Sunday, May 27, 2012

Robber's Bridge

I have written about this place before, but as it is six years now since I have been writing this blog, I thought I would need to revisit some of the places I have written about for the benefit of new readers.

We took advantage of the lovely weather yesterday and went for a picnic, knowing that today we would be the only part of the country under a raincloud! It was gorgeous there, and, as most other people had headed for the beaches, we were one of only two families to occupy the spot. This may also be because very few people either a) know about it, or b) want to undertake the trek to get there.

Robber's Bridge is located at the East end of Doone Valley on Exmoor. From Barnstaple it is a 45 minute drive past Lynton and Lynmouth heading in the direction of Porlock. You will find it down a narrow country lane with sharp corners and room for only one car to pass at a time. It is a beautiful spot with nothing at all there, not even an ice-cream van. Perfect. My favourite picnic spot.

We ate our sandwiches, threw the ball for the dog, and went paddling in the river. I sunbathed and my husband and daughter no.2 played with my camera. It was so hot even the dog vountarily went paddling, and she hates water!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


 Muddiford is a tiny little village about three miles outside of Barnstaple on the old road to Woolacombe. For the majority of people it is driven through, a means to an end, rarely stopped in.

Today I discovered it has plenty of features to recommend it, not the least of which is its surrounding countryside. I walked up a side road to the right of the phonebox, heading towards Viveham Farms. And I soon found myself tramping along country lanes next to babbling streams. These lanes took me up to the farms, then on through a few fields and up onto high ground. I could see for miles. Birds chirruped, small animals rustled in the hedgerows enticing my dog, and flowers of every shade added splashes of colour to the sun-brightened greenery. It was great. I expected to get thoroughly muddy but amazingly everywhere was dry.

As its not far from my home I think the dog and I will be out here walking again. Next time I'll bring some money so I can visit another pleasant looking feature of this village - the pub.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Westleigh Inn

Just outside of Instow, on the way to Bideford, is a small turning signposted 'Westleigh'. Westleigh is a tiny little village on a hill overlooking the river Torridge. Despite it's diminuative size and narrow windy roads it attracts many visitors because of the reputation of its local pub.

The Westleigh Inn has two indoor rooms with plenty of tables and comfy sofas, and a large beer garden with spectacular views of the estuary and a selection of play equipment for children. We arrived here at lunchtime today and despite the car park seeming quite crowded we found a table for seven of us with no difficulty at all. The meals were reasonably priced, a burger and chips coming in at around the £8 mark, the bar staff friendly and there wasn't long to wait until the food arrived on our table. If you are passing and you're hungry or in need of a break, it's worth a small detour.