Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Things To Do in Devon

Luke had one of those experience vouchers knocking around that was nearing its expiration so last weekend we finally got round to cashing it in and experiencing something. We opted to go glamping for two nights, with my sister and her boyfriend, in a 'Super Pod' at woodovis park in Tavistock.

Seeing as I've been super quiet over here of late, although I promise I'm back now, I thought I'd take you all along with us for a weekend of food, table tennis and National Trust fun! Fingers crossed this post will give you some inspiration for things to do in Devon, my neighbouring county and old stomping ground. 


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After a drive that was thankfully under two hours, we emptied the car and began orientating ourselves with the campsite for the evening. I cannot speak highly enough of our experience at Woodovis Park. It is ridiculously clean, impeccably well laid out, the staff were friendly and attentive, the facilities were ace and there were lots of places in the surrounding area to explore. If you didn't fancy staying in one of the Super Pods, you could also take your tent, stay in a caravan or hire out the onsite holiday cottage. So many great options. After exploring the site, we decided to enter into a pretty intense table tennis battle for an hour or so. It turns out I'm actually good at it so I'm not entirely hopeless when it comes to sports after all! Huzzah! 

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As if I couldn't sing the praises of the campsite enough, they also have a hog roast that visits the site on a regular basis. Oooh, baby! So after laying down our bats, we walked up to the Reception area and were greeted by a dreamy situation. I'm talking pork, stuffing, crackling, roast potatoes, chutneys and sauces. It was just what our empty bellies needed before a chilled evening of board games and television snuggled up in our cosy pod.  

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We awoke early the next morning to rain but, thankfully, we had the foresight to order freshly baked pain au chocolats for the morning so everyone tucked into pastry as we threw around ideas of things to do with our Saturday. After watching a double bill of Murder She Wrote, including the classic Amish episode, we pulled on our jackets and headed out for the day. First off, we went into tavistock to browse the Pannier Market and grab some lunch. On this particular day, the market was full of lots of arts and crafts and handmade things. Luke came away with a copy of The Snail and the Whale to read to his students and Amy came away with a beautiful turquoise ring. I, on the other hand, left empty handed, lamenting the fact that the opal ring was out of my budget. 

After strolling around the market, we headed outside to dukes coffee house for some lunch. If you're in the area, we would highly recommend it for its great location right next to the market and for the generous portions! The boys went for bacon, brie and cranberry melts and Amy went for a cheese and sausage jacket potato. I'm currently on a six week liquid diet to optimize my weight for surgery so I sat and drank that instead....Do not even get me started

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After polishing off all of the above, we headed back to the car and set off for lydford gorgE in order to put our new National Trust memberships to good use! And can I just say, despite being a membership newbie, it is sooooo totally worth joining up - particularly if you're under 25 as it's really affordable! The gorge at Lydford is the deepest in the South and it features a 30m waterfall to boot! As you can see from the photographs below, it was absolutely stunning. 

I'm not able bodied and, as a result, a mile and a half walk over wet uneven ground is quite a big (read: painful) deal so I'm still incredibly overwhelmed and proud of myself for managing it just about. If you had seen the state of me at the end of it you would have been telling everyone to give me air before legging it in search of a defibrillator. My god. However, it was entirely worth it. We had so much fun crawling along the pathways and posing like elves in Rivendell. Side note: Please ignore my hair. I have since cut it.

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After chilling out back at our Super Pod for a couple of hours, we went down the road to the blacksmiths inn for some pheasant in lemongrass, apple and coriander sauce, and a lamb casserole, with a mountain of chips between us. The pub was clearly popular with locals but the atmosphere was still welcoming and the food filled everyone up after a pretty busy day. The night ended with The Hobbit on the telly and a game of The Settlers of Catan for them and a book and a nap for me. 


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Amy and I are big Agatha Christie fans so when I saw that greenway, Christie's holiday home and another National Trust property, was only an hour or so away, I knew we had to go. As a writer myself, I love nothing more than exploring the spaces of writers that I admire and this was no exception. I didn't take many photographs whilst I was there because I was too busy taking it in / dying on the walk back up from the boathouse but it was such a lovely way to spend a few hours! We toured the house and learnt all about Agatha and her family, lazed around on the deckchairs outside, ambled down to the boathouse and wandered around the gift shop before heading home. 

Two of my favourite things I learnt about Agatha: 1. She kept her Damehood at the back of a messy cupboard 2. She drank a jug of double cream in the place of an alcoholic drink at the dinner table. What a woman! Unfortunately, we didn't get to stroll around the walled gardens, because by that point I was essentially crawling along the ground, but because we have our membership now we can always visit again for free so no biggie! I really relished the time we spent at Greenway and I would recommend visiting it to anyone even remotely interested in Agatha's life or body of work.  

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As I mentioned, we had a wander around the gift shop before we left because we couldn't help ourselves. I bought myself a beautiful Greenway card, photographed below, that I'm going to frame because it is absolutely stunning. I also bought a copy of Dead Man's Folly as part of it is set in and around Greenway. If you buy a book in the shop, they offer to stamp it with a personalised Greenway stamp that I thought was a lovely touch. Keep an eye out for a review of Dead Man's Folly soon as I may or may not be reading it as part of the 'read a book then watch the adaptation' challenge for this year's Booktubeathon...You'll hear more about that later this week


I also bought the same card for my Grandma In Reading, because we write to one another a few times a month, and the same Greenway print in bookmark form for my Grandma Across The Road because she loves to read. And yes, I differentiate between my grandmothers by titling them with their location...

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I managed to take some really nice Instax shots this weekend which I'm pretty proud of because it was one of my 2016 goals to take more. I think my favourite is the shot of the house below - the lighting was perfect! I definitely want to keep this up for the rest of the year.  


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Aaaand there you have it! I had such a nice little break away. I am definitely already thinking about future trips when I'm up and well again post-surgery which should be from September onwards. What are your favourite National Trust sites or your favourite places to visit in the UK? I'd love to jot down your ideas and favourites to keep me occupied whilst I'm recovering in a few weeks time. The majority of my holidays have been domestic £9.50 caravan situations so I have explored quite a bit of this country but would love to explore more! My best pal Lyzi also recently compiled a blog post on things to do in south Devon, so if you're in the market for more Devon-focused recommendations then do head there next! 


Aaaand that's that, another thing crossed off my Summer To Do List


If you'd like to scroll through all of my adventures then you can do so. 


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5 comments

  1. That campsite looks like so much fun! We're headed down to devon for a long weekend next week, so this is perfect! I was actually looking at going to Lydford Gorge! It looks like you had a great time away!
    xo April | April Everyday

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  2. Aaaaw it looks lovely, I've always wanted to stay in one of those little pods. Might have to make a trip to that waterfall sometime, it's so pretttttyyyy. Glad you had a nice time in my fair old county, and thanks for linking to my blog post you babe ;) xxx love you xxx

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  3. This looks like so much fun!
    wiltedxfaded.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. Ah that hog roast looks incredible, looks like you had a really good time

    Mel ★ meleaglestone.co.uk

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  5. My absolute favourite National Trust property is Coleton Fishacre, which is also in Devon. It's an arts & crafts style property, and it's gorgeous - the house is like something out of a Poirot adaptation, and the grounds are so beautiful. Definitely recommend that one! I also love Prior Park in Bath, and Dunster Castle in Somerset. I've not even heard of Lydford Gorge so am definitely going to add that to my list of ones to check out!

    Emma / adventuresinfloral.co.uk

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