16-20 May 2012 Topsham & Tiverton
Wednesday 16 May
Picked up my Mum at around 9.30 and set off to Topsham in Devon where my sister Sue ( Floss ) lives with her boyfriend Dave ( Bubs ). Went via the Favourite Beers shop in Cheltenham where I picked up 3 beers on my list. Arrived around 3.30 and Parked Cis at Carol & Derek’s ( friends of Sues ) farm 5 minute walk away from her house.
Then went out for a couple of pints at the Exeter Inn where the beer is good although the pub is pretty basic and from there to the Nelson Inn where we had a meal with Sue & Bubs, Mum & Bub’s parents Madge & Brian. Food ok and beer ok too but nothing special. Finished the night with a quick nightcap at Sue’s before walking back to the van.
Thursday 17 May
Had a cracking cooked breakfast at Carol & Derek’s and then set off towards Tiverton. Drove through the town but couldn’t find anywhere to park.Carried on up through Exmoor to the little village of Dunster. The village was very pretty and we parked (Just) in the car park north of the village and then had a quick stroll around with a nice local devonshire Ice Cream in our sweaty hands. Yum Yum. There is a big castle here which is a National Trust property but we didn’t go in.
From Dunster we set off towards the campsite we had chosen via Taunton. The journey was a bit hairy at one stage as we passed a large lorry going through a tight spot in a small village even though it was a major A road. Breathe in everyone !
Drove through the middle of Taunton and it seemed to be worth a look on a future occasion.
Arrived at the campsite The Minnows at Sampford Peverell around 1.00. Nice site with all hardstandings. 56 pitches in all but only has one toilet block. Facilities in the block were very clean but would imagine it gets busy at peak times. Staff very friendly. Because of close proximity to A361 & M5 there was significant road noise which with open windows etc in summer would prove noisy.
After setting up we went for a short cycle of about 3 miles (total journey) along the Grand Western Canal into the village where we parked the bikes in the lovely beer garden of the Merrimede Inn. good beer (Otter Bitter) but the pub is in need of some TLC.
Returned to the van for a few hours before returning on foot along the canal back into Sampford Peverell. This time we had a meal and drink in the Globe Inn.The beer here was excellent too (Otter Ale) and so was the food.
Friday 18 May
Got up and after showering & breakfast we climbed back on our bikes and cycled 7 ½ miles to the canal basin at Tiverton. The ride was through beautiful countyside and on reaching the end we had a hot drink ( What ? no beer ? ) in a floating barge which had been converted.We then cycled into Tiverton & parked up the bikes. There was not much to see in Tiverton but we foud a cycle shop & bought 2 bells for the bikes. ( need them to warn the walkers on the canal towpath ! ) We also went into an amazing hardware store which seemed to go on for ever. It was like the Tardis.
We then set off on our return journey and stopped off at the pub in Hambleton but unfortunately it was shut this afternoon ( Bummer ) so we had to continue our journey with tongues hanging out back to Sampford Peverell where we once again went into the Globe Inn.
On our return to the campsite we sat outside in the chairs with a beer. Although cloudy it was just warm enough to sit out where we watched with amusement a couple spending 1 ½ hours setting up their caravan. ( Should have got a motorhome ! )
Saturday 19 May
Drove down to Exeter this morning where we parked at Matford Park & Ride (south of city). The park had bays outside for over-height vehicles and cost £2.25 each return for the bus. Bargain ! We had a good walk around Exeter for a few hours taking a brief look outside of the Cathedral and one of the parks (as well as shops ! ! Just for Jane’s sake ! ).
Had a Barbeque to celebrate Sue’s birthday last week at her house with some of her friends before nightcaps were taken in the Exeter Inn before returning to “Cis” for the night..
Sunday 20 May
Set off around 9.30 picking Mum up and going to Darts Farm where I got another 2 beers from off my list.Drove cross country through Honiton, Chippenham & Moreton, stopping for a reasonable Sunday lunch in the Old Manse Inn in Bourton in the water before heading back home.