North Devon holiday 2010 part 3

Today was a more energetic day. As it was expected to be a dry day, we took the bikes out for the day. We left the cottage at about 9:45 and cycled (or rather coasted) down the driveway to the main road. In relays, I then got the kids and their bikes across the road onto the footpath. We then began the half mile walk to the entrance to the Tarka Trail at Longcross. The road is the A386 which is fairly narrow and extremely busy, so riding wasn’t an option. In places the path was about 2 feet wide and easy to walk, in others if we had six inches we were lucky. It was a walk that I think we were all glad to finish.
tarka trailOnce we got on the Tarka Trail, I guessed the going would be easier. Well, generally it was, although there were some steeper bits of the path that made the going a bit harder. The journey to Bideford was quite easy and then we pushed on up to Inslow. There were a lot of signs as we approached Inslow for The Bar, so we locked the bikes up to have a quick break, after all it was time for elevenses. The Bar had cream teas on the menu, a pot of tea and 2 scones, so our plan was to ask for 4 scones and a pot of tea. When I first asked, the woman had to check in the kitchen to see if they could do cream teas, they had been busy yesterday, she came back and said they could, so I asked if we could have 4 scones and just the one pot of tea. This was greeted with a blank look and then the reply that it would cost the same if we had the tea or not, oh well it was worth trying. It took so long for the scones to arrive after my cappuccino, that A asked us if they were baking our scones. They were all right, but probably shop bought with pre-packaged jam. While we were there another woman had to take her hot chocolate back as it was barely warm, hmm maybe try somewhere else another time.
At just after 12, now refreshed, we could tackle the next 4 miles to Fremington. The Quay Cafe in Fremington was one recommended on the Hallsanney website, so after looking at the menu on their website, we had decided to give it a try. We made fairly good time, getting there after 35 minutes at about 12:40. P and I had the local cheese platter, which was delicious and included a cider chutney that Jo helped P out with when he had had enough. A had the chicken goujons and Jo had the sea bass. Very enjoyable and somewhere I would thoroughly recommend. There is a bit of a local story with the cafe as well. At the end of this year, their 10 year lease with Fremington Parish Council comes to an end. Their opportunity to renew the lease is in no way guaranteed. In spite of many promises over the years to the contrary, the Council now intends to offer the lease to all comers. If they are not able to renew the lease they will not only lose their business, but also their home. This doesn’t seen particularly fair, especially as they have build the business and its reputation from nothing. I signed their petition while I was there and hope that the council sees sense.
Fully refuelled, we turned for home. The overcast morning had turned into a hot afternoon and combined with the exercise in the morning, the return was much more tiring. I know Jo and P would say that that was an understatement.
When we got back to Hallsannery, we freshened up and took some drinks out into the cottage garden. Yes, I forgot to mention that earlier. There is a private garden that goes with the cottage; it has a patio table and chairs that seats six, a barbecue and is enclosed with trees and shrubs. There was a nice breeze there this afternoon and it was great to just sit and relax. The kids were playing on the rope swing for a while after we came in.
We went out to eat at another Hallsannery recommendation, The Coach and Horses Inn at Buckland Brewer, which is about 4 miles south of the cottage up some pretty winding roads. Again, worth the visit. They didn’t start serving evening meals until 6:30, so we were a bit early, but we just had some drinks while we waited. They took our orders anyway and when the food started we would be first. A had a pizza, P had the caramelised onion and cheddar quiche and Jo and I had the roasted duck stuffed with bacon stuffing and covered in port sauce. Delicious! I’m starting to like recommendations left for visitors to Hallsannery.
Saw the bats again tonight.

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