Monday, 18 May 2015

Start Bay, Salcombe. 22nd April to 4th May.

Set off from home and went out on the Wells, Glastonbury, Street route to the M5 and then on down to Devon. Onto the Devon Express way, coming off on the Buckfastleigh turning. Access to the site was really easy as the roads were very quiet.
Arrived at the site and discovered that it had been remodelled with lots of hard standings. We were however able to pitch up on no 9, which is a grass pitch still, although it has moved closer to the ablutions block and levelled up.  There is also a new car park, next to the pitch.
We soon put up the new awning, and set up as we will be when, if all is well we go to France next month. This meant that apart from the usual table,chairs and cupboard we had our expedition fridge (cools to 28 below ambient temperature) and our travelling washing machine.

Early morning over Start Bay viewed from our pitch!

On Thursday the weather was very good, so we went down to Start Bay, ordered the papers and enjoyed Coffee at the Start Bay Inn. Spent the afternoon sat out in the sun.

Tor Cross Beach

Beesands was our venue for morning coffeea on Friday, and also where we bought our fish for Friday dinner. Fresh Plaice straight off the boat.

Eels hanging to dry in the sun outside Britannia Fish Sales

We drove along the coast to Blackpool Sands, but unfortunately the cafe was shut, so we came back to Slapton village where we found an excellent little pub. The Tower Inn at Slapton Village. Lots of photographs on the walls of Slapton during the occupation by the American forces during the 2nd WW.

Good menu as well so we will return at some point.
We drove past the C&CC site at Slapton Ley.  Big sign up saying only 8 caravans allowed,but we counted over 20, so some rule bending going on there!

Salcombe for morning Coffee on Sunday. Good sunny weather but a trifle cold if you were out of the sun. the estuary was quite busy. we popped to North Sands on the way back!  Tide was in so it all looked good..

Salcombe harbour looking good!
In the afternoon we went down to Torcross to the 'Operation Tiger memorial service. This is held by the Sherman Tank that was dragged from the sea some 20 years ago.
Operation Tiger was a practice by the American troops for their landing on the Normandy beaches. Unfortunately they were surprised by some German E boats that sunk many of the landing craft, causing some 800 fatalities.
At the memorial service there were Americans who served in the operation, as well as many ex-service men and civilians.

The Operation Tiger Rembrance Service

Roast chicken for dinner and the gas ran out. Fortunately we had a spare!

On Monday morning we had an early start and headed for the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh. The train was running late, but the station staff kept us all well informed.  We left half an hour late for the picturesque ride down the Dart valley to Totnes. The  Railway is very well run with lots of staff. It is also very tidy, other heritage lines please take note!
The carriages that we were travelling in were 1940's GWR stock and were quite comfortable. We were hauled by an ex London Transport tank engine. Excellent day out.

South Devon Railway
We spent some time on Tuesday fishing from the beach at Slapton, but the fish were not biting!

We started Wednesday with a proper breakfast. It was a bit wet first thing but soon turned into a super day. We set off for Totnes, where we caught the train to Exeter. We wanted to do this so that we could travel along the rail line that runs on the sea wall at Dawlish.  The train was very crowded, but we still had reasonable views, apparently the train had fewer coaches than normal!  It was going from Penzance to Manchester Piccadilly, so I imagine that it would get even busier!

As we waited for the train back, it was announced that there was no disabled room in standard class!  Hasty conversation with the platform staff and we were put into First Class!  Leather seats, and a carriage to ourselves.  Superb views over the sea wall and surrounding country side!

The view as we travelled along the Sea wall at Dawlish

Then the Guard appeared!  He had not been told that we were on the train.  Apparently the first class carriage that we were in stopped beyond the platform end at Totnes.  So a quick phone call to rearrange the stopping point for the train, so we were able to disembark safely!
Absolutely brilliant service from First Great Western.
Just as we were leaving the station it was announced that the round Britain Rail tour, headed up by Britannia was coming through, so we delayed our departure to watch it!  Unfortunately it was headed up by a diesel, but still went through the station at high speed!

Thursday was a good sunny day so we sat outside before going to the Tradesman's Arms in Stokenham for lunch. Excellent.
Lunch in the Sun outside The Tradesman's

We set off for Beesands on Friday  to purchase our fish for dinner, then on to Hope Cove to visit the totally revamped Hope and Anchor pub.  It really is huge now, and very well done, although they have done away with the huge inglenook fire place which is a shame.  We do wonder where everybody who visits will park though!

We drove to Kingsweir on Saturday to visit Margaret in her apartment that over looks the Dart Estuary and Dartmouth. We had a really excellent time there, enjoying a light lunch. The views were something really special.

The view from Margaret's appartment

Sunday was a very windy day so we just popped over to Salcombe for the morning.

 I popped to Beesands on Monday morning to pick up fish to take home. We then cleared up and got home in 3 hours 45 minutes as the traffic was very light.

We look forward to our return trip in the summer, when hopefully the weather will be even better!

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