Thursday, 25 August 2016

I'm back!

Hello, I am back at last from my unintentional break from Blogland. I am not sure what happened but for some reason I completely lost my blogging mojo. I fully intended to catch up with everything over the Summer holiday but it didn't happen and here we are almost at the end of the holiday. I will endeavour to make amends and get back to more regular blogging and catching up with all of your blogs.

So what have I been up to during the Summer? My activities fit neatly into three  categories - holiday, crochet and a day out. There have obviously been other bits in between but that is mainly boring stuff including some days working at school, shopping etc. This post will be about my holiday and I will be back very soon with posts about my crocheting activities and our day out.

We enjoyed a wonderful fortnight in East Devon returning to Brackens, the cottage we have stayed in before. I guess we are creatures of habit and once we find somewhere we enjoy we tend to return. There are many other places we would like to go but for some reason Brackens keeps drawing us back. I cannot believe how quickly the fortnight disappeared, we enjoyed some of our favourite locations and discovered some places new to us. I will show you a few collages of the many photos I took in this beautiful and quiet part of Devon. We were really lucky with the weather only having one day of fairly continuous rain and managed to fit in lots of walking.


This first collage is of the cottage we stay in. We love it here as it is so quiet and peaceful and has a beautiful garden which we enjoy relaxing in when we are not out and about.

Budleigh Salterton

The closest location to Brackens is Budleigh Salterton. This place is like something from back in the 1950's, totally unspoilt with a huge pebble beach with the Otter estuary behind. We have seen the sea here in all its moods, from the tranquil to the really rough - it is always beautiful though.

I have already mentioned that we spent a lot of our time walking, on the first Sunday we decided to walk from Brackens to East Budleigh. We have done part of the walk before but have never walked there from Brackens. We couldn't have had a more glorious day and we thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the stunning scenery. I will never tire of the view looking from the top of the hill to East Budleigh and the coast. I was so proud of myself as before when we have attempted this hill I have been puffing and panting whilst climbing to the top. This time I managed without getting out of breath at all - the power of Slimming World and losing over five stone! We enjoyed a lovely roast lunch at the Sir Walter Raleigh before re-tracing our steps back to Brackens.

Exmouth and Orcombe Point

We visited Exmouth on a few occasions. We undertook a walk to Orcombe Point, past the geo-needle and on to Sandy Bay. Again, we had done part of this walk in the past but it was good to walk on further than we have been before. We also caught the ferry from Exmouth over to the other side of the Exe Estuary to Starcross on a couple of occasions and used it as a starting point to walk up the Exe Estuary. The sunsets over the Exe Estuary are something else, part of the joy of being in this part of the world is enjoying the BIG skies and watching the sun go down was wonderful.


 A trip to Beer with fish and chips on the beach is a must when we are in this part of the world. Even my DH who is not a fan of walking up steep slopes which you cannot avoid in Beer loves it here and was proud of himself for making it to the top of the cliff. I seldom eat fish and chips these days but this is one treat I had been looking forward to, Ducky's, the beach cafe serve the best fish and chips ever. 

Exe Estuary

We visited various parts of the Exe Estuary. There is now a cycle/walk way all around the Exe which makes for ideal walking conditions (as long as you keep alert and listen out for the bikes which whizz past you on occasions). DH and I have come to the conclusion that there are three types of cyclist that use this cycle way - (a) the serious cyclist who is only interested in getting from a to b in the quickest time possible and not really interested in the surroundings, (b) the tourists and holiday makers, who hire or bring bikes with them and pootle along enjoying the scenery and (c) the locals who use it to commute or cycle into town - we had fun trying to guess which category they all fitted into! On our last day we decided to challenge ourselves to do a longer walk than usual so we caught the train from Exmouth to Topsham and walked back along the estuary - we walked about eight miles in total as we took some detours around Topsham which probably doesn't sound a lot to some people but for us these days it was quite an achievement. 

Starcross and Cockwood

The villages of Starcross and Cockwood are on the other side of the Exe, we have driven through these places before and bypassed them on the train but have never actually spent any time there so we decided we would rectify that. It is quite a quick journey to make by catching the ferry from Exmouth. On the first occasion we walked from Starcross to Cockwood and around Cofton Hill with a superb lunch in the Anchor which is said to be haunted before walking back to Starcross. We returned on another day as there were two steam train excursions and DH wanted to photograph the trains at Cockwood Harbour. What a good excuse to enjoy another lunch in the Anchor.

 Sidmouth is a town we usually pay a visit to when we are in East Devon. A lovely regency town with lots of interesting and unique shops. We always enjoy a visit to the Connaught Gardens up on top of the cliffs above Jacob's Ladder, these gardens are stunning and the tea room there serves wonderful food. If you go there make sure you bring your appetite with you, the slices of cake are huge!

Flora and fauna

Lots of interesting flowers, insects and animals were seen - some more exotic than others! We visited the Otter and Butterfly Farm at Buckfastleigh, I wasn't terribly successful in taking some of the exotic butterflies but managed to capture a few. The otters were just adorable and I would like to make a return visit one day to try and get some more photographs. However, even after seeing the exotics we still enjoyed sitting in the garden watching the native species and capturing various flora when we were out and about.


To round off my holiday photos I thought I would show you some of the quirky sights that we came across. We couldn't believe the pipework on the side of the cottage - obviously done by someone with a sense of humour and too much time on their hands! There was lot of pebble art on Budleigh beach but I think it is the first time I have seen someone create a bus. The washing hung out on the little beach at Lympstone always makes me smile, it was certainly a blowy day and I am sure they have to peg it on firmly to stop it blowing away down the estuary. Finally as we were walking through the village of Exton one day we came across this bronze gorilla, not really what you expect to see in a garden, he was huge.

This has turned into quite a long post so thank you if you have stuck with it to the end. See you again soon.


  1. Lovely to see you again Jan. I know what you mean about losing your mojo. Sometimes life gets in the way and you run out of blogging oomph. It looks like you've had a great holiday. I've enjoyed seeing your photos of somewhere I don't know well at all. Your cottage is very sweet and the sea-views are gorgeous.
    Cathy x

  2. I think we all loose our blogging mojo in the Summer and it's good to have some time out, I have only done a few posts myself. Your holiday looks lovely beautiful photo's fantastic scenery. :) xx

  3. Some impressive photos, looks like you had an amazing break away. The photos tell us why you want o go back year after year a beautiful place to stay.

  4. When you're back, you're definitely back!!! A wonderful array of summery photos for us to drool over. Glad you've had a lovely holiday. Nice to see you! x

  5. Glad to have you back :). Lovely photos. I remember last visiting Beer when I was 12. We went out on a fishing boat and caught lots of mackerel. I wonder if you can still do that today? B x

  6. Hi Jan, welcome back. It sounds as if you've had a fantastic holiday. I love all the photos. The otters look adorable and what I wouldn't give to be able to peg my washing out on a beach! xx

  7. Wow, you have been busy, great photos! I too have neglected my blog, summer holidays make it hard to keep it up don't they xx

  8. Hi Jan, lovely photos. I live in Exeter and use the estuary trail quite often; we are so lucky here to have it on our doorstep. Although I am a local, if you met me on my bike during your walk you probably thought I was a tourist, as I love to see the beautiful scenery! I did enjoy your pictures, and yes that gorilla is huge!

  9. Just lovely to see your trip and the photos are stunning. I know some of the areas you spoke about as have friends at Kingsbridge not that far away as the crows fly! Love coming with you on these journeys as still not able to walk very far! Thank you Jan xxx Chris

  10. What a lovely summer you've had, Jan--filled with such great sights on your travels. Really enjoyed seeing your photos--they make me more determined than ever to travel to England some day :) I would love to stay in a little cottage like the one you shared with us...

  11. It sounds like a you packed a lot into your two weeks away - lots of walking and so many lovely sights - the photo collages are lovely! I love that bit of quirky guttering at the end!