Saturday, January 09, 2010

Blackmoor Gate

We went for a drive over Exmoor today to see all the pretty scenery. The roads were quite clear, and we stopped every now and then to take photos and for the kids to jump about in the giant snow drifts. Then we headed for Blackmoor Gate, a crossroads right on the edge of the moor where the roads from Barnstaple, Lynton, Ilfracombe and Simonsbath meet. There is a lovely pub/restaurant there that we've been to several times. We had hot chocolates and a snack in the pub section, although daughter no.3 was angling for a plate of chips. It was very reasonably priced, as are their meals when we've eaten there before.

For more photos of the scenery check out NorthDevonPhotoJournal by following the link opposite.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Torrington Common

It's been beautiful weather here for the last three days so today I put my foot down and insisted that we all go out for a walk. There's only so much of listening to Wii music that a person can take before going completely mad.

We drove over to Torrington Common, a large area of open grass land with a good view of the surrounding countryside, and stretched our legs. The Common site where the Torrington Cavaliers, a vountunary organisation who raise money for charities, famously build huge bonfires. They have already started construction for their 40th anniversary bonfire, a replica of Torrington's medieval castle. The last one they did was the HMS Victory and 15,000 people came to watch it burn. This year the date set for big event is 28th August.

We looked at what they'd done so far then followed the path above down into the woods near the Puffing Billy. We walked on the path above the river and my husband and children had fun trying to skate on the icy paths. Then it was back round to the Common, where my little one played in the small children's play area there before we all headed home for a nice warming cup of tea and a slice of cake. There were many other paths we could have followed, so I think maybe we'll be back - perhaps in warmer weather (or when I persuade my husband that we really need a dog - which ever comes first!)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Barnstaple - New Years Eve

Barnstaple on New Year's Eve tries to rival Bideford but never really matches up. We ventured out just before midnight last night and the first difference we noticed was there was hardly anyone in fancy dress - that's because if you're going to do fancy dress then you're going to go to Bideford. There also seemed to be a lot more police trying to sort out the angry drunken youths. I'm spotting a pattern - the pleasently drunk were all in fancy dress in Bideford!

There is a live stage show in the Square with various DJs playing music through the night. There seemed to be hoards of people that way all having a good time, and they were lined up along the old bridge to watch the fireworks, but we didn't make it that far. The children moaned. So we stopped by the riverside and actually had a pretty perfect spot for watching the fireworks. We could hear the countdown to midnight from the Square, said our 'Happy New Year's and then enjoyed the show. That was the second difference - the fireworks weren't as long as the show in Bideford. Still, it was nice to get out.