Saturday, 2 September 2017

Devon Trip (July 2017)

July 21st to 2nd Aug

We had agreed to meet up with Nicole, Tim and the Girls on their weeks holiday in Torcross Devon and then after that, have the girls for a few days on the way back home.

Friday 21st July

We stated by heading of of Friday afternoon so that we could cut the journey in two and have a bit more rest for me. The weather was fine when we set off but it started to rain as we got to the campsite. The drive down to the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Tewkesbury was fairly uneventful, there was a traffic jam on the A1 just after the M62 but it didn't last too long. We arrived earlier than we thought and were given the last none awning pitch, only when we drove round to it, it was occupied. Went back to reception and were shown to the pitch were the other van should have been.

Tewkesbury, Caravan and Motorhome Club Site

Caravan and Motorhome Club site, Tewkesbury
Web Site

It was raining on and off by now but we wandered off into town for a drink and food anyway. We went into Spoons but it was packed and we could only get a seat outside in the smoking area, it was undercover though. As we could not get a table for food we just had a couple of beers (they are mentioned here) and went of for a takeaway to take back to the van.

The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin

Saturday 22nd July

Next morning we set off for Devon, the M5 was very congested, coming to a stand still every few miles and there didn't seem to be any reason for it at all. We did have all day to get there though. The next problem was the last six or seven miles to the site, were the roads would go to single track about every mile. Anyway we arrived ok and got the last hard standing pitch.

Start Bay Caravan Club Site

Start Bay Caravan Club Site
Caravan and Motorhome Club, Start Bay Club Site,
Stokenham, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2SE

After we got set up, and had our dinner, we walked the mile down to Torcross to meet up with the others. Their accommodation was very nice with the living area up on the top floor, lover ground was the main bedroom with bathroom, the kitchen a bathroom and girls bedroom was in the middle.

The small shop just around the corner had a good supply of beers that I hadn't had before and I bought quite a few of them.

Latter we walked along to the pub, The Start Bay Inn and after a drink or two, we got a fish and chips from their takeaway to eat back at the aparment. We had to drink outside as we had Sid the dog with us though.

The walk back to the van was quite exhausting, probably not for someone fit but it definitely was for me and it was getting dark.

Sunday 23rd July

After the walk downhill to Torcross, we went down onto the beach, not the best beach in the word in fact it was pretty poor but when you come from somewhere with fantastic sandy beaches, most are poor. The others all went into the sea but me and Dot didn't, we just sat and enjoyed the sun.

The Girls with Syd

I went for a walk around the cliffs and took some photos round there. The others joined me for a look later on.

The Rocks at Torcross Me, on the rocks

Much later when they had all changed and been washed, we went out for another beer, and our tea, this time to the place next door to The Start Bay Inn, The Torcross Boat House.  It was quite nice in there and we could take the dog in with us.

Monday 24th July

Today was much the same as yesterday, Me and Dot were however picked up by Nicole in the car so it saved some walking. Down there we went onto the seaside but instead of just sitting on the beach, I left the others and went for a walk.

I stopped for a look at the WW2 Tank, recovered from the sea bed in 1984, it had been there since and just before D DAY.

Exercise Tiger Memorial, is dedicated to the memory of the 639 American soldiers and sailors who perished on April 28, 1944. They also maintain the Sherman Tank Memorial Site established by the late Ken Small in 1984.

WW2 Tank Torcross Devon

From there I walked towards Slapton with the sea on my right and the lake, Slapton Ley, on my left. I walked for about one and half miles before finding a toilet and turning back. On the walk there I walked and talked to a man from Liverpool who was out on a much longer walk.  Walking back I crossed over the road and kept to the side of the lake and took some photos of plants and bugs along the way.

Walk in Devon Bugs in Devon

I got a call from the others to ask were I was and to say that they were having some lunch, I was about half way back at the time. Anyway they saved me some food for when I got back.

Just outside the apartment

Tuesday 25th July

Today the others came and picked us up and we set off for a drive out to Salcombe, saved us walking down to meet them. In Salcombe we drove around for a bit before getting the last spot in a car park, handy for the town centre.

RNLI The Baltic Exchange Dot

We had a walk around the centre of Salcombe, the girls had a look in the shops, before we set off for a walk down to Salcombe North Sands. We went there as it had been recommended by Dot's sister Jane and the restaurant there was also recommended.

Walk down to North Sands The Winking Prawn

The Winking Prawn was very nice and also very full, we all had food and beers or Ciders in there, not bad at all. It was really hot but that is what we wanted.

Undercover in The Winking Prawn The Family and Dog

After we ate, the others all went for a wander down to the sea, while Me and Dot just sat and enjoyed the view and the sun.


Latter we all walked back along to Salcombe and back into the shops, I just sat and waited for the others but later, I did buy some new beers along the way. In fact I bought quite a few of them but it wasn't too far back to the car.

Wednesday 26th July

Well the weather wasn't too good today, so we hung about in the van until after three, before walking down to see the others.

For tea we walked along to The Torcross Boat House again, for a coupe of beers and probably fish and chips (I can not remember what we had).


Later after tea, we went for a walk up the side of the cliffs behind their apartment and down the other side. We had a really good view along the beach and had a look at the WW2 pill boxes ether side of the cliffs.

Torcross Georgia and Nicole

There was a seal swimming just off where we were and it kept surfacing and looking to see what we were doing.

Seal Visitor

Thursday 27th July

A much better day and we got picked up from the campsite for another drive out. This time we headed to Totnes first and got parked fairly easily just off the town centre. First thing we did was set off to see the Castle, it was just off the main street, we didn't bother to pay to go in though.

Bridge in Totnes Totnes Castle

We split up for a short while and me and dot wandered down to the river, The Dart, where we took some photos of the bridge there.

Bridgetown Bridge Two Bridges

We got a phone call to say they were heading back so we set off to find them, it didn't take long and we stopped to get pasties for lunch. We then sat in the centre to eat them, before heading back to the car.

Waiting for Pasties The Clock over the street

Next we drove to Paignton but luckily there was nowhere to park, it looked to be really crowded and also really full of chavs. So we drove on to Brixham a much more civilised place, although still very full of visitors.

Lighthouse Pirate Ship

One of the first thing we did was go and find a nice place to get some cream teas. We found a place called The West Country Deli and got a seat outside. We ordered the cream teas, Scones with Jam and Cream, together with drinks, they were very good.

Waiting for our cream teas

After our tea, we wandered around the harbour, to the Breakwater, before setting off back to the car.


After out visit to Brixham, we drove on to Kingswear and got the ferry across the River Dart to Dartmouth, we had done this many years before but no one remembered it. It was the Kingswear Lower Ferry that we took, there is a Higher Ferry but that is not the one we used.

Kingswear Lower Ferry On the Ferry

We parked up for and hour and went for a walk around, Dartmouth is a lovely place but we didn't have long here. The girls went shopping and later I bought more beers, this place is well worth another visit.

Dartmouth, Devon Dartmouth, Devon

Friday 28th July

Our last day in Devon and another overcast day. We just got ready to go tomorrow and then wandered down to meet up with the others. Later we all wandered along the beach to the pub and got something for tea.

Syd and Tim

Saturday 29th July

Nicole and Tim (and Sid) dropped the girls off and set of home, we followed soon afterwards but headed for Bath for a couple of nights.

Only it all went wrong, crossing a small bridge with traffic lights just before the A38, I hit a bollard sticking out into the road a burst the back tire. We got parked up about a hundred yards from the bridge and phoned the AA.

We have had bother with these recovery services before but nothing at all like today (although last year when my car was written off, was pretty close). It took over five hours to get us moving again. I phoned the AA the first time to be given two numbers to call tire companies, both said that they could do nothing on Saturday. Phoned the AA for the second time and was told that they would have to take us home then but it would be two hours. So that was the end of our holiday. After two hours, I phoned the AA again to be told that I would be another hour to get a recovery truck big enough to take the van. Sometime later though I got a call from the AA to ask that if a driver came and took me to a tire Garage to get a new tire, would that be ok.

After about half an hour the AA man turned up, got the wheel of and took me and the wheel to a Garage. It was only about ten miles to the garage but it took about twenty five minuets to get there. The garage was very fast with the new tire but it was still another twenty five minuets to get back. By the time it was all done and we were ready to go it was around half five.

It was also raining and had been for most of the time we had been waiting for the AA to sort us out. I had also phoned the site in Bath a told them we would not make it and we made for a site in Ashburton just a few miles away. But when we got there I didn't like the look of it and moved on, the next site I headed for was on a closed road, so I just drove on and headed for Bath.

We realised that we were not going to get to Bath and the sat/nav was playing up, so after a long drive we eventually stopped at a site miles from anywhere and checked in (it was a lot more complicated than that though).

Southfork, Caravan Park

Southfork Caravan Park
Parrett Works, Martock, Somerset, TA12 6AE

We got set up and had something to eat (first of the day for me but I had had crisps) then watched a film before bed. Tomorrow we would just head for Stratford and have an extra day there, it was all better than it could have been anyway.

Sunday 30th July

Back on the road and back to the M5 we headed off for Stratford-on-Avon, I had phoned and booked the extra night but we still had about one hundred and thirty miles to go.

On arrival we were sent down the road to wait for the man to show us were to pitch up. When he arrived he didn't have us on his list (we were not due til tomorrow), so he just put us on the first pitch, right next to where we were. It was getting late by now so we didn't go into Stratford, we just wandered over to the bar and had a meal.


After the food, the girls wandered back over to the van but me and Dot had another beer sat outside, before going back to watch the TV with the girls.

Beer Time Time for a Beer

Monday 31st July

Today we would get the boat into town, they had moved the departure point from when we were last here, to just under the bar. I think the girls enjoyed the boat ride but you can never tell, it was already about dinner time when we got into Stratford.

Emily Dot and Georgia

As we started our walk around Stratford it started to rain so we headed off to find food and would leave the walk until later. Spoons was fairly close so we went straight in there and with the rain outside we were lucky to get a table. It was only dinner time but I still had a pint with my food a Byatt's, Crystal Cookie, it wasn't very good but ok with the food.

After lunch the weather was a lot better so we had a wander around the shops and the girls did some shopping, although I do not think that they bought anything.

Georgia Emily and Dot

After the shopping we walked over to the were there was a big wheel and beyond all reason we all went on it. It was pretty high but I did manage to get some good photos from up top.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford-on-Avon

I was glad to be off though and after that, we just went back over the river into town.

Twins The Big Wheel

Then it was back to the boat, for the ride along the river back to the site.

Tuesday 1st August

Our last day in Stratford and as usual we wandered down to get the boat into town but as there were big queues. So we wandered up to the site entrance and got a taxi into town, it was cheaper than the river taxi.

First thing we did was to get some sandwiches and drinks for lunch and ate them sat outside the Shakespeare theater. From there we went for a walk along the river. We crossed over at the footbridge and came back along the opposite side, passed the lock gates.

By the river Avon Lock on the river Avon

We sat and watched the small hand pulled ferry crossing the river, before making our way back to the bridge.

Ferry across the Avon Me in Stratford

We crossed back over and got the boat back to the site, bit more expensive but a nicer ride.

Tramway Bridge (1822)

When we got back to the site the girls went straight back to the van but Dot and I went for a beer at the bar. After the beer we decided to have tea in there, so I massaged the girls to ask if they wanted food here and they both came running back (well practically).

Wednesday 2nd August

It was time to head back home but it was still a long drive.