BIDEFORD HOLIDAY 7 - 11 MAY 2018
Tuesday 8th May - Taperley Park, Bideford
The weather started rather overcast with a little drizzle. Ivan led our walk first walk. We set off from the Durrant House Hotel taking the lane by the side of the hotel down to the riverside. Following the footpath along the river through and into Bideford town centre, over the old bridge which spans the river Torridge and up to the old station located on the Taarka trail. We strode out along the trail which runs along the side of the estuary. Crossing the road through a very hidden gap in the hedge and up and along to the Taperley Park driveway. A long incline up the drive which is lined with trees and an abundance of rather strong smelling wild garlic growing in the woods.
Owned by the environmentalist Hector Christie, Taperley Park is one of our rescued stately homes, providing an environmentally friendly method of living.
After lunch in the cafe we all went our separate ways to explore the delights of these beautiful gardens. The sun came out enhancing the colours in the garden, and the afternoon was wonderful.
Wednesday 9th May - Great Torrington
The day started a little overcast, but dry. Rain was forecast for later in the afternoon however. We took cars to our meeting point just outside the lovely and historic village of Great Torrington. There we met 2 members of the North Devon Ramblers, Angela and Joan, who were leading our walks today. We split into 2 groups, an shorter walk and a longer and more challenging walk. The longer walk is described here. We took the footpath down into the valley through the Dartington factory. Then up and over lush green fields through herds of grazing cattle. After climbing up the other side of the valley we skirted the local allotments where our leader Angela informed us in the English civil war this particular point was a lookout for Cromwell's army. After our apple stop we made our way down a steeply wooded footpath and each side of us were carpets of the most beautiful bluebells. When we reached the valley floor we took a slightly elevated footpath through the woods growing along the river Torridge. It was likened to a fairy grotto with damp mossy banks and ferns. After a very steep incline back up the other side of the valley we reached our starting point again.
We presented Angela and Joan with a New Forest "goody bag" each in appreciation for their time in leading these beautiful walks for us.
Some of our group went into Great Torrington and took the history trail through this very historic village learning about how the village played an important role in the English civil war.
Here are some pictures of the shorter walk
Thursday 10th May - Clovelly
Our last day and the weather was lovely and sunny. After breakfast in our cars we all headed for the picturesque village of Clovelly some 10 miles from the hotel. After obtaining our entrance tickets some took the steep decline into the village and some explored the Norman Church and areas in the upper village. This describes the upper village. A short walk from the car park just down the hill a little stands the Norman church. A beautiful old church with its square tower rising from the leafy woodlands. After exploring the church we walked into Clovelly Court Gardens. Enjoying the unspoilt views over the Bristol channel from this amazing vantage point. After this short walk some took the road down into the lower Clovelly village to enjoy a cream tea on the quay.