The big getaway April 01, 2016 17:36
Along with around 24 million* other people, we attempted to ‘go west’ on Good Friday and head down to Devon for a week to get away from it all. Clearly we were not alone. The estimated time of arrival kept extending, tantalisingly out of reach on the sat nav. And every time ‘Stella’ our satnav lady confirmed that a shorter route was available, we ‘banked it’, with the same kind of hopeful enthusiasm of a couple of clueless contestants on a quiz show. Maybe this time? Er no. Think again. Red lights everywhere.
The big getaway finally happened a long way down the M5, when all of a sudden the traffic disappeared and the countryside opened up. After seven long hours, we turned up at our lovely holiday home for the week - Widmouth Farm Cottages. And what a treat. Whitewashed cottages full of cousins, aunties and uncles for this was a ‘tribal tour’. Sixteen of us. Included in the grounds is a private pebble beach which we enjoyed, come hell or high water (as it happens, often both) until nightfall. Alpacas, sheep and hens to feed every morning. Beautiful coastal walks, easter egg hunts and plenty of mud to keep the boys happy for hours. Lovely stuff.
Nearby Helle and Ilfracombe are perfect - no overt gentrification here. It was like being a kid again. Arcades, ‘ice cream parlours’ and the most amazing RNLI shop, with original fixtures and fittings dating back to 1900, when it was a chemist. But it is the breathtaking views across rugged coastline that is the real showstopper in this part of Devon. Think gorse bushes in full flower, full on gale force winds and bright red, rosy cheeks (facial, obvs. Well, in the main). I loved it.
We can’t recommend Widmouth Farm Cottages enough - beautiful cream tea on arrival, lovely hosts and the perfect location. It really is a magical place.
*Estimation based purely on frustration. No rationale statisticians involved.