At the beginning of May, the sun was shining and after drowning in university work I decided it was time for a break. I really needed some fresh air and headspace! I decided to drive to Tiverton so I could explore the Grand Western Canal.
The Grand Canal
The canal runs from Tiverton in Devon to Taunton in Somerset. It’s 11 and a quarter miles long and dates back to the early 1800’s – so it’s been around a fair while! Car parking at the canal basin is easy and not too expensive. After parking the car all you have to do is walk up a set of steps or a tarmacked slope and you’ve reached the canal.
A Floating Cafe
As it was lunchtime and I’d neglected to fill my stomach before I left home I treated myself to a cheese and onion pasty and a cuppa tea from Ducks Ditty Cafe Bar. Ducks Ditty is such a cool cafe and very unique as it offers food and drinks from on board a canal boat!
The barge is moored up and has plenty of benches on the banks where people can sit and enjoy their food. Ducks Ditty offers a fully licensed bar, ice creams and yummy pasties. There are places to sit on board too if you fancy it!
Time for a Stroll
After chilling in the sun, eating my pasty and reading my book it was time for a stroll along the canal. The path is well-made out and follows alongside the canal. There are various bridges offering crossover points and plenty of benches for when your feet get tired or you want to stop and look for wildlife. There are lots of beautiful swans and ducks that swim along the canal and plenty of other wildlife including many birds, bugs and even some frogs that I spotted! I spent quite a while watching a swan and her newborn babies – so pretty and cute.
There were lots of people walking their dogs, cycling and walking along the canal path. There were also quite a few people fishing too. After walking a couple of miles from the busier canal basin there were stretches of the canal where I was walking the path alone. It was so peaceful and relaxing. It was nice to get some fresh air and feel the sun as I walked – it was just what I needed!
After walking a couple of miles I decided to turn round and walk back – it was tempting to keep going but I knew I would only have to walk back to the car! I’d love to come and cycle some of the canal path as I think I would cover more distance, more quickly – a trip to be planned for one day soon I hope.
Grand Canal Visitor Centre
On my way back I popped into the Grand Western Canal Visitor Centre. The visitor centre is free to enter and open every day from 9.30am – 4.30pm. There’s a cool touch screen with an interactive display and lots of information relating to the canal and its development. A large timeline details information about when the canal was built and how it’s been used over the years.
A Cheeky Scone
Before heading home I couldn’t resist visiting the Canal Tea Rooms and Garden – the idyllic looking cottage really drew me in! The tea room is actually outside with plenty of places to sit, along with a large covered seating area. All food is served out of a hatch and delivered to you by the friendly staff. The menu is pretty extensive offering lunchtime meals, cakes, ice creams and afternoon tea. I was very naughty and ordered a homemade traditional lemonade and a scone with cream and jam. Whilst the scone was tasty, it wasn’t the best I’ve had (and I’ve had many!) but the lemonade was delicious and more than made up for it! There were lots of people enjoying their food and sitting in the cute gardens. I had such a lovely time!
I had a lovely afternoon on a solo adventure exploring the Grand Western Canal. I really recommend it as somewhere to go for a lovely relaxing walk or cycle. The added extra of the special places to eat was an added bonus too!
Wow, April was a busy month indeed! There were so many adventures and a lot of photos taken!
I thought I would try something new and do a roundup-style post. I thought this would be a nice idea to collect all my adventures and memories from one month into one post. I’m sure this will really help me look back on the last few weeks and realise I achieved more and had more fun than I thought! I really do have a good life but sometimes it can’t hurt to look back and be reminded of this!
So here goes, this is my April adventure roundup!
For the beginning of April, I was in Kent staying at my parent’s house as it was Easter. I had lots of fun catching up with family and in particular spending lots of quality time with my littlest sister Emily. This included painting by numbers, making an Easter cake and playing crazy golf at the Enchanted Villiage Adventure Golf Course. You can find out who won the golf here. I got to see my gorgeous little niece and nephew too which is always a treat!
On a sunny Sunday Nathan and I spent a rather busy, but fun day in Torquay, known as the English Riviera. I really enjoyed our visit and Torquay surpassed my expectations! Read more about what I thought here.
On our visit to Torquay Nathan and I visited Bygones – an indoor attraction that takes visitors time travelling back to the Victorian era. Here, you can explore an old Victorian street with shops, admire a huge display of train memorabilia and even explore a WWII trench. We really loved out visit – click here to read more!
Our second stop was Torquay’s Dinosaur World. Here we met owner David who shared his enthusiasm for all things dinosaur. We complete the quiz and enjoyed walking around the exhibits taking lots of funny photos!
Lunch was needed on this busy day exploring Torquay and we stopped off at Anstey’s Cove Cafe for a scrummy spot of food. This was such a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the views – we will be back!
Our final stop on our Torquay visit was a quick game of mini golf at Jungle Journey Adventure Golf. Click here to find out who had to buy the ice creams!
I was invited to visit Carngalze Caverns in St Neot, Cornwall. This was a really cool place and owner Caroline showed me around the caverns. After my tour, I walked around the beautiful gardens outside the caverns and enjoyed walking along woodland walk looking out for fairies! Take a look at my post to see how many fairies you can spot!
As a National Trust member, I have visited Tresisck Gardens many times before. I visited here one Saturday in April with my friend Emily. We had a lovely few hours wandering around the gardens gossiping and admiring all the pretty flowers.
Nathan and I returned to Bodmin Jail for a slap up Sunday breakfast. They offered a great breakfast that kept us full for ages! Luckily there were no ghosts present!
The sun shone in the middle of April and Nathan and I made the most of the sunshine one night after work. We went to the woods for the first BBQ of the year – tasty!
My friend Charlie and I went to see the Little Mermaid at the Northcote Theatre on Exeter University campus. Whilst this show wasn’t quite what we expected it was still a fun night out with a cheeky Nandos too!
Dartington Hall was a lovely place to walk around with my friend Lucy. I hadn’t been before and enjoyed admiring the gardens and the salted caramel brownie from the cafe!
Nathan and I wanted to get some exercise and so made a trip to Siblyback Lake. Here we enjoyed the relaxing 3-mile circular walk around the lake and treated ourselves to ice creams!
All in all, April appears it was a fun, busy and enjoyable month! Let’s hope May is as full of adventure!
I visited the Dartington Hall Estate a few weekends ago and really loved it. I have wanted to visit for a while now having seen lots of lovely pictures online of the gardens and hearing positive reviews. It’s located close to the popular town of Totnes and has lots of parking spaces.
I met up with my friend Lucy and we enjoyed wandering around the gardens gossiping and taking in the sunshine. Apparently, you can get married here – how beautiful would that be!
After our walk, we went to The Green Table Cafe where we treated ourselves to hot drinks and cakes! I went for a hot cocoa and salted caramel brownie which was absolutely gorgeous!!
I would like to come back here and visit the little cinema they have – I will have to check what events they have coming up! I bet this would be such a nice place to come and have a picnic in the summer months – I’ll have to remember that!
Do you enjoy wandering around gardens like this too? What’s your favourite flower? Let me know in the comments below!
The adventure golf is located in Abbey Park, just off the seafront. We parked up right outside the Jungle Journey Adventure Golf course and paid our £6 each to play. As it states in the name of the golf course the holes are jungle themed and there are big model jungle animals situated throughout the course. These include gorillas, snakes and tigers.
There’s a small river with fountains running through the course which I think is meant to represent a jungle waterfall. The course has 18 holes with each hole offering a new challenge.
Winner Buys the Ice Creams
The course was quite busy when we visited which surprised me given it was about 6pm. The course is open until 9pm which I think is great if people are looking for an activity to do in the evenings. It took us about an hour to go round and we enjoyed competing against each other for who will have to buy the ice creams. This time we actually drew and ended up having the same score – Nathan did do a recount to check!
We ended our day in Torquay by walking through the gardens and eating our ice creams. Such a good way to end an exciting and fun-filled day!
Do you like playing adventure golf? What do you think of the jungle theme? Let me know in the comments below!
We had such a busy day in Torquay and really crammed in lots of fun! Our first stop was a visit to Bygones – an interesting family-friendly attraction which transports visitors back in time through the Victorian Era and World War II. Our next stop was Torquay’s Dinosaur World where we immersed ourselves in fun dinosaur exhibits and quizzed our way around. After all this fun we needed some lunch and came across Asteys Cove Cafe right on the beach of Asteys Cove. The food was good but the views were even better! Click the links above to see my separate posts on these places.
A Bustling Harbour
Between visiting Torquay’s Dinosaur World and Asteys Cove we took a walk around Torquay’s harbour. I can see why they call it the beautiful English Riviera – in the sunshine the harbour looked beautiful with the boats and the sea glistening.
The harbour was bustling and busy as it was the Sunday midway through the school’s Easter holidays. It did make finding parking a little tricky!
Golf, Gardens and Ice Cream
Later in the day Nathan and I partook in a competitive game of adventure golf at Jungle Journey Golf. Whenever we play crazy golf we always place bets on who’s going to win and agree that the loser buys the ice creams. Unfortunately, I lost this game (just) and so we went on a hunt for ice cream.
We took a walk through some lovely and well-maintained gardens and found an ice cream kiosk by the seafront. Even though it was now about 6pm the kiosk was open and we were able to treat ourselves to a double scooped cone with a flake. We took our tasty ice creams back to the gardens and sat on a bench admiring the views. It was so peaceful here and a really lovely place to stop for a rest and enjoy our ice creams!
I had never visited Torquay before although had heard lots about it. I think I had a bit of negative perception of it given what I had heard from others. However, Torquay really surpassed my expectations and we had a great day. We were able to explore some fun, family-friendly attractions and enjoy the lovely views of the harbour, beach and gardens. I hope to return to the English Riviera soon and explore more of this beautiful part of Devon.
I’ve visited Knightshayes in Devon a few times now but feel it is a place you can visit again and again and never get tired of. Click here to read what I thought the first time I visited – there’s a bit more history too! As National Trust members we can visit as part of our membership and park for free. It means we can visit Knightshayes every time there is a new exhibition or event. Last Christmas we visited and enjoyed the all the old-fashioned decorations.
Who Lives in a House Like This?!
The weather wasn’t so great on this March visit and so we took shelter in the grand house. I love walking around and admiring the opulence of the furnishings. Each time I visit I see something I haven’t noticed before. The volunteers are always so friendly and willing to talk about the history of the house.
This visit a few new rooms had been opened. Apparently, the National Trust is hoping to redecorate the kitchen areas which will be cool.
Lady Amory’s Life
There’s currently an exhibition relating to Lady Amory. I found it really interesting to read about her life and legacy on the estate. It was cool to hear about her love for the gardens and career in golfing!
After walking around the house and exploring the golf, gardens and guides exhibition we stopped at the conservatory tea room for a hot chocolate and slice of cake – very much enjoyed as always! The sun even came out and warmed the conservatory area which was nice!
Time for a Walk
The gardens are so lovely to walk around and explore. There are many paths that you can take to explore all the lush trees and flowers. The views across Devon are awesome too!
I really love the bushes that are shaped like dogs – very clever! There are lots of other animals that pop up too.
We enjoyed our impromptu trip to Knightshayes and I’m sure we will be back for another visit soon! I wonder what we will see that’s different and what cake we will treat ourselves with!
Have you ever visited Knightshayes? Do you have a favourite National Trust property?