We’ve been on our holibobs!
Of course, holibob planning for us now is a little more tricky than it used to be. There is a Grenson in the family that we have to think about. With this in mind we put away the brochures for Thailand and Mexico and replaced them with ones for Devon and Dorset. Who needs tom yum or tacos when you have cream teas instead?
So we packed the car and set off on our little family road trip.
First stop wasn’t actually Devon or Dorset I’m afraid (it’s a long journey!). We decided to stop off along the way at White Horse Hill in Uffington. On the face of it this stop was to give Grenson a leg stretching opportunity and to see the bronze age white horse, but in reality it had a lot to do with us trying to use as many National Trust car parks for free as possible, having recently become members (got to get your money’s worth).
Whether you’re a member of the NT or not this place is well worth a visit. There are plenty of great dog walking tracks and the white horse is indeed impressive, but it would be worth coming here simply for the view.
No wonder they put their horse up here, it must have been a giant sign seen all around the land…maybe it was a bronze age Hollywood sign?
Leaving this brilliant theory hanging in the air, we loaded our wagon and set off again, heading for our final destination for day 1 – Clovelly in North Devon.
We chose Clovelly because… well it’s just so c-lovely (n.b. that has to be said in a broad midlands accent for the joke to truly work).
Our accommodation was at the Red Lion, which is a quaint old 18th Century fisherman’s beer house at the bottom of town and overlooking the harbour. The town itself is like a time capsule. No cars are allowed, instead wooden sleds pulled by people (and sometimes donkeys) are used for deliveries. Within the Red Lion there are pictures of the townsfolk at the turn of the 19th Century…it looks exactly the same. Amazing.
I always find it a worry when staying at hotels with a pet that you end up with their worst rooms. This definitely did not seem the case here. Our little room had a prime view out over the harbour. Grenson loved it!
There were two downside to staying here, however. The first was the fact that we could only go in the bar with Grenson and not the restaurant. That is usually fair enough (not everyone loves dogs after all…hard to understand but true), but unfortunately this also meant that we weren’t allowed the delicious restaurant menu full of the freshest fish you’re likely to find. Instead we had to make do with the bar menu which was basically your standard burger/scampi fare. Still, I made the most of it with a very pleasing surf and turf. It also meant we had to tag team for breakfast, which was only served in the restaurant, although it was delicious (and I smuggled a sausage back to the room for Grenson).
I also enjoyed earwigging on some of the chat from the locals at the bar, and getting a close up look at the amazing old black and white pictures of the village that I mentioned earlier.
I’m pretty sure this fella was sitting behind me whilst I supped my ale!
The second downside to staying here is the fact that it is at the bottom of the hill. This meant that the following morning we needed to drive up a perpendicular track to leave. I’m not fond of small track roads at the best of times, but when they are winding their way up a cliff face I like them even less. Luckily Hannah (wife, en brogue) came up with the idea of following a local taxi driver who was just about to leave. Thank God we did. All was going fine until a large lorry came out of a building site half way up the hill. Then a van came down the other way and we hit gridlock. Much precarious clutch control, dodgy reversing, and the lorry managing to hit a wall followed. Finally the taxi driver took control and instructed me to follow him as we did a bit of off road to get around the truck and van and leave them to their stand off.
It was a very stressful start to day two.
God bless that taxi driver wherever you are!
……to be continued.
The Man and the Dog.