Welcome back Reader! 😊
Today, we bid farewell to Exford and the White Horse Inn (and the next-door Lodge, where we stayed). It’s time to move on to ‘leg 2’ of our south-western trip – and our next stopover, Boscastle, around three hours away.
We’re on Day 4 of our 15-day break and so far, we’ve been fortunate with the weather and the locations, The roads have been a joy to travel on with hardly any traffic – nor any potholes!
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Back to today…
We can’t check-in to our next accommodation – Boscastle House B&B – until 4pm, so we’re going to soak up some well-known locations along the route, and make a day of it.
The (almost) 100-mile journey would take nearly three hours behind the wheel, but as you can see from the map, it’s a pretty straightforward route, so no complaints from this end! 👍
Ann took the wheel for the journey to Bideford.
10.59am: The only thing I knew about Bideford before we arrived was that the Grammar SchooI I attended was evacuated there during WW2. A quick read of Wikipedia’s opening paragraph for the town stated: “Bideford is a historic port town on the estuary of the River Torridge in north Devon, south-west England”. It’s also mentioned in the Domesday Book and the current population is around 17000.
After parking the car, we started to explore the area. The more we saw, the more we learned about this town…
The Burton first opened in 1951.
…and now features its own Art Gallery…
…and a Museum too! 👍
It’s fair to say, by the time we left, we knew a lot more about this quaint town than when we arrived! Every day a school day ehh? 👩🏫
We took a short walk around Victoria Park. It was a nicely manicured area still displaying plenty of colours (for September).
The statue is one of Charles Kingsley (author of ‘The Water Babies’).
Just as we headed back to the car, out came the Sun! It’s going to be a warm one! 🌞🌞. Leave those Jimmy Choos behind – it’s Clovelly next!
12.30pm: Well, here we are, 13 miles later, in Clovelly, AirBnB’s third most trending location in the UK. In contrast to Bideford, the population here is only around 400!
And before we get into the photos, it’s time for my weekly ‘VMM’ (Victor Meldrew Moment). OK, we all know that Clovelly town is privately owned. But as lovely as it is, at £8.25 each to gain access, and then £2.50 to get back UP the hill using their fleet of Land Rovers, felt like a complete rip-off! 🤐
The visitors’ other challenge (apart from the entry fee) is the cobbles! They’re lethal to walk on, so best to bring some ‘sensible shoes’! Those we saw in flip-flops were struggling!! 😮. Even those of us who’d prepared had to take it VERY carefully. Luckily, it was dry today, but we could easily imagine how much MORE dangerous the area would be if it were raining. 🤔
It’s funny how your memory can sometimes play tricks on you. I was last here as a sprightly 35-year-old in the early 90s and I recall that it took ages to get down the cobbled path to the Harbour. Today, we seemed to cover it in about 20 minutes! It must have been my shoes! 😉
Obviously, Clovelly is a unique place to live, but there are drawbacks! For a start, you can forget about Amazon Prime and/or Supermarket deliveries to the door!! Pretty much EVERYTHING comes in and goes out via a homemade sledge system. No sign of wheely-bins either – we’re pretty sure the refuse is removed by boat!
So was it all worth it? As we approached the Harbour joining the rest of mankind, there were some spectacular views waiting for us…
…where all thoughts of Victor Meldrew had now vanished! Wow! Spectacular ehh?
Once we’d reached the Harbour and looked back at where we’d descended, the views were even more ‘WOW!” 😍. So all we needed to do now (after scoffing our ice-cream!) was either: retrace our steps back up to the car-park or succumb to the temptation of ‘the Land Rover experience’ – and enjoy the smell of a burning clutch! 😏
We chose the latter! (what a surprise!) 😉. Next stop, Sandymouth Bay (for us!) and another new clutch (for them) 😫
2.27pm: Sandymouth Bay is owned by the National Trust and located between Bude and Morwenstow. It was very much an after-thought to go there, as we just needed to kill some more time before we could check-in at Boscastle. The location was clearly very popular with surfers – and as loyal readers will know, we’re great experts (we can stay on the internet all day!!) 😁😁
But seriously, we were here to add to our daily step count and to enjoy the reported stunning views. After negotiating some of the narrowest roads we’ve seen so far on this holiday, we finally arrived. Just like Clovelly, the car-park was almost full, but some helpful guidance from an NT Volunteer soon had us in the suitable space.
From the car-park, we headed past the café and chose the Coast Path pointing to Duckpool.
It was a roughish terrain, but very worthwhile for the spectacular views across the cliffs and out to sea.
We were so absorbed by the scenery, we didn’t quite make it to Duckpool – maybe next time!
We’ve rarely seen views so dramatic and were really pleased that we decided to visit this NT property. Boscastle was now calling us! 🙂
Boscastle House B&B
4.05pm: Well, that was a journey-and-a-half!, Here we are at Boscastle House B&B, our new home for the next two nights. I’m not sure we’ll get time for the advertised croquet (above), but you never know!
This is an exceptional B&B. Everything is top-notch. Dawn, our host, gave us a very warm welcome and we were soon treating the room as our own. It all felt more like an upmarket boutique hotel than a ‘simple’ B&B – it’s all very, VERY impressive! 😍.
If the decor didn’t convince us to stay here, then their free EV PodPoint charger ticked the final box. As a result, we’ll be fully topped up for when we go exploring tomorrow.
And the view from ‘Trelawny’ wasn’t bad either!!! 👍
6.45pm: Just down the road from the B&B in town is The Riverside Restaurant. It had been recommended, and rather than unplug the car, we decided to walk it.
Some great views too!
7.15pm: We were soon at the Restaurant…
Lamb Shank for me, whilst Ann tucked into Plaice Fillets on a Risotto of Butternut Squash & Leeks.
We couldn’t quite manage a dessert, but the Cheese-board was too tempting to ignore!
What made it unique was that the Grapes were frozen! Sounded weird, but their reduced temperature really worked with the cheese.
8.05pm: It was too dark to walk back the way we came (excuses, excuses!) so we booked a local taxi to get us back to base via (what felt like) Mount Everest!!! 🙄
Tomorrow, we’re heading for Tintagel Castle (a pre-booked 10am slot) and then Port Isaac Fishing Village. Tune in around 8pm tomorrow night for my next post. See you then! 😃
I got into blogging quite late in life, not publishing my first post until 2004 – well into my 40s!
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