Monday 25th October

We all arrived at the Durrant House Hotel in Bideford during the afternoon.  Dinner was served in the Sir Richard room at 6.  Followed afterwards by a disco in the main ballroom.  It was wonderful to have a chance to boogie the night away for the first time in a long while due to the Covid restrictions of the past 2 years.

Tuesday 26th October - Bideford town walk

A grey but dry day.  After breakfast we all met up outside booted and ready to walk into Bideford.  A white goat escaped his field and joined us on the way down to the river.  luckily some locals took charge to return him to his field.  The official walk ended at the Railway Museum on the far side of the old bridge.  From there everyone went their separate ways.  A few followed the town heritage trail, learning about the towns maritime history and tobacco trade that made this little town one of the most affluent in the country in the early days of the American colonies.  It is sad to see the once beautiful old elegant houses in the back streets falling into disrepair.  The only trade nowadays here is the holiday industry.  Some took the bus back and a some walked back to complete a 5 mile walk on this day.  After dinner the entertainment was a singer.

Wednesday 27 October - Baggy Point, Croyde Bay

The weather was overcast, but dry all day with glorious sunshine in the afternoon.  After a hearty breakfast we drove in separate cars to our start point at the National Trust car park at Baggy Point.  This rocky peninsular protrudes into the Bristol Channel with the sands of Croyde Bay to one side and Woolacombe to the other.  It was lovely to see those who could not manage the walk , start off with us.  Dave led a group on the lower more precipitous footpath and Jan led another group slightly more inland but nevertheless higher and with the most magnificent views over Croyde Bay.  The two groups met at Baggy Point with a steep accent up the cliff and round the point to the other side where there were beautiful views over Woolacombe Bay.  We walked over a grassy footpath along the cliff, then over a few stiles and down farm tracks back to the start point.  There was a few muddy areas and puddles along the way, but we all managed to finish with dry feet.  After a lunch at the National Trust cafe, we extended the walk along the beach to watch the hundreds of surfers riding the huge 7 foot waves.  After dinner some went into the entertainment ballroom to watch a country style singer.   

Thursday 28th October - Ilfracombe

The day was cloudy and light rain forecast for the morning with heavy rain in the afternoon.  After breakfast the coach came to pick us up at 10am.  We disembarked from the coach park and walked into the town.  Those who were not walking with us took time to explore this lovely north Devon seaside town,  nestled between the  towering cliffs and rugged landscape.  Dave led the walk which started from the Limekilns Centre taking the group up onto the Tors to the west of the town.  This National Trust area boasts one of the most beautiful cliff walks in the country.  Although the weather was windy and threatening rain we enjoyed the upward climb zig zag path to the top of the Tors right up to the highest viewpoint.   The views were certainly as breathtaking as the wind.    We walked downwards over the undulating Tors which were stunningly beautiful and covered with russet bracken and grassland.  Our route took us downward and then onto an elevated path just above the town giving glimpses of the beautiful landscape of the town below.  We finished the walk before the worst of the rain set in.  It was a pity we had one casualty with a broken wrist right at the end of the walk.

We enjoyed our last meal at the hotel.  Dave, Lorraine & Jan were presented with a card and collection for all their hard work in making this holiday such a success.  The staff were brilliant and we thanked them for all their hard work.  Gratuities given to the Manager the next day.    We all enjoyed party night at the hotel disco. 

Friday 29th October - Homeward

After breakfast we all said our farewells and embarked on our journeys back to the New Forest.