Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Easter Holiday in Devon

I've just got back from a great week in the caravan in Devon. We stayed in a CL (Certified Location, these are small sites certified by the Caravan Club and take a maximum of 5 vans only) called Wrenwell Meadows, in the pretty little village of Denbury, just outside Newton Abbot. This was our first CL, as we normally stay on the larger more commercial sites. There is a 5 star site called Dornafield about a mile away from our little CL, which is where we normally stay, and although a fabulous site it has just got too expensive. Our CL cost a quarter of what we would usually pay, and we were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was.

We had a field with horses on the front side and the adjoining field had sheep in. We saw foxes, pheasants, owls, buzzards, greenfinch, blue tits, robins and other birds just while we sat in the 'van. The weather was lovely virtually all week, and when it did rain it tended to be late evening or at night when it didn't bother us. We got the dog drying routine down to a fine art and just protected the seat cushions with towels for any remaining dampness.

On our first night we decided to eat out as it was quite late by the time we had set up the 'van and Ian was just too tired to cook dinner. So we went over to Broadhempston to our favourite eating place called the Coppa Dolla, a lovely olde worlde restaurant in a pretty Devon village. We had a super 3 course meal, finishing off with a crunchy brandy basket with hot cherries in kirsch sauce and the nicest cornish cream ice cream I've ever had.

The next day we went down through Torquay and Paignton to Dartmouth and crossed the river on the car ferry. Dartmouth is a very pretty town at the mouth of the River Dart and incredibly picturesque. We wandered around looking at all the lovely old buildings and browsing the shops and then bought lunch to eat in the car before returning home via Totnes.

Another of our trips was onto Dartmoor which is only a few miles away from Denbury and drove over to Widecombe (home of Uncle Tom Cobley and all), passing the beautiful scenery of the moors and the great rugged granite peaks of the Tors.

Thursday we went out again for a meal at the local pub, the Union Inn which was having a Folk Night, and I had crab cakes, followed by duck with cherry sauce - lovely! Afterwards we went through to where the folk singing was going on and had fun joining in with all the songs with great merriment.

On our last day, Friday, the weather was glorious, so we drove down to the South Hams and Salcombe, one of our favourite places, but a nightmare trying to find anywhere to park! We returned via Kingsbridge, Slapton and Blackpool Sands, back to Dartmouth and crossed the river on the ferry again before driving up through Paignton and Torquay. It's lovely to see the sea and coast again, as we are about as far from it as you can get where we live now.

On Saturday we drove home back up the M5, which took us about three and a half hours with no delays or hold ups and the weather was again kind to us. Unpacked the 'van and left it on the drive, rather than take it back into storage. We'd like to go away somewhere more local for the later May bank holiday and have already booked a couple of weeks back on our pretty CL in Devon for August - and I can't wait!