Sunday, 8 September 2013

Twenty Counties of August... Week 1

Hello Ladies and Gents,

Yet another gorgeous September day...with this sunny weather it reminds
me of my glorious vacation I had during the last two weeks in August. I went back to work last week and a few people commented on my tan and said 'Where did I go on holiday?' I said 'England...and I either visited or drove through twenty counties of it!' Yes, you read right, I went to twenty counties in two weeks and had a blast! Let me tell you about some of my adventures....

Southern Valley Railway
During July when the weather was so fabulous, Husbandy and I booked to go to the day had come so we packed up the Mini and set off...! The sun was shining and the skies were blue - even an overturned lorry on the M5 was not going to dampen my mood...we were off to Devon to start our holiday - first stop, the Southern Valley Railway. We soon ate the miles and passed through Middlesex, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and arrived in the beautiful county of Devon in time for the 3pm train from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. This beautiful restored railway is seven miles long and passes through some quintessentially British countryside following the River Dart and rolling hills. Husbandy and I were lucky enough to get a carriage all to ourselves so we
On the ferry to Kingswear
relaxed and enjoyed the ride in 193
0s style. Soon the rail ride was over and after eating some scrummy clotted cream ice cream we traveled on to our B&B in the picturesque town of Dartmouth. The B&B was called 'The Captain's House' and it was such a quaint B&B. The room was large with a double bed and en-suite shower room. After a fish and chip supper from the Frying Pan (best chip shop in Dartmouth) we went back to the B&B to dream of Devonshire cream teas and sunshine! 

Goodrington Sands
Morning came and after a hearty breakfast we went down to catch the ferry from Dartmouth to Kingswear to go on another train... this time the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. This line follows the cost from Kingswear to Paignton and again goes through some majestic countryside. It passes the lovely sea side town of Goodrington Sands which was so colourful with all its beach huts. It also stops at Greenway Halt which is where Poirot was filmed as Agatha Christie did live and write some of her books in Devon! Again we were fortunate to get a carriage all to ourselves and loved the style of
Husbandy at Blackpool Sands
the 1950s decor. On arrival back to Kingswear we got the ferry back across and made our way to Blackpool sands for an afternoon of relaxing and sunbathing.

After another night and breakfast in The Captain's House we had to say goodbye to the lovely little place...we packed up the Mini but before we moved on we had a morning in Dartmouth. There was a band playing in the bandstand and a lovely little market where we indulged in some yummy scotch eggs and hot dogs. After having a mooch
Dartmouth looking over to Kingswear
around we decided to move on to Totnes. Totnes is a little town on the River Dart - a paradise for charity shop hunters, tearooms lovers and sewing bees. Husbandy and I had a yummy Devonshire Cream Tea at the Anne of Cleves, it was tasty. I also purchased a lovely bedspread from a charity shop. With full bellies we left Totnes to travel to Dartmoor to our next place to stay. 

It was now Thursday and the sun was still shining and reaching temperatures of
Dartmoor Ponies
25 degrees. Husbandy and I decided to have a day on Dartmoor so traveled to Princetown. Princetown is a town right in the centre of the Moor with a prison dating back to the seventeen hundreds. The town itself has a few little shops (a great jewellery shop) and a couple of museums with the prison museum being a must visit. After a short while we drove up further into the Moor parked the car and walked onto the Moor for a relaxing afternoon - seeing no-one but sheep for hours - it was magical! Sadly time
On the Moor
rushed by and we went back to the car to travel all the way to Ludlow to stay with my in-laws and see our little guinea pig who had been there for his holidays. Now to get to Ludlow we travelled through B&NES, South Gloucestershire, City and County of Bristol, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire... making a total of eleven counties so far... wow.

On the Friday we went to Ludlow to visit Pepper Lane Vintage which is a great vintage shop (I've mentioned on a previous blog). I tried on some beautiful items but they were either to big or a little snug so left empty handed this time...but I know I will back again soon. We both started to feel a little peckish so we went to De Greys Tea Room for a spot of lunch. The food in their was scrumptious and the best flapjack I had ever tasted! On leaving Ludlow we went to Malvern (Worcestershire). If you've not been to Malvern there is so much to
Hairdressers in Malvern 
see and do...we wanted to walk to the top but sadly the sun had hidden itself for the day (our only grey day) so we headed for Brays instead. Brays is a shop that has not changed inside since it was opened so is a magnificent store to go to. It has some lovely bits as well as some unusual items of clothing...I picked up a handmade Japanese Kimono...its fabulous and so comfy.

Burgh Island 2008
With the weather not improving we decided to head back from Ludlow to London late on the Friday night so managed to sneak in another county (Gloucestershire) before reaching London in the small hours of Saturday morning. With one week done and with plenty of sunshine we felt we had been truly blessed....Devon is a special place for reason being as its where my gorgeous Husbandy and I went to Burgh Island for our honeymoon in 2008. I hate to say the old cliche but there is nothing like holidaying in England when you have the weather.... I shall leave this blog here and share with you the other counties and delights in a second installment of the Twenty Counties of August...Week 2.

Links to places we visited:

Happy Summertime xx

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