So, after my first blog entry being about dreams of travel to far-flung places, the first holiday I’m going to tell you about is actually a trip just a few weeks ago to Devon, which is definitely not far-flung (although not especially close to my home in Derbyshire).
This was a family holiday, with 9 of us in total from my family, from across 4 generations. We went to Salcombe, a small town in South Devon. It was my first time there, but some of the others go every year- some had in fact been just a few weeks earlier. We rented 2 lovely, big apartments just off the high street, but as they were actually only seperated by a couple of doors and shared the same entrance we actually left the doors open, and used it as one huge apartment. In fact, I’m not sure the youngest (6yrs) or the oldest (80 something) members of our party fully understood it was 2 seperate apartments. This meant we had lots of family time, especially in the evenings – dinners together at one of the big tables, playing cards, watching the Olympics together.
Salcombe itself is lovely. Certainly not sleepy despite its small size. There’s a thriving tourist community, drawn by the lovely beaches, and the sailing, and the views of the estuary. All these things are what you to go Salcombe to do. There’s not much else to do in the town itself. The beach is actually across the river, and accessible by ferry – a small motor boat which runs constantly, ferrying people across the estuary. Thanks to some glorious weather we were able to go to the beach several times that week, and enjoy quality sunbathing time, and play beach cricket – which was lots of fun. So much fun in fact, a passing dog decided to join in and ran off with the tennis ball we were playing with. Even the owner struggled to get it back!
One of our places to sit was at the Ferry Inn, overlooking the estuary. There are certainly worse places to sit and and enjoy a drink or two.
One day, my parents and I went to Dartmouth. Sadly, the weather wasn’t as nice that day, but we still had a nice day. We went on a boat trip up and down the river, and enjoyed the views. We also had a wander around the town, ending up at the old castle overlooking the mouth of the river, before catching another small ferry back into the town.
One day, there was a family outing to Dittisham, which is a small and sleepy village near to Salcombe. This still feels like the small fishing village I expect all the villages in the area once were – Salcombe was lovely, but with high-street shops such as Fat Face and J Crew and Boots on the high street, it’s a little hard to imagine it as an old fishing village. But, Dittisham has an absence of commercial life – a pub, cafe and newsagent were pretty much all I saw, and with its twisting, narrow streets and lovely old cottages it has a charm and feel about it which is missing in Salcombe. Dittisham is also home to Greenway, where Agatha Christie lived in the 1950s. Various children/grandchildren owned it after she died,and then gave it to the National Trust, and it is now open to the public. It’s a lovely Victorian house, but has a slightly odd feel – the furniture is from the 1950s, and it is decorated as we’re meant to believe it was in Christie’s day, but it as the furniture is nothing special, and it has no real historical significance it is a little strange as a tourist attraction. Unless, you happen to be a big Agatha Christie fan.
On the last evening, there was some minor excitement. There was some bad weather brewing – gale force winds with heavy rain forecast, which coincided with a very high tide.This all resulted in some minor flooding in Salcombe.
Fortunately, there didn’t appear to be any serious flooding, or damage to property. Anyway, after a quick wander around town to take photos, we had more important things to think about – playing cards as a family, before the long drive home in the morning.