Weekly Prompts : From the car

Thanks to the title of this challenge I am transported (ha,ha) back to our last car journey to South Devon on 1st September this year. From our home in Norfolk to our self catering accommodation the trip took an exhausting 9 hours!

From the M25 we would normally have taken the M4 then M5. However motorway signage advised us to avoid the M4. So we took the M3 instead….which in turn leads to the A303.  Ah, the country route.  Certainly not to be repeated if we can help it.

For some reason this view slowed everyone down and we crawled along for what seemed like forever.

Stonehenge on the horizon

Stonehenge from the passenger seat of our car

Stonehenge.  Prehistoric monument.  Wiltshire.  Reason for being built – Unknown.  Draws a good number of visitors from all over the world.  Quite impressive.  Close enough to the road to allow a reasonable photo from the car!


Photo Challenge From the Car


Stepping back in time : The 1940s in Sheringham

Time for something a little bit different.

The seaside town of Sheringham has been hosting a 1940s weekend for several years. It seems to have kept the feel of that era in its buildings and railway.

Launched as a ‘wartime on the railways’ day in 2003, the forties weekend started life as a celebration of the role the railways played in the Second World War, from transporting troops, to taking more than three million evacuees to their temporary homes.  It now sees a huge influx of re-enactors, which may see silly but actually it’s keeping history alive.

We have of course included the town on many of our walks including this one :- https://itslovelyout.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/twixt-pine-and-sea/

In the above linked post you can see a photo of the steam train pulling away from Sheringham and making its way to Weybourne.

This time Tim and I decided to drift through yesterday to see get a flavour of this festival.  Camera in hand we stepped into the day of our grandparents and parents. Into every film based in this era, including all those black and white war movies.   This what we saw …..

Shame about the red plastic chairs!

Behave yourselves

There were several evacuees but I felt this little boy walking away was the better photo

One pram had a dog, the other a real life baby!

Can I sell you a watch

F.F.I (French forces of the interior) – known as the resistance

Looking out for enemy aircraft

Weekly Prompts : Top of the hill

Oh how I miss the WordPress weekly photo challenge.  This new challenge ‘Weekly Prompts’ is a great idea.

This is the first of many from me I hope.

Enjoyed a snowy week in the Lake District this February.  The weather was just perfect for winter walking up high in the hills.  For the first time we had some micro spikes for our boots which made our treks really easy…though we were still huffing and puffing to reach the tops.

This photo was taken on Grizedale Pike.  Just as we got to the top a band of cloud appeared to block the sun (that had shone brightly all the way up) but the views were still incredible.

We dug a hole in the snow and enjoyed our lunch.


Photo Challenge Top of the Hill


Clovelly to Minehead (Part 1) – South West Coast Path

The beginning of the end (almost!) – South West Coast Path

For those who are kindly following this blog I am sorry for not writing anything for months.  I hope the following makes up for this as I check my notes and go back to….

Two sunny weeks in May 2018

With 100 miles of walking scheduled by my trusty logistics co-ordinator and partner Tim it was going to be a tough challenge.  From charming Clovelly in North Devon (where we finished last September) to mysterious Minehead in Somerset.

Once again it was all new territory for both of us.

So, here is an account of the first of our 9 days of walking.  Otherwise know as ‘the flat estuary bits’.  Now you may think that these bits were easy but they were surprisingly hard on the feet as we followed The Tarka Trail for the first section.

Graffiti from old railway structure along the way

Day 1 – 11 miles, Westward Ho! to Instow

Bank Holiday Sunday – we parked the car at Instow and took a bus to Westward Ho!  Famed for being the only place in the country with an explanation mark it’s a village named after the 1855 book by Charles Kingsley.

Once off the bus we set off in mist, eager to get away from the touristy cafes selling chips, pasties and all things greasy along the sea front. Very soon we were away from that and could only hear a distant clanging of a church bell.

Pebbles and rounded stones sit at the top of the beach.

A golf course on our right (out of shot) had sheep laying on the fairway and golfers looking for lost balls amongst the gorse.  It was a curious hazy vision of strangeness.  It continued with ponies on the estuary a little further on.

The village of Appledore peaked out of the mist and the sun started to appear too. We decided this would be our coffee/lunch stop.  Just the slightest mention of food and drink and our pace quickens.

We reached the town and slowed down to take lots and lots of photos of these colourful houses.  As an old fishing village these were probably Fishermans cottages – now several looked to be holiday rentals.  Tim wondered where the people parked their cars – check out the double yellow lines….

Along the quayside at Appledore there were several inviting benches and small cafes.  We made our bench selection, bought coffee, ate our sandwiches and enjoyed the view across to Instow.  Wow, we were on holiday!

Our lunch stop

From here we could see Instow, our destination, looking quite close.  To get to it we had to follow the river estuary inland to Bideford, cross a bridge and walk back along the otherside.

Instow – looking quite close

We loved Appledore – it was hard to leave, but leave we did.  Initially we followed a road then a footpath and soon had our first views of old boats left abandoned in the mud.  Abandoned?  Well may be not all of them….

We saw many boats like this along the way

In amongst a wood we heard some moody jazz music and wondered, as it got louder and louder, where it was coming from.  We stopped in our tracks when we found out. This was somebody’s home and it looked like the perfect retreat.

The ‘jazz’ boat

We stared like small children.  Reluctantly we moved on once the occupier, who had been tending to his plants, spotted us and it was too rude to continue looking.

From here we walked through more trees reaching the outskirts of Bideford.  The town has two bridges – a new one (edge of town) and an old one (in the town).  We headed for the old one but took photos of the new one which had new houses built right below it.

After this we approached a park where a rugby tournament for youngsters was taking place.  My 9 year old nephew was also away from home for a few days taking part in a ‘mini’ rugby tournament in Somerset – coincidence or maybe it’s that time of the year?

Just before crossing the old bridge there was a small sculpture of Tarka the Otter.  A book about the life of an otter by Henry Williamson.  I’m sorry to say that I’ve not read it but there’s still time!

On the other side of the river we joined the Tarka Trail.  A cycle/walking trail of just over 32 miles named after the infamous otter.  We found it to be full of families out cycling all enjoying the sunshine and a bit of healthy exercise.

On the Tarka Trail

After marching along for a couple of miles or so we had Instow insight. In the photo below you can just see Appledore (our lunch stop) on the left.

Instow – almost there now

More and more cyclists as we got closer.

Once we reached  Instow we felt like we’d missed the start of a party.  It was heaving with cyclists.

Cyclists and pub at Instow

We sat on the quay and enjoyed the late afternoon sun before heading back to our rented cottage.

Day 2 – 16 miles – Braunton to Instow

May Bank Holiday, it’s a Monday and we were back in Instow.  This time we were waiting for a bus going in the opposite direction so that we could start our walk from Braunton.

Where was our bus?  Tim checked his watch (again).  We both checked the timetable (again).  Where the heck is that bus?  Then, out of the mist the bus finally appeared.  Phew.

Actually I was surprised it was running at all on a Bank Holiday.

Our journey took us to Braunton via the town of Barnstable.  Unexpectedly at Barnstable we were all told to get off and onto another bus.  Apparently there was a problem with the ‘late’ bus – ah that’s why it was late……

Braunton is apparently the largest village in England but it looked like a town to me.  Very quickly, after getting directions at the Tourist Office, we were on the Tarka Trail (coast path) with the early morning mist disappearing.

At first we were in amongst the trees then the view of the river estuary opened up.

Tim on the Tarka Trail

Today we saw many more boats in the mud.  The one in the photo above looked particularly tipsy.

We picked up the pace and marched to Barnstable.

Barnstable, like Bideford, has a slick modern bridge (on the edge of town) and an older bridge (in the town).  At the new bridge we paused to consult our map.  We had a long chat about whether we should follow the signs over this new bridge or take a route which was suggested on the map.  We followed the sign over the new road bridge sharing the pavement with cyclists whizzing past us.  Pleased to be on the other side we turned away from the busy road and onto the path alongside the estuary.

More cyclists on this side, some coming straight out of Barnstable, and even a family on roller skates.

A moment without cyclists

Lunchtime.  We stopped at a very handy bench with a view back across the estuary and the bridge we’d crossed.

Setting off again we came across a concrete structure that looked like it could have been a shelter for railway workers.  Some artistic graffit artists had been at work on each side….let’s call this place ‘no where’.

Running to catch up with Tim after taking photos is quite normal these days! Tim knows how many miles we have to do.  Still I am forever taking photos of him walking away!

The next stop was Fremington Quay.  The cafe here was doing a roaring trade – obviously a popular stopping place for all the cyclists, roller skaters and us.  Wow was it busy.

A busy place on a sunny Bank Holiday in early May

After taking a short rest here we were back onto our sore feet.  Our feet don’t usually suffer when we are walking – must be all that flat, hard surface.

Nearing Instow the coastal path turns away from the Tarka Trail so that it runs closer to the estuary.  It was nice to get onto a grassy path again.  Here there were old structures that looked like derelict piers and more boats left high and dry.  As the mist started to reappear there was a certain charm about them.

More graffiti

We passed a family having a barbecue round an open fire, then a cricket pitch, a car park, cafe ‘The Glorious Oyster’ then into Instow itself still busy in the misty sunshine.

At the car we were pleased to take our boots off and change into our crocs.


WordPress Challenge : Lines


We were getting near to the end of a long walk and the light was starting to fade when I took this photograph.  Along the south west coast path near a place called Hartland Quay are some incredible rock formations, some in the cliff face and some below the cliffs like these.

Only when the tide goes out are these appreciated.  In this remote spot we were lucky enough to be passing at the right time!

Lines of rock – 300 million years old.

If you’d like to read a post and see other photos taken just along the coast from here please do click on the link below.

North Devon : Clovelly to Harland Quay