Wednesday, December 24, 2014
For our traditional Christmas Eve walk I found this route around Combe Martin online and printed it. It had very clear instructions and started off quite pleasantly by the beach and past a few shops into pretty country lanes. Then the lanes went up, and up, and up some more until we were all out of breath and wondering when the up would end. Half way along the next instruction I read said 'Continue up the path for one mile...' It seemed more like about five! But eventually we stopped going up and started going back down. The views were fairly spectacular though I am not entirely sure they were worth the leg ache.
It was muddy going down and my husband slipped and fell at one point - that amused us, as did playing in the fallen autumn leaves. The lane eventually gave way to civilisation and we found ourselves back by the old church with a long walk back along the main street till we reached our car. There were a few shops with interesting looking windows that would be worth pottering about in the summer season and of course plenty of pubs to chose from including famous The Pack of Cards. Even the houses are pretty. Come for a visit in the summer - and perhaps don't bother with giant walk up into the hills.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
This years nominally famous act turning on the lights was The Overtones. I have never heard of them but my children have, so I guess that makes me old. The turned on the lights at 6.00pm to great applause and a few fireworks erupting from the top of the stage, then half the crowd up and left instead of staying for the music. What was that all about? I'll let you decide for yourselves what you make of that, and if its for you or not.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
We got up early and headed for the first train, the 10:25 from Bishops Lydeard. The railway runs different timetables depending on day of the week and month. Today was a green timetable day, meaning there were only five trains running, so not a great deal of opportunity for hopping on and off at any of the nine stops along the way. We opted for going straight to Minehead. I don't know that there is a lot to do if you hop off in the villages along the way anyway.
Train travel is great, the train just pootles along at a sensible speed and you get to see great scenery along the way. For some of the time the train runs along the coast, which is really pretty. The steam train had it's windows open, so it wasn't too hot. We had seats round a table, so we could have a drink and a snack too. It was all very civilised.
When we got to Minehead we all wandered off and did our own thing. There is not a lot to do in Minehead so that didn't take very long. Then we met back up for lunch at 1.00. After lunch it was ice-cream on the beach, then the 15:15 train back again. This was a diesel train and not nearly so much fun. It was hot and stuffy and no tables. So my advice, if you are going for the day, make sure you catch the steam trains. I had a lovely day and can completely recommend it.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
A quick investigation along the blue path led me to the conclusion that it might have made a more interesting walk. But a lot of the burrows still looked be under flood water. Maybe I'll come back.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I parked in the National Trust car park and then followed the signs down the drive below the car park, not the one that takes you to the main entrance where to have to pay to enter the house and grounds. At the end of the drive were two footpaths; I took the one to the right. After that were several more options, all nicely signposted, indicating National Trust paths, all colour-coded and with information like 'Birdhide', 'House', 'Wilderness', and 'Circular path via lake'. I took the later. Along the route were many other signposts to other walks and pathways. I passed the lake, headed off to a small bridge, through a field and up through the woods until I eventually ended up back at the big house. I felt somewhat like a tresspasser, having not paid to go in, but this was where the path had lead me. It lead me back around the house and then back to my original starting point down the left fork where I had chosen the right, so I guess I must have been meant to be there.
It was a lovely walk, and many others were out in the woods too, including families with small children. There seemed to be a lot to keep them occupied, including something concerning monkey puzzle trees that I couldn't quite see, a small camp area, and stepping stone logs through the streams. I think I might come back here again.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
When we arrived there was definately no California weather. It was chucking down and crowds of people stood at the paying kiosk just waiting for the rain to stop. We walked on by with my second daughter muttering, "We're British, we don't mind rain." It wasn't long, however, before they were suggesting we have an early lunch in the Jaguar Restaurant (yes, that's what its called in the film too). The panini's were very nice, although none of us were very impressed with the range of cold drinks.
After lunch the weather was kinder to us and we spent a good few hours wandering around. The bears were nice, the wolves were in hiding, we enjoyed the reindeer but everyone's favourite was the big cats. Dartmoor Zoo has the biggest collection of big cats in the South West: two tiger enclosures, cheetahs, lynx, jaguars and a lioness. The lioness was have a good roar when we were there, then she had fun running round her enclosure and playing with a log on a rope. We went back to see her being fed and that was a bit disappointing. They 'hid' her food, which wasn't actually very well hidden at all, far away from the waiting crowd, then she went even further away to eat it before disappearing altogether. They could at least have hidden it nearer to us.
There are plenty of talks and other feeding sessions throughout the day, some of which we caught. There is also an enclosure you can walk through with wallabies, ducks and goats. The girls enjoyed petting the goats and thought it hysterical when the goats nibbled their fingers. If the weather had been nicer we may have stayed longer. Benjamin Mee was due to make an appearance at 3.00 to sign copies of his book. But really, after about three hours you've pretty much seen it all, and we were getting cold, so we made a quick trip in to Plymouth to do some retail therapy, then drove home to watch the film again.