Doing Dartmoor, Devon.

We headed down to Devon for the best part of a week this year so that Jemima could go to the lovely Pete at Space Roofs for a few days to get a pop up roof fitted – we’ve always wanted one of these as you can get different colours instead of the boring Danbury grey.  The joy of being able to stand up inside the van was also a major draw!
Whilst Jemima was having her surgery we walked back from Okehampton to Venton via the Tarka trail where we were staying in our glawning (which works as a stand alone bell tent – brucey bonus!) at Woodland Springs Touring Park which is a quiet adults only site. They do fresh bread to order and there’s a wee shop on site with beers, milk, ice cream etc which is a good job as it’s not really that close to anything if you’re on foot.  What you lose out on in quirkiness here you make up for in perfectly coiffed pitches and immaculate facilities (free showers with lots of hooks & a CHAIR TO PUT YOUR STUFF ON!).  If you like rules and kid free zones then this is the place for you however if you’re a bit of a rebel when it comes to recycling, one way systems and arrival/departure times don’t bother.  You’ll be ‘frowned upon’.
We had a nice evening at The Post Inn 25 minutes walk away – cheap and cheerful pub grub.
Another evening we walked the hour to the Drewe Arms in Drewesteignton and tret ourselves to dinner, bed and breakfast there. Great value and service. On a foodie roll, we fine dined the following evening at The Old Inn in the same village – very classy indeed.  It also manages to feel very homely despite clearly being such a fine, expensive establishment.  It’s not too fine that their golden retrievers aren’t allowed to wander round and bring a stick* to the door of the restaurant room to win the hearts of all the diners in there. How could you resist?! (*when I say stick I mean massive log)
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We went on a National Trust bender visiting Finch Foundry AND Castle Drogo.  The latter of which is undergoing a five year multi million pound rebuild at the moment and visitors can actually don a hard hat and hi vis jacket to climb the scaffolding tower and watch the building site (which is much more exciting than a visit to a castle, I say!)
There are lots of nice walks of the surrounding area including one that passes by the Fingle Inn, a lovely pub by the river, where we spent a boozy afternoon.
We retrieved Jemima from Space Roofs, paid the bill (sharp intake of breath!) and love the airy brightness that this new addition affords. The colour is very eye catching and there’s even a little window in the front fabric.  We’re very much looking forward to not banging our heads as much, and sleeping in the double roof bed rather than the poky three quarter one beneath.  A successful trip all round.
Piccies!!
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Catching Up With The Cotswolds

We headed to the Cotswolds the other weekend with our glawning and Jemima (pics below) for some proper quintessential Englishness. What a pretty little part of the country it is!  Farrow and Ball have done well out of these parts. Beautiful little cottages with wild flower gardens and lush countryside abounded, fulfilling all expectations, and there’s enough thatch to start a forest fire. The sleepy Cotswolds is no understatement either – on the day we walked along the bridle paths from Whichford to Hook Norton we hardly saw a soul despite it being bank holiday weekend. Once there give Hook Norton Brewery a visit – they do some really nice ales and I can strongly recommend the Hooky.
We stayed at the very cool and quirky Holycombe Campsite in Whichford where lots of glamping options are available like gypsy caravan, yurt, tree house, airstream and bell tents, not to mention its very own moat and stone circle.  We were sorted for glamping options, of course, as we brought our unique drive away two door bell tent awning complete with log burning stove for the chilly evenings (and any time we get the urge to burn stuff).
There was a real feel of being at one with nature at Holycombe – not just from the compost loos (say no more) – but the constant lovely background noise of birdsong.  This was coupled with the church bells chiming the hour (the novelty of which soon wears off when you realise it continues all the way through the night…).  There’s only one hook up at this site so goodness only knows how far in advance you’d have to book for that. Otherwise it’s a nice relaxed £10 per night, park where you like, campfires allowed kind of place so a massive thumbs up from us.  No children and no dogs means it’s lovely and quiet too.
Not far away is Whichford Pottery  – definitely worth a visit. Lovely pots, great atmosphere, shop and cafe.  All very wholesome and organic with a menu featuring posh herbs like sorrel, fennel, and chicory.  They even make their own ice cream and it’s a TASTE SENSATION.
The Norman Knight pub is also in the village and has just changed hands so wasn’t serving food when we were there unfortunately but will be by now and looks promising.
We drove to the charming Stow-on-the Wold for a look around. All very civilised.

Click on the link below to see some sleepy Cotswolds footage of buttercups, fields being skipped through and steaks sizzling on our glawnings Traveller Stove:

The Obligatory Photo Album:

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