Holiday: Devon and Cornwall – Day 1/15: Arrival

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Our adventure begins…

9.12am: We’re off! Continuing our holiday breaks around the UK, this time we’re heading for Devon and Cornwall. Our mission? To explore this ‘long skinny part’ of England in some detail and force the National Trust card into meltdown (we have around 8 locations on the list!). And with our English Heritage cards looking on with envy, we’re planning to give them a jolly good thrashing too! ?. Believe it or not, it’s our first-ever two-week holiday in the UK together ever!

We’re basing ourselves in five locations (Exford, Boscastle, Truro, Ashton and finally, Chagford) staying in a variety of hotels, pubs and B&Bs across 15 nights – Oh, and amongst all of that, there’s my birthday in there somewhere! ?

Getting there…

The ever-popular Strensham Services South

Being a Sunday, we had a good journey – the roads were busy, but apart from a few minor hold-ups, it was all stress-free. We started with Robert fully-charged giving us 284 miles of range.

11.02am: Our first stop was 90 miles from home, at Strensham Service – South on the M5. It was as popular as ever (if Motorway Services can ever be ‘popular’!) ? and since we were last here, they’ve completely reconfigured the road layout inside. As a result, confusion reigned! Cars switching lanes at a moment’s notice, some u-turning, whilst others ended up accidentally heading for Road Chef’s exit before they’d even had a chance to land a latte! But it gave us some free entertainment whilst we somehow managed to navigate to a safe parking space of our own (luckily, without incident!) ?. After a leg-stretch, a mandatory wee (for one of us) and a nibble, we were soon on our way.

Juice! Ecotricity is no more – hello GridServe!

12.44pm: Our second stop, another in the Road Chef empire was at Sedgmoor Services – South (also on the M5). We were now 160 miles into the journey and this pitstop was just as busy (but thankfully without the confusion of a revamped road layout!). We stopped for 28.2 kW of juice (for Robert) and a Pork Breakfast Sausage roll and a cuppa (for us) whilst helping out a nearby virgin-EV owner make sense of charging his brand new Hyundai Kona. Just forty minutes (and an 80% charge) later, we now had 222 miles in the tank, and we headed back to the motorway.

1.32pm: We made excellent progress, but after leaving the motorway at Taunton, everything slowed down – literally! We were now on a mixture of A and B roads and although it wasn’t motorway speeds, the B-roads were well maintained and wider than we expected, meaning we still made good time.

2.31pm: We made it! ?. After 4 hours 19 minutes behind the wheel, 214.4 miles later, we arrived at our first destination – Exford (population 405 407) – pretty much in the centre of Exmoor. It was a little early to check in, but whilst we waited, we chatted with a local (who also owned an electric car AND an XK) discussing the benefits of going electric, and the ‘joy’ of spending £70+ filling up a Jaguar!! ?

Days 1-3: Exford

3.05pm: When the time came, checking-in at The Exmoor White Horse Inn, at this, our first accommodation, was as straightforward as it gets! It was a busy place – judging by how full the car park was – but we easily found the spaces reserved just for EVs, and we were soon plugged in.

Whisky galore!

If the splendid views, friendly locals and well-appointed rooms don’t bring a smile to your face, then maybe the fact they stock 200+ different sorts of malt whisky might! ??
(Note to self: that’s a description, not a target!) ?.

The White Horse Inn, Exmoor

3.16pm: All that was left to do was to admire the room – and the view – before finishing our unpacking and getting ready to sample the whiskys restaurant menu! ??

Our room (Room 36)

6.30pm: Our first visit to the Inn’s restaurant!

It’s fair to say, our Waiter, Vincent, was old-school! Totally professional in every respect, he didn’t miss a beat. He even offered Ann the option of a proper fish knife for her fish course! Yes, I know that’s what should happen, but how often do you see this in restaurants?

Poacher’s Pie

The food was beyond excellent! I’m not sure what sort of poacher was in mine, but it was soooo tasty! ?. Ann’s Exmoor Trout Fillets in a Watercress & Hazelnut sauce was equally yummy! ☺


And my Chocolate & Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding hit the spot too!

Well, that was a great start to our holiday! A good journey here, great accommodation and an evening meal that just ticked ALL the boxes (and with us, it’s best to expect lots of boxes in search of a tick!) ?

8.00pm: It feels like it’s been a long day! ? It had, but we just had enough energy to watch episode 1 of the new Endeavour series on ITV at 8pm!

On the cards tomorrow (depending on the weather): Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway plus National Trust’s ‘Watersmeet’. See you then! (probably each armed with an umbrella!)☔ ☔

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