Saturday, 11 July 2015

A well-deserved holiday

Life is been a bit hectic over a couple of weeks. With never ending assignments to do, it seems you do one assignments then another one is thrown at you. That is life at college for you. There was also a presentation evening, I was not expecting award at all as I was working at the same level from September but other people in my class as worked ever so hard over last couple of months so they should be awarded. However, to my surprise I got an award for the academic achievement. Now, I am so pleased with that. The last day off college I got told my final grade, I’m so pleased to say I got D*D (Distinction star Distinction)

I think that deserves a holiday. Don’t you?
My packing nearly layout!!

The day arrived to go on holiday. You know the boring day where you pack, get things it suit case have a conversation with yourself shall I bring one book or two. Sometimes I wish you could have a Marry Poppins bag that fits everything in so you can take your whole wardrobe. I just took random clothes from my sofa and some out of my wardrobe and hope for the best. Mom nearly took the whole kitchen, O.K. it was only the steamer, saucepan, tin opener and vegetable peeler. The boring packing has been done, I think I have took the most stuff, I took my suitcase, my laptop to watch films, two bags one bag that I take every day and one for the car journey to have my books in, and not forgetting my teddy bear Rodger. 

Please excuse the mess underneath my bed and the keyboard.

The journey itself was not too bad like going to Newcastle last year in October where we was stuck in every single traffic there could ever be. I watched a fantastic film the princess bride and read my book the girl online. Not forgetting the spectacular views I saw while listening to the radio or even listening to my own music. 

Seafront in Combe Martin
We finally arrived where we are staying, just about got settled in then got told we was in the wrong cabinet so we gathered everything up and unpack everything. We then went a walk into town and had a walk at the seafront. Did you know the Combe Martin has the longest High street in the UK? Nor did I until I walked it. Nevertheless, who cares when you have the valleys to admire and not forgetting the church. We had lovely fish and chips near the seaside.


Time to go Tesco's

We did not bring much food with us, as we didn’t know how big the fridge was going to be. Therefore, since we know the fridge size we ought to get some food for the fridge. Alternatively, shall I say that was the plan? But oh no, we went to Bideford instead to go to Pannier Market but then we noticed the tour bus and the lady gave us a leaflet about the times of the guides and different guides you could do. So we went to the art gallery to book ourselves in. Best of all it was free and you get so much information. Mom wanted a drink of water instead we got ice cream. You can see a theme starting here.

Bideford is an attractive town of West Bank of the River Torridge, where the river begins to widen to form the estuary. The old road has a lovely old bridge crossing the Torridge linking the town of Bideford to its neighbouring village East of the Water. The impressive arched stone of the bridge was built in 1535. The original bridge was built from timber in 1300, and was replaced by a stone bridge in the 15th century. Various adaptions have been made to the bridge throughout the intervening years.

In the 16th century, Bideford was Britain third largest port. The name of the town is derived from by the fort, presumably from the days before the bridge was constructed. Today, Bideford is a thriving shopping centre with a historic Pannier Market holding both produce and crafts markets twice each week. Many antique shops are scattered amongst the narrow backstreets and alleyways that lead up to from the quay and the river. These alleys are known locally as drangs. The tree line quay still bustles with fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats, and there are regular boat trip to Lundy Island  in the Bristol
Channel, about 12 miles away.

With so much information to soak up with, we went into the cafĂ© and a lovely lunch then it was time to go back to where we were staying. I was so tired so slept in the car. Got back to where we was staying I made the curry read my book with a cup of tea, while Mom and Dad went for a walk in Combe Martin. We had a lovely curry that which made from Mom and I. What a team we made? While reading my book Dad and I admired the lovely sunset. I can get used to this type of lifestyle. 

What a lovely sunset?

Another adventure to Tesco's

Dad tried to wake me up one morning and I fell asleep again my Mom then woke me up. I now should wake up. Had a lovely breakfast just in time too as we has power cut. I got myself ready to go outside in the rain. Dad took the car to Combe Martin and we walked around the craft fair then popped in some shops then the rain suddenly stopped. We went to the museum and it was free to enter you learned about the history of the Combe Martin and the surrounding area.

What a great puzzle this would make?

We then went Ilfracombe that is a seaside resort and civil parish on the North Devon coast, with a small harbour, surrounded by cliffs. We were going to go to Tesco’s to get some picnic things for tomorrow. 

We then stumbled over to Verity statue which is a stainless steel and bronze statue created by Damien Hirst. The 20.25-metre tall sculpture stands on the pier at the entrance to the harbour in Ilfracombe looking out over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales. Furthermore, Statue Verity is higher than the Angle of the North. It has been loaned to the town for 20 years. The name of the piece refers to ‘truth’ and Hirst describes his work as a ‘modern allegory of truth and justice.’

 The statue depicts a pregnant woman holding aloft a sword while carrying the scales of justice and standing on a pile of law books. Half of the sculpture shows the internal anatomy of the pregnant woman, with the unborn baby clearly visible. Edgar Degas a work that previously inspired Hirst when he created Virgin Mother has described the stance as a reference to Little Dancer of the Fourth teen Years.

The sculpture was cast in stainless steel and bronze in 40 separate sections by Pangolin Editions. The sword, which gives Statue much of its height, and the upper left arm is one of polymer-strengthen fibreglass piece.

I am afraid we did not go to Tesco’s. Though I wish all Tesco’s trips comes like this. Now wouldn’t that be splendid? But we did have walk around Ilfracombe town had lunch and not forgetting the ice cream. Therefore, it was a good day out.

The day has ended with a lovely homemade roast dinner by my Mom.

                                   Can we actually go to Tesco?

 Third day lucky we actually went to Tesco’s and we were greeted by the Great British weather rain but more so by the spectacular view. We got the picnic food for our lunch and some things for the evening. We then dropped the things off at where we are staying. Then made our tracks to Arlington Court, I have been before with my grandparents but it was good to go again and admire the carriage and actually go in the house this time.

The house was commissioned by Colonel John Palmer Chichester (1769-1823) to the design of the North Devon architect Thomas Lee replacing the earlier Georgian house of about 1790, built on a different site and demolished, designed by John Meadows. Arlington Court was considerably expanded in 1865 by John Palmer Chichester’s grandson, Sir Alexander Palmer Bruce Chichester, 2nd Baronet (1842-1881) son of Sir John Palmer Bruce Chichester 1st Baronet (1851).

We take granted for the car or even more when we go on long journeys, a trip to town. Could you imagine going on a long journey in a carriage? Having the right type of carriage was a sign of good taste and wealth. At the museum, we saw forty different types’ carriages that were on display, people privately owned all from middle class families to earls and lords, and even Queen Victoria.

 Arlington Court gardens are a place to relax in, a chance to breathe deeply, than take a moment to enjoy the views and more. The formal Victorian garden in simple yet elegant, and is the prelude to the National Trust best kept secret. As you pass through the door in the north wall of the garden, you enter what probably symbolizes the pinnacle of Victorian horticultural excellence: National Trust walled kitchen garden.

What a an entrance to a garden?

What a view?

What a day!

We parked the car up and plotted around in the high street in Barnstaple and not forgetting our lunch, it was very tasty indeed. There was also a market that we went too it was very big. We went to the tourist information place to see what we can do and to our surprise there was museum best of all it was free. Barnstaple Museum was the perfect way to find out more about North Devon it has collections and displays cover the national and human history of this beautiful part of the country. Highlights of the museum include the Tarka Gallery, the story of North Devon and the Regimental Collection of the Royal Devon Yeomanry.

Did you know that Barnstaple is the main town of the North Devon and possibly the oldest borough in the United Kingdom? It is a former river-port, located at the lowest crossing point of the River Taw, flowing into the Bristol Channel.

From the 14th century, it was licensed to export wool, since the merchant has claimed that the town had been declared a free borough in Saxon times. This brought great wealth to Barnstaple, whose town centre still preserves a medieval layout and character. Later the town became an importer of Irish wool, but its harbour silted up, and it developed other industries, such as shipbuilding, foundries and sawmills. Its Victorian market survives, with its high glass and timber roof on iron columns. Barnstaple railway station is the terminus of a branch line from Exeter, known as the Tarka Line.

Woolacome beach

I fell asleep in the car again the next stop was going to be Woolacombe only one problem we was greeted by the car parking waning further £3:00 it didn’t matter if we were going to stay for an hour or three it was cost £3:00. We weren’t going to pay £3:00 for hour when we have already went to Woolacombe and it was only a short drop by for ice-cream and a drink.

 Woolacombe is a seaside resort on the coast of North Devon which lies at the mouth of a valley in the parish of Morthhoe. The beach is 3 miles long, sandy, gently sloping and faces the Atlantic Ocean near the Western limit of the Bristol Channel. Like a number of British beaches, it is privately owned and until 1948 the beach and much of surrounding land was owned by the Chichester family, who acquired it in 1133 during the reign of King Henry I. When lady Rosalie Chichester, the last line, died in 1949 it had been in her family’s possession for over 800 years. On her death the Chichester’s land in Woolacombe and Mortehoe and the family estate at Arlington near Barnstaple had been willed to The National Trust. However, Stanley Parkin, a family friend, had previously purchased the beach and some surrounding land.

Maybe because Woolacombe is privately owned that is why we were greeted by the heavy car parks charge?

                                           The great flood

We firstly went to Lynton, plotted around there for a bit, and did some window-shopping then we saw this cliff railway and decided to go to on it to go to Lynmouth. So how does this amazing old technology works well read on and all will be explain. When each car is ‘docked’ with full water tanks (700 gallons) at both stations, the cars are in balance (weighing the same) and are ready for loading. The lower car has a water operated locking device which clamps the car to the bottom station. Got me so far? When loaded the drivers use pre-arranged bell signals, unlock the safety locking device-then both cars brakes are released. The lower driver then discharges water (if required) to make the top car heavier. The top car then rolls down the rails-at the same time pulling the lower car up. How cool is that?

Cliff railway

In Lynmouth I learned about the great flood that happened in 1952 which claimed 34 lives. It was the worst post-war flooding disaster in Britani. The flooding occurred on 15th August 1952, after nine inches of rain fell in the space of 24 hours. The downpour caused a wall of water to surge down from Exmoor onto Lynmouth. The East and West Lyn rivers, which drop down from Exmoor, were swollen even before the storm. In all, 34 people in Lymouth and surrounding hamlets were killed, and 39 buildings collapsed. The army was drafted in to help with the clear up. (video if you want more information

Mom and I had the amazing, cheesy cheeseburger and Dad had the long awaited Crab sandwich for lunch. I then got told I’m paying for the ice-cream so Mom and Dad threatened me for them to get the expensive ones. We walked out of the cafe Dad saw his ice-cream cone the Digger. I do not think that would be suitable but it probably will not stop him. Lucky we was all full from our amazing lunch I didn’t had to pay for ice-creams. Now that was result.

                                       Made Mom happy

So last evening we got the map out and plan the next adventure out only one problem there was no more places we can as we done it before. However, there was one castle that my Mom went 25 years ago when she lived in Minehead and walked all the way to the castle only finding it was close. Therefore, Mom wanted to go there and there was no other places to go. Therefore, Dad goes “Guessing our next adventure will be at Dunster Castle.” That is exactly where we went.

It’s going to be a long history of Dunster, hope you are O.K. reading never ending pargrpahs and you all will be rewared with a video.

Right let’s begin the history of Dunster castle. Generally Dunster is one of the more perfectly preserved medieval villages in England, with its origins dating back to the times of Bronze and Iron Age Britain.

 Fifteen hundred years or so before the Dunster Castle was built, people were living on the hills above the River Avill, which runs through Dunster from the hills of Exmoor to the Bristol Channel. Round about 350 B.C these peaceful users of Bronze and iron built and occupied circular enclosures on Gallox Hill, within what is now Dunster Dee park. Here they can be clearly seen with ditch and double banked settlement boundaries. The more complete fortification of the two, known as Bats Castle, has been attributed to the Romans, but this is more conjecture than fact. The first Saxons invaded the area around 700 AD and soon settled on the present Dunster site. The first written reference in the Domesday book names the site as Torre, but it was probably called after a Saxon Thane, Dunna, who founded the settlement with its strategically placed hill, with the last Saxon lord being Aluric.

One of Willam Of Normandy’s chief supporters in his conquest of England was William de Mohun, who came from St. Lo, not far from Bayeux in Normandy. After the battle of Hastings in 1066 William de Mohun was granted sixty-nine West Country Manors incuding Dunster. This is where he decided to build the castle which was to become the administrative centre for his castle was the making town of the town. In 1197 it was described as a borough and by 1222 known to have a market. While the De Mohuns were living in the Castle, Dunster thrived as a well-established centre in the cloth and woollen industry, with the first recorded fulling mill noted in 1259.

 In 1376 Dunster Castle came under the ownership of the Lutterall family, who has had French origins, and it stayed in the family for the next 600 years. During much of this period, up until 17th century, sea-going ships used  small harbour at the mouth of the river Avill, but  sadly no sign remains today as the whole river estuary has silted up. Also in existence at this time, and mentioned in the Domesday book, were various corn mills. Two of these, called Newmylle and Nethermylle, were combined in 1620, and is still operating today.

Since you read the never-ending paragraphs, I congratulate you. With a video

Mom and Dad enjoying the sun!
Our day came to a close with a delightful evening out in the pack of cards.

                                            Pack of cards

No! It is not actually a pack of cards that you may be thinking of. In fact, it a wonderful pub situated in the beautiful seaside town of Combe Martin. Constructed to reassemble a deck of cards, it was built on a plot of land measuring 52ft X 52ft. It has four flours (representing the number of suits in a pack). Thirteen doors on every floor and 13 fireplaces (number of cards in a suit) and prior to window tax, the panes of glass in the entire window added up the total of the numbered cards in a pack (52.) We also went to pack of cards for dinner on Thursday evening, and it was very tasty on the expensive side of life but it was worth every penny especially the sweet potatoes chips.

Pack of cards pub!!

More photos

Mom and Dad 
No Mom and Dad wasn't looking at you this time. More admiring the view.

 All good ends well! I am sad that an adventurous holiday as come to a close. No more spectacular views to look at everyday no more random trips out when we go to Tesco’s. All back to normal, or shall I say normal (ish). So watch this space for even more holiday post.


  1. I finally found your blog. Oh my goodness, Rebekah your photos are so spectacular. I love your writing you have put so much effort in researching and make your writing flow like river. Hope you enjoy your other holidays. I will look forward to reading your other post. From Crazy Rachel.

    1. I'm so happy that you found my blog Rachel. Watch the space for more holidays.