Attached to Venn Farm is an area of woodland with a stream running through it. A colony of beavers have made this their home. We didn’t see any actual beavers but the signs are everywhere – from the dams along the stream to the knawed tree-trunks.
Despite this part of Devon / Cornwall being very rural, the overriding theme of “difficult” hospitality purveys. At the third attempt to find somewhere for dinner, we managed to secure a table at the Village Inn at Ashwater.
A traditional country pub – certainly no bells and whistles – but the food was ample and seemingly home-cooked. They had “Jail Ale” on draft which is definitely one of my favourites.
Thursday we headed a short distance to Roadwater Lake. Don’t be put off by the term Lake, as this is most definitely a man-made reservoir. There are all kinds of water based activities here along with some nice walks and a cafe. We had lunch at the cafe, which we considered a bit pricy at £16.50 for two sandwiches, crisps and two tins of fizz.
It was a sunny day and evening allowing for the first BBQ of this trip at our personal pitch picnic table.
Friday we headed into Cornwall to the National Trust property at Lanhydrock. A magnificent late Victorian country house with gardens and wooded estate.
We explored the formal gardens and part of the 1000 acre estate and woodlands. We finished up on the banks of the very peaceful River Fowey. This National Trust property is a real gem and if it had been a bit quieter, I think we may even have ventured indoors for a look around the house.
Having learnt our hospitality lesson, we had already booked a table at the Arscott Arms at Campmans Well near Launceston. This turned out to be quite a find. The pub / restaurant had a really nice feel to it and the food was excellent.
The starter we shared was a mixed smoked fish platter served with sourdough toast. It was fantastic.
We’ve been to restaurants where you can choose your own Lobster from a tank but never before been to a pub where there are sheep wandering around the beer garden. We wonder perhaps if there is a similar “fresh and local” concept at play here!
We are staying at Bay View Farm campsite at Croyde for seven nights. We should have been at Bay View Farmers campsite a few miles away near to Woolcombe, but we think the mistake has turned out for the best.
We are just a few minutes walk from the village of Croyde and about 5 to 10 minutes from the beach. The campsite is fine – it’s very busy and like everywhere else this year, it is a complete sell-out. With periods of inclement weather the grassy pitches are becoming a little muddy. The toilet and shower facilities are kept pristinely clean.
Another theme of this year is the lack of hospitality. Given all the usual campsites are at bursting point and there are numerous pop-up sites, you’d expect the pubs and restaurants to be booming. Quite the contrary – indeed last night only one of the Croyde pubs was open and then, only serving drinks. The queue for Stonebaked pizzas from the van on the beach was over an hour…
There aren’t many National Trust places near to Croyde. There’s a car park providing free parking for members and a Tea Room in Croyde. A short drive away is the National Trust property at Arlington – Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum.
We didn’t arrive until mid-afternoon and last entry to the House and Carriage Museum is at 3:30pm. We weren’t much interested in these but we had a quick look around the carriage museum and then spent time in the gardens.
I’m not a fan of the latest craze of “re-wilding”. I think it’s untidy and somewhat inappropriate for our parks, green spaces and formal gardens. Is it really best for our wildlife or just the latest cost-cutting exercise.
There is a nice walk from the campsite which circles all around Croyde bay, which is a busy place for surfers.
On Sunday, Sue travelled down from Taunton and spent a few days with Moe in the Caravan.
Moe and Sue walked to Baggy point and then further north along the coastal footpath prior to returning via the National Trust tearooms on the outskirts of Croyde.
Another day they walked South on the coastal path to Saunton beach and then over the hills to the rear of Bay View farm campsite.
It turns out they gained more steps looking for somewhere to eat for dinner than the actual walk. And were un-successful!
Farmers; noun, plural – a person who owns or manages a farm
Farm; noun – an area of land and its buildings, used for growing crops and rearing animals.
And why, you ask is this important. The dictionary definitions themselves are remarkably un-important but when they are strung together with other words they become remarkably relevant.
The two images below are of two campsites. Bay View Farmers campsite, is a touring site a couple of miles from Woolacombe beach and located on the Tarka cycle trail.
Bay View Farm campsite is in the centre of Croyde, a 10 minute walk from the beach.
Both sites have much in common, a small spelling difference of just two letters and neither site appears to have outstanding views of their relevant bay, despite their names. In fact, the two letters are actually 15 miles apart down some horribly narrow Devon country lanes.
We are actually staying at Bay View Farm site in Croyde, which was a surprise because we planned on staying at Bay View Farmers campsite near Woolacombe. We planned all our trips around this site – the only problem being Joe seems to have loaded the wrong booking system…
So, here we are in Croyde at a very busy campsite just opposite Croyde beach. The journey was uneventful once we figured out that our final destination was Bay View Farm at Croyde, not Bay View Farmers at Woolacombe and definitely not Bay View Farm at Looe.
Damn this is confusing.
Views of and from our pitch at Bay View Farm.
And Croyde beach in the distance (not a view from pitch D4!).