots of lovely cheeses and other things to sample at the deli counter

There was time after shopping to go and walk among the sunflowers which were growing at Darts, a lovely sight.

It was then time to return to the cottage where I made a start on my holiday crochet project and enjoyed a mug of coffee while relaxing in the garden.

On our first Saturday we decided to explore a bit more of the Exe trail, this time we set off from Exmouth on a perfect day, sunny and warm but with a little breeze to make it comfortable. 

My DH taking in the view before leaving Exmouth 

The path out of Exmouth before joining the trail

The estuary at low tide

On the trail which runs parallel to the railway with Exmouth in the background

Looking across to the west side of the estuary

We arrived at Lympstone, a very quaint village just at the right time to enjoy a ploughman's lunch at The Swan. 

This is the first time I have seen washing hung out on a beach!

I just hope they remembered to take it in before the tide came in!

We were intending to catch the train back to Exmouth but felt full of energy after lunch so we decided to walk back, this time following the footpath rather than the trail. It was now high tide so a very different landscape on our return journey.

The footpath was very narrow and a bit hazardous in places, I think in future we will stick to the trail.

We really enjoyed this walk, one which we would repeat later on during our holiday. 

I hope I haven't bored you, if you have read this far I guess probably not. I hope to be back with Part 2 very soon.

Monday, 3 August 2015

First week of the holidays

Well, what did I get up to through the first full week of the Summer holidays. To cut a long story short - crochet and walking!

First let me show you what I have had on my crochet hook this past week. I have so much that I want to create thanks to all the inspirational ideas out there in blogland so I have had three different starts this week:-

First of all this pile of small circles will become my Rose Garden throw, only just started doing the second round on these, believe it or not they will become hexagons eventually but I have put this project on one side for just a little while.

Next I started a shawl, I know the road trip shawl is very popular out there in blogland at the moment, however I decided on a slightly different pattern - this is the start of the Tender Sandstorm shawl by Vicarno.

Finally I have jumped on the corner 2 corner bandwagon and am working on this small blanket - ideal size for a pram blanket, have now got to the boring bit of having to sew in the ends but then can create a lovely edging to finish it off.

I have also finished the lining and handles for my Crafternoon Treats big stash bag, just ideal for me to take to the beach later in the holidays as it holds my coastal blanket, with room for my latest crochet project and the pockets hold my Kindle and my phone. I did make a bit of a mess with lining the handles and had to botch them but I am overall pleased with how this came out as I am not an expert by any means at sewing and was dreading the lining process.

Now onto the walking, three lovely walks achieved over the last week. 

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know we enjoy walking various bits of the towpath on the Kennet and Avon Canal, this time we walked the stretch from Crofton to Bruce Tunnel (the only tunnel on the K&A). The main reason for going was to see a steam train that was running, however we were just parking the car at Crofton when we heard the steam whistle and saw the smoke as the train was running over half an hour early, oh well at least my DH did get to hear it if not see it properly. It didn't stop us enjoying our walk, this stretch of the towpath is new to us and it was fun to watch some narrow boats negotiate the locks. I am not sure I would like to be on a boat going through Bruce Tunnel though, quite long and dark!

Our next walk took us back to the lovely village of St. Mary Bourne and we decided to walk a different route from our normal routes that we follow. It was good to have a change of scenery and I loved this field of beautiful sunflowers and the stunning wild flower banks.

Our final walk of the week saw us return to Hannington, this time our eldest son accompanied us. We walked the same downland route as the previous week but took a further diversion extending the walk by 3/4 mile which gave us some lovely views looking down over my home village and some very steep inclines and declines which will hopefully have a positive effect when I get on the scales at Slimming World this week. I love walking on the Downs, not just for the superb views and returning to the landscape I know so well but also for the flora and fauna.

This was a field of clover last week (you might remember from my last post) before the sheep moved in!

Looking down on the Kingsclere race horse stables and the village beyond.

And what better thing to do at the end of a lovely walk than enjoy a meal at The Vine at Hannington.

Excuse my red face, I always look like a beetroot at the end of a walk!