the long lost blogger has been indulging in cream teas amongst other things…

So just short of a month since my last post – what is that all about!  So much for trying to write something every week!

Since I last wrote I have had a couple of trips away with work including one to Cheltenham and another to Dorset.  I took the train both times and I have to say the trip to Dorset was rather an epic train journey – almost 7 hours coming home.  Wow.  Still – much better than driving all that way on my own.

When I got home I was very excited to go to Manchester airport on Sunday to pick up Mum and Dad flying in from Toronto.  We headed straight down to Devon to stay down there in a thatched cottage on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.

I made a little list of my favourite things about our little trip down there with some pictures to illustrate as well:

Best church – St. Michael’s, Brentor.  It was in a dramatic location perched on the hill.  And the wind was something else up there which is the reason this also got the vote for the Windiest Spot.

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Although completely different in almost every way, the cathedral sized church in Credition was also up there on the list of best churches.

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Best town – Tavistock.  I liked the pannier market, the cafe we found for lunch and the “treasure hunt” at the church which led to the discovery of this funny face engraved in one of the pews.

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Best village – Widecombe-on-the-Moor.  It was a small place but there was a church, a pub, a few shops to browse in and a lovely place to have our lunch (which was voted best of the trip – see below).  Mum also recalled a folk song which talks about the village and its fair.

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lea.
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

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Best lunch – at the Cafe on the Green in Widecombe-on-the-Moor where we each had a cream tea.  That was a total of 6 scones for the 3 of us with lots of jam and enough clotted cream to sink a ship.  Oh my.  (And I don’t think there was a crumb left!)

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Best dinner – a takeaway order of Fish and Chips from the pub that was local to our cottage in Manaton called the Kestor Inn.  Very good indeed – the perfect start to our holiday.

Best pub – one we stumbled across in Sampford Courtney called The New Inn.  It was thatched, very cosy, we found it just at the right time for when we needed a stop and it served us an amazing lunch.

Biggest surprise – the glorious weather.  It was warm and sunny and clear for our entire visit.  Mum and Dad figured it was one of the best weather visits they have had over here.  Ever.

Worst thing – the roads.  Many were very narrow  with limited passing places and high hedges.  But there was an exception with a very nice, scenic road which crossed the moors from Moretonhampsted to Tavistock.  I didn’t mind that one at all.

Best views – from Hound Tor.  It was worth the short walk up from the car park.

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Biggest disappointment – Exeter.  It just wasn’t anything special as far as cities go.  Although the cathedral was quite cool.  Especially the story about the astronomical clock being the source of the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock.  Apparently someone used animal fat on the inner workings of the clock to make them run more smoothly which resulted in mice deciding that the inside of the clock was a tasty treat.  A cat was then hired and a special cat hole made in the bottom right hand corner of the door of the clock to enable it access.

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Best wildlife – the Dartmoor ponies who were very much at home on the moor and also very inquisitive.

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Best cottage visitor – the black and white cat that seemed quite happy popping in to see what was going on.

Best historic site –  Tintern Abbey.  We stopped on our way home to break up the journey.  It was definitely worth the couple of hours we spent there.

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Once we were back on the Wirral, we spent time visiting many of the usual favourite spots including Moreton Shore, Birkenhead Market, Chester, Ness Gardens, Gordale, Parkgate and Red Rocks.  We were also lucky enough to be able to celebrate Dad’s birthday while they were here with Jayne, Paul and the kids. A friend of Paul’s made the fabulous garden themed cake for us.

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But it all goes so quickly and now Mum and Dad have gone home and it’s all back to normal with work.  Stella is missing her sure bet ball thrower (Grandpa) and the bringer of Benny Bullys (Grandma) but not half as much as I’m missing Mum and Dad.

Thanks to both of them for a lovely visit and we look forward to the next time we are all together again.