Thursday, 26 April 2012

Walking in Lynton

Sus and I decided we would go off in the Pickwell motorhome 'Henrietta' and explore some of the beautiful coastline of North Devon and Somerset, walking for a couple of days. As the parents-in-law had our children, we couldn't pass up the chance for a mini-break of our own.

First stop was Lynton and a walk out to the Valley of the Rocks.
We stayed overnight parked up next to the River Lyn at Sunny Lyn campsite, which was a beautiful place to stay, in the valley less than half a mile from Lynton.
Once we had parked up the van and hooked up the electricity - essential when camping out in April to get the heater working - we headed off on a long walk in the afternoon sunshine.
Our walk took us along a sweet little track called Lynway which runs along the side of the valley parallel to the river. We passed some beautiful houses and gardens, picking up some ideas for the doors at Pickwell, as we went.
There was a fantastic view as we went along Lynway,
and some great viewing spots to stop and take it in.
When we arrived in Lynton we started to recognise a few sites we'd seen before when we've visited with the children. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway ferries people from Lynton at the top of the hill to Lynmouth down below. Our walk out on the path to the Valley of the Rocks passed over the railway on a small bridge.
The path then took us past some lovely looking hotels and guest houses with stunning views across the valley and the Bristol Channel.
One which we really liked the look of was Hewitts Villa Spaldi (only because we have good friends with the same name, could be awful inside?!).
The walk then became a lot more remote, although the footpath is excellent and very smooth,
it has some sections where there are steep slopes falling to the sea and dramatic rocks both above and below.
When we reached Castle Rock, which is at the end of the Valley of the Rocks,
we decided to stop for a cup of tea at Mother Meldrum's cafe. The place was adorned with witch paraphernalia (see the black thing hanging from the tree on top left of pic) which started to slightly unnerve us (the only people there and otherwise completely deserted) as we sipped on our coffee!
There are many footpaths you can take in this area but Sus and I decided to loop back past the cricket pitch and then climb over one of the hills before dropping back down through a wooded area to Lynton.
The view from the top of the hill was truly stunning.
Lynton is a very pretty town and retains an old English charm,
we loved the colours of some of the buildings.
The cinema looked like it was in a converted church building, with windows like ours at home, full of character.
Finally we stopped to pick up some fish and chips before heading back to 'Henrietta' for a nice chilled evening.

On to Porlock next...

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Easter 'Eggstravaganza'

Easter Saturday was our third 'Easter Eggstravaganza' at Pickwell. We had a completely wonderful time and together raised £1010 for Georgeham school and George Palmer. George is lovely 4 year old from Braunton who has Cerebral Palsy. His parents are trying to raise £55,000 for an operation in America to enable George to walk.
Take a look at the website 'George's first steps' to find out more.
So many people and local businesses were really generous with the raffle prizes. A particular thank you to 'The Rock Inn' and the 'King's Arms' for their dinner for 2 donations. Lucky winners!
The Maskell families tirelessly served the extremely popular tea and home made cakes.
The sun shone (amazingly despite the forecast) and it was completely delightful sitting on the terrace chatting.
The Italian Garden was full of stalls. Zac and his friend have spent the last couple of weeks making lovely things and clearing out their rooms of unwanted items to sell. They did rather well I hear.
I regretted giving Millie-grace her own purse as I think she spent all her money on the sweet stall.
Easter Art and craft was a winner. There were many delighted children running around the garden with  a fluffy sheep or butterfly on a string.
To help the children run off the energy they gained from the sweet stall we have devised an Easter egg hunt around the garden. A bit like orienteering they take a map and find their way to 8 stations marked with giant eggs around the garden and punch their card.
If they manage to find all 8 stations they win a chocolate egg.
It was also a wonderful opportunity for the adults accompanying the children to enjoy the bluebell woods. They really are magical at this time of year, the smells and sight of the daffodils, blossom, bluebells and primroses are heavenly.
Angela was on the plant and homemade produce stall. Nice blooms!
Oh yes and then there was the face painting....grrrrr!
There is so much creative talent amongst the local parents. These are some of Julie's driftwood trees from her stall of handmade driftwood delights. Kerry also had her handmade glass beads on sale. She has now started doing bead making lessons, I have to say I am tempted to have a go.
Richard, Nigel and I making a fool of ourselves on the human fruit machine. Nigel seems to be having a little trouble getting the fruit out of his bag.
The girls really enjoyed giving it a go and......
Paul really enjoyed wearing the hat...'woof!'
The Easter hat parade was too cute!
Adele compared the day wonderfully making each participant feel really special.
Then there was baby bunny cuddling. We have had yet another 'accidental' litter of baby bunnies! They were very much enjoyed by all the cuddlers.
Even the adult cuddlers. Nice Easter hats girls!
The croquet was popular, but nothing in comparison to the......
'EGGLYMPICS'. This kicked off with the children's races and then the raw egg throwing competition. Needless to say it got quite messy!
Then onto the cut throat 'mum's egg and spoon' race. And they are off!
Angela looked like she was clearly in the lead but in the last step dropped the egg leaving Mrs Baker the victorious winner. We won't hear the last of that!! Thank you everyone who worked so hard to make this fabulous day the huge success that it was. What a fantastic community we have!