Instow Holiday Diary January 2019
Saturday 5th January:
Walked along the Tarka Trail from Instow. This stretch is along a disused railway line, so I liked it because it was easy walking; Husband complained that we were walking along a tarmac path; Kia was just happy to be walking anywhere. The trail crossed bridges, wound near the coast, and went through cuttings of ferns and grasses. It was peaceful and pleasant, and although we had to be aware of the occasional bike that whizzed past, it was very pleasant.
At one point we passed a couple of big old boats, which appeared to be inhabited. I’m not sure what living on a boat would be like – very like camping I imagine. No idea what they do for water or sewage, as the river wouldn’t be any use for either. Instow is on the estuary, where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet the sea (well, they actually meet the sea at Appledore, which is the other side of the river, but you can see the waves on the horizon from Instow.
We turned around when we arrived in Bideford. We checked the ferry to Lundy Island, but it only runs March – October. I didn’t buy a fridge magnet, as they all looked a bit naff.
Walked back to Instow and had coffee at John’s Cafe, which is the best cafe in the whole world (except that it has rather uncomfortable seats, and is a little pricey). Kia lay under the table while we had coffee, and then waited outside while Husband bought some juice. They didn’t have any orange juice (too posh) and the apple juice was all proper, locally produced apple juice, which was rather bewildering for Husband, as he had to choose which variety of apply he wanted. He chose cox’s apple juice, which is pretty horrid unless you like cox apples (which I don’t).
When we got back to the cottage, I checked my clever iPhone app, to see how far we’d walked (it felt like a long way). It was 10.6km, so perhaps not so very far. We had ham sandwiches for lunch (which didn’t fit very well with my sort of vague decision to eat only vegetarian food in January), with apple juice (see above) and ginger biscuits I’d brought from home (left over from Christmas, but still nice).
At 3:30pm, we had afternoon tea at Watersmeet Hotel near Woolacombe. This was a Christmas gift from Husband, and as a great lover of cakes and sandwiches, I was rather looking forward to it. I had been given a voucher, showing a dining room, but we were taken to a lounge area for the tea. (It turns out Husband had made the voucher himself, and downloaded photos from the hotel’s website, but tea is not served in the dining area!) The hotel is on the cliff edge, looking down into a bay, and we sat and watched waves crashing over the rocks.
We spent a few minutes taking selfies, as you do—most with my thumb in one corner, and then the tea arrived. There was loads, enough for four people, so we could’ve shared one. It was all so pretty, with cakes on the top tier, a huge scone in the middle, and sandwiches at the bottom. Everything was delicious, and I wrapped up the scone to eat later, and then ate most of the rest. (Not the Battenberg cake though, as I’m not keen on that.) It was all very lovely.
I hope you have some treats this week.
Love, Anne x
Thank you for reading.