Devon and Devizes May 8-15 2013
Wed 8 May
Picked up my Mum and Jane & I and believe it or not Hollie, and set off Darn Sarf !! towards my sisters house in Topsham, Devon. The reason for our trip was because someone we knew was getting married and we had gotten an invite (Yes, Yes I know it was my sister Sue and her fellah David otherwise known as Bubs ) I’d been given the job of giving her way. I wanted a bit of cash for her but there was nobody bidding.
We arrived mid afternoon because its about a 230 mile drive taking about 5 hours with a break. We stopped firstly on the driveway next to Sues and had the essential Cuppa whilst we said our hellos and dropped off my mums suitcase
After that we parked up at a farm close to Sues who kindly allow us to park in the car park to their Bed & Breakfast place and let us plug into their electricity ( thank you Carol & Dennis once more for your kind hospitality ).
We met up back at Sues with Bubs parents Madge & Brian and we all walked down to the train station and jumped on a train to Lympstone which is famous for having the UK Marine training camp situated there. Luckily we did not bump into any “Bootnecks” coming back from any “Run ashores” and we went into The Swan Inn which is the first pub you come to from the train station and sue had booked us a table there. The food was very good and after a few hours and a few jars we caught the train back and popped into Sue & Bubs local, The Exteter Inn. We stopped there for a few more ( Mum had gone back to bed ) before calling it a night and returning to “Cis”
Thursday 9 May
Today we started with a nice cooked breakfast at Carol & Dennis’s before wandering round to Sues where Jane did Sues beautifying whilst I just chilled in her house. We of course had to ensure all was well at the Exeter Inn at lunchtime before coming back to “Cis” until the evening. Hollie moved into the B & B for the first of her couple of days away from the van (its’s not cool for a 21 year old to be seen in a motorhome !! )
In the evening, Mum, Hollie, Jane & I wandered off for some food and at first went into the Lord Nelson but after looking at the menu we weren’t impressed so we left and walked down to the estuary and into The Passage House Inn, where the food was much more up our street. Had a pint of Dartford Jail Ale which was very nice. Met up with Sue a bit later and all her friends from Radcliffe who had arrived by now in the Exeter Inn again. Several beers later and many stories particularly about Sue before it was time for lights out back at “Cis” but without our grumbling post teenager as she was now Starfishing across her bed in the B & B.
Friday 10 May
Big day today, wedding time ! ! so we are all togged up to the nines today, I wore my one and only suit that fits and Jane & Hollie looked very nice in their best duds too. After dressing at the farm we wandered down to Sues, Bubs had stopped in a local hotel in tradition with not seeing the bride before the wedding ceremony. Once everyone was ready they shot off to Exeter where the ceremony was to take place whilst Sue & I popped across to The Exeter Inn for her last drink as a single woman.
Deciding not to drink too many at this stage we taxied to Exeter and met everyone in the registry office. The ceremony was very nice and held in an old wooden panelled room in the town registry. So having legally reinforced what they had been doing for the last 10 years Mr & Mrs Whitaker took us back to Topsham for the afternoon/evening celebrations. Firstly to The Lighter, which is the pub where Bubs works. The plan was to have a couple here, do the photos on the quay and then off to Mathews Hall to fill hungry bellies. OOPS, unfortunately the tables to put said grub on were somewhere in the wilds of Devon and we couldn’t go yet to Mathews Hall. The good thing though was that we were in a pub, so after a couple of hours and only a couple of beers ( Yeah right ! ) we finally staggered onto the quayside ( no one fell in so we must have been sober ! ) and had a variety of photos took before we finally reached the hall. Now it was time for the bun fight at the OK corral and everyone sated their appetites washed down with vino & more beer ( Hic ! )
Now the moment everyone has been anticipating … Speeches !
I started first and was followed up by Bubs dad Bryan, judging by the laughter from the audience they seemed to go well. I put this down to the fact that the audience were well oiled and I by now had no inhibitions ! The Bride & Groom departed at the end and after helping clear up the room we all crashed out back at our own gaffs.
Saturday 11 May
Sues birthday, Hollie caught an early train back to Nottingham ( couldn’t spend any more time with us ! ). We went round to Sues again and met up with Sues friends Annie,Sarah and her hubby Graham, and then the newly married couple. After pressie opening and Paracetomol all round Sue & Bubs went off to see Bubs family. Mum, Jane, Sarah, Graham, Annie & I had a breath of fresh air and ventured back to the Passage House Inn where again we had some really nice Nosh. Annie, Sarah & Graham left to go back home whilst us three met up with Sue & Bubs again in the Exeter Inn later before turning in.
Sunday 12 May
Picked up Mum and her suitcase from Sues and after the usual waterworks from Sue the intrepid three set off to Devizes in Wiltshire, arriving around lunchtime. The camp-site was a Caravan & Camping site and was immaculate and very well run by a gentleman (forgot his name ) who is retiring next year. Hopefully it will still be as well run. After pitching up we wandered 5 minutes around the corner to the Three Magpies Pub where we had a superb Sunday lunch & I was able to watch the Spanish Grand Prix where Alonso won in front of a home crowd. Chilled out the rest of the evening back at “Cis”
Monday 13 May
Caught the bus into Devizes today and had a good wander around looking at the different types of buildings surrounding the Market place (Georgian, Victorian etc). At one end of the Market place is the Wadsworth Brewery which is of course for you beer aficionados is famous for 6 X and Bishops Tipple to name a few.
The ladies as they are prone to do wanted to do a small amount ( Thankfully ) of retail therapy, so I just went with the flow until lunchtime where we had Ale & Fayre in the Wetherspoons pub The Silk Mercer named after local Silk Merchants John James Fox & son. The food was standard but fulfilled a need and the inside of the pub is pretty cosy.
On returning to the camp-site we had a little stroll down the Kennet & Avon canal until vertically challenged Hazels little legs decided they’d had enough so we returned to the van and chilled for the rest of the evening.
Tuesday 14 May
Took the van off site today and had a drive to Avebury to visit the famous Stone Circle and a wander around the village. This is less famous than Stonehenge but when you look at the map of where the stones are you soon realise is much bigger. The unfortunate thing here is that it was raining today so after looking around we had to take respite in the Red Lion ( We only had Hot Chocolates ! believe it or not ). After that we returned back to the camp-site and stayed in until brave enough to venture out in the evening ( With Brolley ) back to the Three Magpies where again we had a superb dinner ( highly recommended ) and then chilled out back in “Cis” for the rest of the evening.
Wednesday 15 May
Slow get up, shower & breakfast before taking a steady run back home dropping off Mum & returning “Cis” back to her secure parking spot.