Bluebell the motorhome is parked up overlooking the river at Bideford, North Devon, courtesy of North Devon council, who have very broad minded ly opened their Riverbank Long Stay car park up to Motorhomes staying overnight for the reasonable charge of £5 (6pm-10am)
Yesterday we headed off from Somerset in the glorious sunshine and had a beautiful drive over Exmoor, through Lynton and Porlock, chugged very slowly back up Porlock Hill, through Coombe Martin and Ilfracombe then headed the 3miles or so back out of Ilfracombe to our Brit Stop for the night, number 17.
Our journey from Ilfracombe to the Brit Stop was the main adventure- and frankly left us shaken for the rest of the day! It was our* fault (*by our, I may mean my..seeing as I was in the navigation seat…!) as we missed the correct road, and took the road it told you not to take (to be fair we soon realised, but once we were on the road there was diddly squat we could do!) The road got smaller and smaller and smaller, there were hardly any passing places and those that were there were too small for us to fit into (Bluebell the motorhome has obviously been on the cream teas!) Never mind we kept saying, only 2 miles to go, we”l be fine. Which we were, I suppose- however on a particularly steep and windy bit, what vehicle did we meet oncoming- a police car! Good (said sarcastically!!) don’t forget we’ve still not got an indicator up front passenger side! After almost a mile of reversing from the police car, where he also met other traffic who had to join the chain of reversing vehicles, we were feeling slightly embarrassed and silly, we felt sure that we were going to get a telling off, and possibly a comment or more re the indicator, but no, nothing, just a wave! Phew, after a serious bit of deep breathing and brow wiping, we gathered ourselves and carried on the last mile or so, the road kept getting smaller, the trees lower, but then the most amazing bay appeared, as did our pub stopover and we sighed an enormous sigh of relief! When we parked up, the sensation was similar to when you get off a roller coaster rode or something. Both our legs were shaking, even Jazz was trembling! We shakily took a look round Bluebell, not sure what we would find, there had been a lot of “noise” on the exterior as we trugged on down the road! Luckily we’ve escaped with a few scratches, a few grey hairs and shorter finger nails…! We found the bar, said hello, booked a table for dinner and sank a couple of pints, rather quickly! I had a pint of the Pear Shaped cider (quite apt I thought!) and at 7.5% I soon regained composure…. before loosing it again and falling into a deep sleep!!
We did however manage a look around the gorgeous bay, walked some (not all the way to Ilfracombe, but about a mile- we’d worn ourselves out!) of the coastal path and our dinner was superb.
After a wonderful sleep we got up, said our thankyous and goodbye and set off (on the correct road this time) for our next stop, Bideford. Arriving just before 10:30, the sun was still shining, we’d avoided any further mishaps and wanting to make the most of it, Keefy unloaded the bikes whilst I made us a picnic and we set off to cycle some of the Tarka Trail.
The Tarka Trail is a long strength of traffic free cycle path that used to be a railway line. We thoroughly enjoyed cycling from Bideford to Instow, plus a little further on. Instow is a very pretty coastal village with a super stretch of beach, along with a harbour and galleries and cafés. The old station is now part of the Tarka Trail, and here you can see some of the old tracks, the remains of the station and signal building. A really excellent find 🙂 We are enjoying North Devon so much!
Until next time