Delightful Days in Devon
August Bank Holiday is renowned for thick clouds, heavy rain and traffic jams. This years was no different. Early on Sunday morning I was picked up by my boyfriend Dom and we began our three and a bit hour journey towards Dartmoor in Devon. Thankfully there was far less traffic than we had anticipated and we were able to cruise down the A303, past the mysterious stone circle at Stonehenge and on towards our first stop, Exeter.
We made good time and arrived at Exeter Quays at approximately one o’clock. We were both pleased to stretch our legs and enjoyed a short walk around the Quayside area with its handful of antique shops and restaurants.We then headed back into the city to see the mighty Cathedral, have a browse around the shops and to pick up some lunch. We opted for a trusty Meal Deal and settled down in the picturesque Cathedral Square to consume our lunch. After a run-in with a Seagull who had taken rather a fancy to my sandwich, we decided it was about time to get going and continue on with our journey.
From Exeter, the journey took us around the edge of Dartmoor, which looked a little gloomy in the rain but spectacular all the same. At long last we arrived in Tavistock, the little town not far from our Hotel and were relieved to find it signposted. About ten minutes later, we pulled into a twisty country lane and were soon greeted with the sight of our adorable Hotel.
After checking in, we were shown our room and allowed to make ourselves at home. Naturally the kettle went on straightaway – there’s nothing better after a long journey than a nice cuppa, right!?
We had a few hours to spare before dinner and whilst it wasn’t raining we thought it was a good time to head on outside and explore the area around the Hotel. We strolled through the Hotel grounds down into the adjoining fields, enjoying the peacefulness and the fresh air.
The following day we woke up to a heavy rain shower, which put our plans of a walk over Dartmoor to one side. We decided instead to have a leisurely breakfast and at about 11 o’clock, we were back in the car on our way to Saltram – a country house owned by the National Trust outside of Plymouth. Unfortunately the rain was still pouring down when we arrived but we decided to make the most of the day, armed with our trusty waterproofs, wellies and umbrella. The gorgeous mansion and grounds provided us with an interesting morning out, learning about the wealthy Parker family who once lived inside the house.
We also made a little friend.. (apologies for the blurriness – didn’t want to scare him!)
Leaving Saltram behind us, we wound our way back over the moor, back in the direction of Tavistock. Fortunately the sun decided to come out and so we stopped off at another National Trust property, this time the estate of Buckland Abbey. The abbey is an old Cistercian abbey which is over seven hundred years old and is noted for its ties to Sir Francis Drake. Dom and I spent some time walking around the grounds and exploring inside the abbey which has been turned into a museum/ exhibition center containing old artifacts (including an original Rembrandt painting) as well as plenty of information on Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada.
Once we had done enough exploring for one day, we had a short break in the cafe. Being in Devon, we gorged ourselves on the obligatory Devonshire scones with clotted cream and both had some rose lemonade to wash it down. Delicious!!
Just as we took our final bite of the scone we noticed that it had started to rain again. It was time to head back to the car and return to the Hotel for a cosy evening in the warm!