A week in the life – part Devon

A week in the …. has become a series of posts about my summer holidays 2013 and how I have done different things to relax and refresh for the new school year ahead. At the end of term we booked a cottage late in Devon. The first time just three of us would go as eldest elsewhere. We were torn between Appledore and Bideford in North Devon. We chose the latter and found Allsorts, a fisherman’s cottage in East the Water backing onto the River Torridge. We would be near the old bridge, a 2 minute walk into Bideford. At the end of the street a bike and kayak hire centre and within a minute, the Tarka Trail and a heritage railway centre and star of the James May model trains toy programme, oh and two model rail shops in Bideford (railways being a “specialist” subject for our youngest son.

So, as is the routine for our family holidays of recent years an early start to avoid some of the traffic and a chance to do some activity before we could get into the cottage. We were up and on the road just after 05:30am. M25, M3 and what has become a tradition – packed breakfast at Fleet services. Traffic had been light so far, onto the A303. Things slowed as we approached the ‘henge and the pad we had used on previous journeys was now no more, but some good pics from the car.


We headed further south – my choice to follow a nicer cross Devon route. However, SW traffic was building and the speed slowed. Our destination was Broomhill Art Hotel and sculpture garden that was a popular visit on a previous holiday in Croyde. Some food first then a wander around the gardens, some changes in the sculptures and position of some plus the National Sculpture Prize nominees and previous winners. These photos are representative of some of the work seen.


Welcoming us in the drive a new piece, that was very attractive to the insects,


The shoe welcomed us as it did on our previous visit.




Then the sculpture award area:

Our favourite and previous winner-






The last was our chosen vote for this year unanimously.

We then drove onto Bideford. The cottage is small but very welcoming and soon we were settled with a mug of tea and the door open to the garden.



Our first full day saw us walk to Appledore along the SW coast path. This is covered in a previous post. The views of the river were great and the sun kept us warm. We left Appledore before the afternoon’s carnival.



On an evening walk we saw the bridge lit up and took some pictures.





We drove to Rosemoor RHS gardens at Great Torridge. Our limit was to not drive far for visits. The gardens offered an orienteering trail which I followed as a keen geographer / big kid! All three of us enjoyed the visit with a variety of settings and many plants.


This shows the back of the education centre / open classroom.


A favourite, the formal hot garden.


The garden contained a wide variety of butterflies and insects.


A variety of water features.


Buildings favoured for weddings- a truly romantic setting.

The original gardens are reached through a rocky gorge.



Play areas included seating, musical instruments and structures for play.


Map reading geographer.

In the evening we ate out – returning to Mr Chippy, as most places were shut on a Monday evening. Not popular with Mrs K as it meant chips again.

We realised that we had walked for a further 2.5 hours today.


Full breakfast in Bideford and then some shopping time in town including model railways for one member of the family and a visit to the Pannier market.


Not a pannier in sight and a parade of craft and other shops.


PM when the weather was forecast to improve it was cycle hire time. It was raining again lightly so Mrs K changed her mind. Knill major and minor set off towards Barnstaple. A wobbly uncertain young cyclist who gradually gained more confidence. We made it first to Instow level crossing and eventually Fremington Quay both places that featured in the James May Toy story with model trains. A refreshing chocolate ice cream and we returned.




Fremington – as the picture says.


Bideford on our return.

Then as we left the hire shop a young man started to feel weary.


14 miles cycled, further than I thought we would do.


Rain forecast and rain it did. So I planned my own cycle adventure in the opposite direction. I went from Bideford to Petrockstowe station and back (26 miles in total). I stopped for cake and tea at Yarde Orchard with Yurts and an Eco-bunkhouse. On the way back the gradient was in my favour.

In the afternoon we drove to Appledore and visited the Maritime museum.


Kayaking day for Knilly males and shopping for Knilly female. We were photographed getting onto the water. We paddled about 5km in total, well I paddled about 8-9 km and my assistant joined in for the rest. We saw Cormorants, gulls and herons along the river banks. The nice part was high tide meant we couldn’t leave until 11.15 so a lazy morning.

We’re off slowly…


The afternoon saw us enjoying a cream tea or retrieving Mrs K’s cardigan left in cafe am- you decide.


Young Knilly is shattered! advised to have a lie in while Mum and Dad go for a cooked breakfast and then on our return, a walk on the Tarka Trail to the bridge we had kayaked beneath at Landcross yesterday. The sun was coming out and the weather warming up. I looked wistfully at the river and on arriving back at the cottage abandoned my rest day plans and went for a single kayak – 90 minutes and the same route covered (planned rest day abandoned). We had some refreshments in the garden where it was now very warm. Then we took part in eldest’s CPA meeting by conference call. The evening promises a meal at bistro at the other end of the street.


Driving home via #Bristoltweetup also know as an excuse to go Gromit hunting in Bristol.


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