Overnight Stay at Wonderful Woodford Bridge – 02.02.18

Overnight Stay at Wonderful Woodford Bridge – 02.02.18

Woodford Bridge Country Club is part of Diamond Resorts and is located in Milton Damerel near Holsworthy. It is a beautiful part of North Devon and somewhere I hadn’t been before. It’s quite a drive to get to the country club’s location – quite a few windy country lanes but once you’re there is peaceful and pretty.

Woodford Bridge is an old historic coaching inn built in the 15th century. It has a beautiful thatched roof and lovely light yellow coloured exterior – I thought it was beautiful! Woodford is home to various suites and rooms and there are a set of 1 or 2 bedroomed lodges where visitors can enjoy a self-catering stay.

Suite in an Inn

I opted to stay in one of the suites – I got an amazingly cheap last-minute deal on booking.com and was not disappointed!  Checking in was welcoming and easy and the inn had a really nice feel to it. My room was lovely – it was a good size with large bed and en-suite. The room had all I needed in it plus more – it had a TV, DVD player, microwave, mini fridge, safe, lots of cups, glasses, cutlery and crockery plus a sofa and arm chair. It was really hot in the room when I arrived so they clearly don’t scrimp on the heating bills! I needed to turn the radiator off and open the little windows to get some fresh air in. Rather somewhere be hot than cold though!

The bathroom was nice too – it had a large bath with shower head over it and some nice smelling complementary smellies. I had a nice warm bubble bath whilst enjoying a cider brought from the bar downstairs – luckily the rooms also have bottle openers which was handy!

Takeaway Dinner

For dinner, I opted to get a takeaway meal from the restaurant and bar in the inn. There were quite a few menu options and I chose an old favourite of scampi and chips! The food didn’t take long to arrive and I was able to take it back to my room to enjoy in front of the TV – perfect!

The resort offers lots of evening entertainment plus activities for the children to enjoy during the day. It also boasts a large gym, swimming pool and sauna for those that wish to use these facilities. There’s also a pool table, playground and walks to enjoy around the lodges. There is a charge for Wi-Fi which is the only thing that was slightly disappointing. I decided not to pay for it – sometimes it’s quite nice to be disconnected from it all but if I had been there longer I think I would have liked to have been able to contact family / friends, especially given I was staying there on my own and there was no mobile phone signal.

The room rate I got didn’t involve breakfast so I left just before checkout time at 10am the next day. I had a day exploring at Clovelly Village to crack on with so I was pleased with the good night’s sleep I had got!

Final Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay here – especially given the last minute small price I paid! The staff were friendly, room was nice and clean and I had a relaxing evening. I would certainly recommend staying here and hope to return one day!

A magical visit to the unique village of Clovelly – 03.02.17

A magical visit to the unique village of Clovelly – 03.02.17

What an amazing village Clovelly is! I loved it – so magical and interesting, full of history and beautiful cobbled streets. After staying the night at Woodford Bridge Country Club it was about a 20 minute drive through the windy North Devon roads to reach the village of Clovelly – even on the drive I encountered some lovely country views and could just tell Clovelly was going to be a good destination to visit!

Park Up and Get Walking

When you arrive at Clovelly you are greeted with a large car park – there were certainly plenty of spaces on this cold, windy Saturday in February. After parking up I made my way into the visitor centre and was warmly greeted by the man behind the till. He warned me it was quite a steep descent through the village and because it was wet the cobbles were likely to be slippery and so he advised me to be careful.

Clovelly is a privately owned village meaning you have to pay an entrance fee if you wish to visit. This might seem like an odd thing to have to do but I think it helps preserve the uniqueness of the place and keep it special. The entrance fee includes parking charges, entrance to Clovelly Court Gardens, admission to two museums and the chance to watch the 20 minute film about the history of the village. Not bad for £8.25 I didn’t think!

Heading Down the Cobbles

After walking through the visitor centre, which is full of souvenirs and all sorts of gifts, I watched the video display of village life. The video was interesting, if a little outdated, and gave me a good sense of the village and what to expect when I entered. No cars are allowed into the village which gives it such a safe, quiet and special feel – a bit like stepping back in time!

I made way out of the visitor centre and started the descent down into the village. On the way I stopped off at the Donkey Stables to say hello to some furry friends who apparently are often used in the summer to transport little children through the village on donkey rides. I also had a peek into a few of the studios there – apparently pottery, craft and art workshops are often offered in the peak seasons and I bet these would be good fun. Sadly none of the studios or outlets were open when I visited but this probably saved me from spending too much money!

As I continued on the main path down I passed National Trust’s Mount Pleasant. This is apparently a popular picnic stop as you can get some fantastic views across Bideford Bay. There’s also a memorial dedicated to Clovelly residents who died in World War One. What a beautiful place to have such a striking and important memorial. s

Cobbled Streets and Coloured Houses

As I made my way further down towards the heart of the village I couldn’t help but stop to take many photos of the amazing views. I had to be careful though as the path certainly was sleep and the cobbles were pretty slippery from all the rain – I wouldn’t want to rushing down them! It was so nice and quiet with barely anyone else looking around – I really felt like I was exploring this beautiful village all on my own. There were quite a few of what I assume were locals and people that lived in the village – they appeared to be going about their everyday life and this was a special experience to witness.

The houses were simply stunning – lots of little coloured cottages, some with lovely hanging baskets or decorations outside. I visited a small gallery full of lovely hand painted pictures and popped into the church too. Inside the quaint little church there was a video player set up with 6 videos you could choose to watch. I took a pew and watched a couple – they gave me even more insight into the village and the way of live there. One of the stained glass windows was really simple but caught my eye for some reason – I thought it was lovely!

There’s a couple of small museums you can visit, one of which is the Fisherman’s Cottage. This details lots of information about fishing in Clovelly – the main occupation here for centuries and you can see how a Clovelly fisherman would have lived in the 1930’s. You can also visit the Kingsley Museum which is focused on the writer and social reformer Charles Kingsley. Charles wrote the famous book ‘The Water Babies’ and also ‘Westward Ho!’. Charles lived and grew up in the village and so this small museum is dedicated to him, his work and his life. Within the museum you can read about Charles Kingsley and his work and see a model display of him sitting at his desk writing a letter to his fiancee – you can listen to this being read through an audio display. There’s also an old fashioned sweet shop here too which I decided not to go into as I knew I would be too tempted by all the sweets and homemade fudge to leave empty handed!

Down to the Harbour

I continued my descent down through the village, heading for the harbour. I stopped to take a lot of photos on the way – just such pretty scenery to photograph! When walking down a sharp corner I met a postman coming back up the other way. He was quite puffed out which made me think about what it would be like to deliver the post to the village everyday and walk through this steep village. It also made me worry a tad about the coming back up!

Clovelly harbour did not disappoint! What a stunning little harbour with boats and views to admire. I walked around for ages taking photos and spent time looking back up to the village I had just passed through – stunning! There’s a little waterfall you can see on the shore area and there’s also a lifeboat station. Unfortunately this wasn’t open to visitors given the time of year.

Spot of Lunch at the Red Lion

All this walking around and exploring meant I had built up quite the appetite. The Red Lion Hotel is situated at the edge of the harbour –  a prefect location for a spot of lunch. I settled on a basket of bread, oil and olives and a lemonade. I sat and enjoyed the food whilst looking out over the beautiful harbour. I reckon this would be such a lovely place to stay – although I’m not sure about having to keep walking up and down the path to get in and out of the village – I wonder if cars were allowed down to there via an alternative route?

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After lunch and a rest I needed to brave walking back up to the top of the village. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be – I made sure to stop and take more photos so I didn’t get too puffed out! It’s such a beautiful place to wander around that you can take your time and enjoy every part of it.

Clovelly Memories

I think Clovelly is a really special place to visit – there’s lots of opportunities for shopping, history and beautiful scenery. I thought it was a magical place to explore and loved how it was very tourist free and quiet – I felt like I was stepping back in time, especially as no cars are allowed! One of my favourite memories of visiting Clovelly was seeing all the houses with the sledges outside which the locals use to carry items down through the village to their houses. When I was at the top of the village I saw a Sainsbury’s delivery van off loading shopping to a mother and her son who were putting the items onto baskets stuck onto to a sledge. It made me laugh to think that this must be a normal way of live for them and I was amused even more when the lady hooked the sledge up to their large dog and the dog pulled it down the cobbled slopes – not something you see everyday!

Have you ever been to Clovelly? Let me know your thoughts below!

 

 

A Whistle-stop Tour of Bath’s Best Bits – 21.01.18

A Whistle-stop Tour of Bath’s Best Bits – 21.01.18

A Birthday Shindig in Bath

A good friend of ours, Carly, turned 30th this month and so her husband Paul invited Carly’s friends to celebrate the occasion with her in style. Nathan and I, along with a group of about 10 of Carly’s friends stayed in an a huge, amazing Georgian house just outside of Bath. The house is rented through Air B&B and you can see from the pictures how extravagantly decorated and lavish it was – what a treat! We had so much fun staying here with Carly, Paul and their friends – there was lots of space, lovely dinners and shelfs full of games, DVDs and books to keep us entertained.

Afternoon Tea Delight

Carly, like me, loves a good afternoon tea and so we all went to the Francis Hotel in Bath for an afternoon treat. Francis Hotel is located in Queens Square and had a lovely reception and restaurant area. The restaurant part is run by Brasserie Blanc and they have an extensive menu which sounded delicious. We were seated all together in relaxing arm chairs and enjoyed afternoon tea with prosecco. The selection was nice – it included the usual finger sandwiches and traditional scones and included some yummy cakes to top it off.

Being a Tourist Time

After spending the weekend with Carly and her friends, it was time for us to leave the lovely house we had been staying in and pack up ready for home. As Nathan and I had never been to Bath before, and we were staying so close, we thought it would be a good idea to head into the city and explore.

The weather was horrendous! However we didn’t let that dampen our spirits (too much!) and got our tourist on walking around Bath and seeing some of the famous sights I’ve heard so much about.

We decided it would be a fun idea to go on the City Sightseeing buses so we could see as much of the city as we could in the short time we had, and to try and save us from the rain a bit! We boarded the bus at Queen’s Square and took our seats in the front of the upper deck. A tour guide was there and he talked us though all the sights as we drove around. There was only one other lady on the bus so it felt like a personal tour really!

CitySightseeing and their big red buses offer two routes – the City Route and the Skyline Route. Due to time constraints we only managed to do the City Route but your one day ticket includes both so if we had more time I would certainly have tried to do both (you have to get your moneys worth don’t you!) The City Route takes you round Bath, right through the centre, and stops off at 17 stops. You can hop on and off as much as you like and I bet when the weather is nicer the open top bus is more pleasurable! The Skyline Route sounded cool too – this takes you further out of the city so you can experience the countryside and views of Bath’s skyline. When there isn’t an actual human tour guide, you are given headphones and can plug in and listen to the audio commentary as you ride around.

Bath’s Most Famous Sights

We decided to stop off and see some of Bath’s most famous and well known sights. These included Bath Abbey and The Roman Baths. We decided not to go into either of them  – mostly due to time constraints and the fact I hadn’t researched into them so didn’t know costings or what was inside to be seen really. These are two places I really want to go back and see though – maybe on a day where the rain wasn’t constantly pouring and we weren’t so drenched! It was quote hard to take pictures with the rain coming down so I would love to return and get some decent pictures of these beautiful sights.

Bath Assembly Rooms

After getting on the bus again we decided to stop off at the Bath Assembly Rooms as we had heard they were National Trust and as members we knew we would be able to get in free We were a bit confused when we arrived to see that actual the Assembly Rooms are free to the public and there was no mention of the NT. The Bath Fashion Museum is also housed here which again I would like to go back and visit – apparently there is a combined ticket you can get for the Fashion Museum and the Roman Baths so I will have to look into that.

The Assembly Rooms were gorgeous. There are four rooms – the Tea Room, Card Room, Great Octagon and Ball Room. Apparently they were completed in 1771 and are used today for weddings, functions and corporate events. I thought they were really grand and expressive and I enjoyed walking around them admiring the huge chandliers. Apparently the rooms have been voted as the UK’s top City Wedding Venue in 2017 and I can see why! you would need to have lots of guests to fill them though as they felt huge!

We stopped off at the Assembly Rooms Cafe to have . spot of lunch and it was delicious! We had hot chocolates with cream and marshmallow and some tasty sandwiches. I love goats cheese and caramelised onions so when I saw that on the menu I had to have it! The cafe had a really relaxed and peaceful atmosphere and it was nice and warm which helped us dry off a bit!

We Will Return!

It was soon late afternoon and darkness was looming which meant ti was time for us to say goodbye to beautiful Bath and start the journey home. I certainly want to go back and visit for a weekend though as there seems like there is so much you can do and see, and so much history to immerse yourself in. I would like to visit the Jane Austen Centre and the Thermae Baths too! I best get saving!

Have you ever visited Bath? If so where can you recommend staying and visiting?

 

 

 

 

Exploring Exmouth – Beach Walks and Arcades – 14.01.18

Exploring Exmouth – Beach Walks and Arcades – 14.01.18

Finally Finding the Local Beach

I’ve live in Devon for a few months now and have been out exploring, but had been yet to visit the nearest beach – Exmouth. We took the drive to Exmouth beach for a few hours and we we weren’t the only ones seeking a spot of fresh air and walk.

The 50p Challenege

We parked up in one of the various car parks along the Exmouth stretch of beach and saw the Exmouth Leisure Amusements from across the car park. We turned to look at each other and I knew then the 50p challenge would be on! We went into the nearly empty arcade and got ourselves some coins from the change machine. We played the 50p challenge, although we had so many 2p’s I think it was actually the £1 challenge! The challenge is pretty simple – you out all your 2p’s into the slot machines and see who can get the most out of the machines. The winner is the one with the most at the end, when they run out of all their original 2p’s. I’m glad to say I won 🙂

Amusing but at Times Irritating Amusements

After the 2p challenge we still had lots of coins to spend (waste) and we spent a while trying out all the different machines, including the sweet grabber one, bingo and various different slot machines. We also spent ages frittering away money on the large grabber machines attempting to win some cuddly toys. These were the ones that were super fun but annoying as we often came so close to winning one but the toy would slip out of the grabber at the last moment! Luckily we wont two smaller hanging car toys – an angry bird and a minion – although I doubt they were worth the copious amount of money we put in!

Stroll Along the Beach

After deciding we couldn’t possible spend more time at the amusements and waste anymore money we went for a stroll along the beach. It was pretty chilly and late afternoon was approaching but there were plenty of people on the beach, walking, talking and eating naughty things like ice cream and chips!

I was excited to see the sea but a little disappointed at it’s colour – it was rather dark and murky and didnt feel like the blue deep seas I was missing from Cornwall. It was nice to get some fresh air though and see a new part of the coast. We returned home for a lovely home cooked roast dinner – a pretty perfect Sunday!

Ever been to Exmouth? What did you think of it? Ever taken on the 50p challenge?!

New Years Afternoon Tea at the Thurlestone – 01.01.18

New Years Afternoon Tea at the Thurlestone – 01.01.18

Happy New Year!

After spending a lovely relaxed New Years Eve in our Air B&B accommodation and exploring the beaches of Torcross and Strete in the morning, it was time for us to head over to the Thurlestone Hotel for a treat!

We had booked to have a festive afternoon tea at the hotel and we were not disappointed! We were shown to our reserved table and sofas in the lounge and took a excitedly took a seat. The festive decorations were lovely.

We were soon greeted by our waiter and asked what sort of tea we would like and if we were ok with having some cranberry fizz – errrr yes of course we were! (It was super tasty!)

Our drinks came promptly and we sat back and enjoyed reading the local magazines and newspapers on offer, whilst listening to all the families and guests who were obviously staying at the hotel for a New Years Break (lucky them!).

Starting the Year Right!

Not long after our drinks arrived our afternoon delights appeared – and what delights they were! We had a selection of sandwiches, including a festive turkey and cranberry sauce one, and the traditional scones with clotted cream and jam. The top tier of the cake stand was filled with little cheesecakes and macaroons to try and there was also a chocolate pot which was probably my favourite – I’m such a chocaholic!

We have been to quite a few afternoon teas together now and this was up there with the rest – tasty, good selection and a nice relaxed atmosphere. The only problem was we couldn’t eat it all!!

We didn’t get a chance to visit the beach at Thurlestone as it was getting dark when we left but I’ve heard from a friend that it’s a lovely beach so we will have to head back here another time soon!

Have you ever been for an afternoon tea? What’s your favourite part? Drop me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you! 

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