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By this Author: InvictaMoto

Devon 19 - Day 4


View Devon 19 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Miserable start to the day. Well, not at 5.30am when Reggie decided he needed to go out into the garden. At least he had a pee!

At 6.30am it was Claire's turn to get up. Parenting a ???? seems like having a baby! He did nothing but run off the night asleep.

By the time we got up at 8.30am - it is Sunday - it was raining. Grey and very chilly. I thought about getting the woodburner alight but have no idea where to start although it looks to have wood in it. It's a long time since I was a boy scout lighting fires. I did have a badge for it... I also had hand axe and knife...

We decided on a National Trust site at Arlington Court near Barnstaple.

TomTom said it was about 40 minutes away and for once it was almost accurate.

The site is also the home of the National Trust Carriage Museum.

After a coffee we set off on the 2 mile circular walk around the estate. Although the weather was iffy when we set off, but it looked up.

The walk is pretty up and down. The first part goes through an avenue of monkey puzzle trees. Amazing. Some are massive.

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

Arlington Court NT

This was just the beginning!

The lake itself wasn't all that exciting. Along the route were photo suggestions. A photo in a frame and above it an empty frame to show where to shoot.

The bridge over the stream from the lake was full of dragonflies. Very colourful.

Claire wanted to go to the gardens and I headed to the dog poo bin and the carriage museum. The collection is quite extensive.

We rejoined Claire and needed a cup of tea so headed back to the tea shop behind the main house.

Some four hours after arriving and just before the house closed we left and headed back to the Cottage.

As we joined the A39 we found ourselves in the centre of a stinkwheel convoy. Three Vespa scooters that were headed for Lands End.

I pulled over to let the two from behind overtake and we lost sight of them.

Back home we had another cream tea. This time with ASDA scones. Very nice.

Another Cream Tea!

Another Cream Tea!

In the end it's all about the clotted cream with the scone is simply a delivery method.

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:19 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Devon 19 - Day 3


View Devon 19 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Forced to use the Corsa instead of the Insignia due to an "engine fault" light. Too late to get it fixed before the trip.

Even with several hours in traffic jams, sometimes not moving, today's fuel stop came out at 47.6mpg.

I have created a Fuelly account for it.

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A total of 338.6 miles since I filled it up on Thursday morning. Without all the holdups it could have been so much better. Sadly I don't see the return in Friday being any better.

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Up late. Well I was. The lack of sleep at the Days Inn with Reggie wanting to go out every two hours and the long hours at the wheel and I was knackered.

We chose to visit Clovelly. TomTom reckoned 10 miles until we set off. We had been going a while and it was 9! It looks like TomTom's initial guess is that it's as the crow flies until the route gets planned.

Clovelly is pretty famous. We have been before but not with a dog. The descent to see sea and harbour and the Red Lion pub is in three phases. The first downhill to the pottery is slight. Part two from there to the top of the main Street steeper and made of stones not proper cobbles.

Wear Skechers at your peril.

The third section is the main street. Same underfoot stones and steps in places. We had a break at the New Inn for a sandwich and a drink. It rained a bit but the prawn and crab baguettes were very nice. I had a half of the local Golden Pig beer. Nice and hippy. Not quite the after taste of IPA.

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

Clovelly

An ice-cream on the way back finished off the visit. Saying that legs hurt a bit after the walk back up would be an understatement.

We needed some stuff for dinner so we looked for the Asda just off the A39 at Bideford. Claire went in and we looked after the car.

Another cream tea when we got back to finish off Anna's lot.

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Don't worry we have plenty more scones, jam and clotted cream.

What's in store tomorrow? There is a railway at Great Torrington. Dartmoor is to the south....

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:13 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Devon 19 - Day 2

Fleet to Devon


View Devon 19 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Up early and popped across to the main services for breakfast. Decided on McDonald's. A nice bacon and egg McMuffin.

It's on the other side of the motorway!

Dogs are not allowed inside the services building and the bridge is inside. Bugger it. Once across the bridge to McD and queue was out of the door. None of the ordering screens were working. Not queuing.

Subway almost next door do a really nice sub with bacon, egg and cheese. Also no queue. So we had that.

Finally on the road just after 10am and all seemed to be going well until about three and a half miles short of Stonehenge. Stopped dead. Two lanes go down to one. Some 45 minutes later we crawled past the stones.

Why the f**k there is no bypass for anyone passing by?

The A303 is stop start pretty often due to either dual carriageways running out, or the two lanes becoming one.

Surely the locals want bypasses for their villages rather than solid traffic and all the pollution?

We arrived at our planned stop at Stourhead way later than expected. Lucky we are members and we park free.

Reggie isn't allowed in the landscape garden until after 4pm and so we had a walk around the outside and had a coffee in the garden.

Back on the road and more solid traffic wherever two lanes went down to one. The route took us a few junctions on the M5 and the traffic was solid going north. An idea what we might see next week on our return.

A stop at Taunton Deane services for a drink and for Reggie to stretch his legs.

Altogether our stops had come to an hour and forty minutes. We eventually arrived at the cottage just after 5pm. TomTom reckoned just under four hours not seven.

As we were parking, Anna the owner passed by. She had left us a cream tea in the cottage.

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Once unpacked we needed to get out again to a supermarket.

We had the first cream tea installment first.

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The supermarket was Tesco in Bideford. We need to go back as Bideford looks nice and the river/inlet is tidal.

Once back we gave Reggie a run around the field by the cottage. Dinner? Lasagne and cider.

Tomorrow. Where to?

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:08 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Devon 19 - Day 1

Home to Fleet


View Devon 19 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Packed and left home around 7pm for the overnight stop at the Days Inn at Fleet Services at the M3.

The motorways were relatively free moving. The usual lane hoggers in evidence in the so called "smart motorways". We get an extra lane and it is mostly empty. Instead car drivers seem to think proper lane to drive in is the third lane!!

Arrived about 9pm. Checked in and unloaded the car. Then went across to the services for a coffee. Bummer they don't do Starbuck's points and no dogs allowed in the empty services.

Then a walk for Reggie to do his loo things but he didn't do anything.

Time for bed then.

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Whether it was the journey here or the hotel, but Reggie was up all night.

Bed time about 11pm and his last pee and walk. And again at 1.30am. At 3.30am and 5.30am.

If only he had spent more time asleep until it was time to leave...

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Posted by InvictaMoto 09:04 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Glamping Scotland with Reggie - Part 5

Heading south

We didn't exactly hurry. We didn't have far to go as we were going to overnight in Selkirk, still in the border region of Scotland. Packing the car and cleaning up a little took a while. We had opted for small bags rather than cases and had loads to cram into the car.

Reggie went in early and was asleep when we eventually returned the key and set off. Once again we had to navigate through Inverness, but the traffic wasn't too bad this time. The A9 was also relatively heavy and we headed southwards past Aviemore stopping at the Ralia Cafe for a break.

Then again southwards towards Edinburgh. Another stop for Reggie to have his breakfast, anther day it had gone uneaten, and us to have lunch at a Subway near Perth.

Another surprise was that the Forth Road Bridge was free.....

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From Edinburgh we stuck on the A7 all the way arriving in Selkirk just as the weather looked up.... yes it had been raining again.

The County Hotel is dog friendly in the rooms but not in the public area. Luckily the room they gave us was huge with massive bed and a sitting area. By some fluke it was stuck out on a limb and three sides had no adjoining rooms so if Reggie got a bit barky no one would be disturbed.

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Sekirk is where Sir Walter Scott, author of such epics as "Rob Roy" and "Heart of Midlothian" and where he was the Sheriff, The courtroom was closed when we arrived and so we had a walk around the local (and very hilly) park.

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We had dinner in the restaurant, and it was good. In fact the whole experience was lovely.

Back to England

We were up early enough and breakfasted and packed to leave about 9.30am and headed off on a TomTom magical mystery tour through the borders and on the A7 south and then into the wilderness of the Kielder Forest and eventually arriving at the Roman Fort at Housesteads.

It was raining.

Once again we had a coffee and then took the wet half mile walk up to the fort, cleverly built on a hilltop by the Romans. This time we had waterproof trousers as well.

The fort is the best preserved site in the country.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

Housesteads Roman Fort.

It continued to rain as we packed Reggie into the car and headed off for the road south and that's where the wheels came off. The traffic once on the A1 was terrible, too much traffic and associated roadworks. Using the map and TomTom we tried to avoid as much as we could but it was gone 8.45pm before we arrived at the hotel in the midlands.

We had planned to visit Claire's cousin locally for dinner but as time went on we got later and later we almost aborted. Instead we checked in and then went over to them later. They have a new puppy, a black labrador, and Reggie and her got on well until he stole a toy and she tried to get it back.

All photos taken from the car are taken by the passenger and not the driver.

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:47 Archived in Scotland Tagged selkirk hadrians_wall sir_walter_scott housesteads_roman_fort Comments (0)

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