So here we are 12 weeks into our escape and about to the leave the UK. We’re all sad to be leaving and could have stayed a lot longer! We loved the Cornish coastline (having great weather helped!), we connected with an SHL colleague and met some wonderful people on our travels.
In Dartmoor the girls loved seeing the wild ponies. They would even come up around the hostel building. While driving through the National Park there are ponies, cows and sheep all wandering over the road. We went to a miniature pony farm park, and while seeing the new foals including a week old donkey was great, it was a bit of a let down. We followed that with a fascinating visit to the Finch Foundry (which is actually a forge rather that a foundry). In their peak they were producing 400 edge tools a day. They still having the watermill working and demonstrated the hammering process and steel guillotine.
At Lydford we walked into the gorge and went to the Devils Couldron, walking to the viewing pathform along some slippery, unrailed steps, and to the White Lady Waterfall.
We enjoyed staying in Beer, another historic fishing village. The YHA here was a great old house and the girls loved playing huts between the hedging with an English girl and Australian boys of similar ages. Beer is on the Jurassic Coast and at a beach further along you can hunt for fossils. Even though this time of year is not the best, we gave it a go (in drizzly rain), and while we didn’t find anything the girls (and Grant) enjoyed bashing rocks open! We also enjoyed going to the House of Marbles where they had a small museum on the history of marbles and board games, we could watch glass ornaments being made and some amazing marble runs. We also went to the Donkey Sanctuary, a charity dedicated to providing homes for donkeys and now running in a number of countries.
On our way to Truleigh Hill, hear Brighton, we visited Hardy Cottage, the birthplace of the British author and poet, Thomas Hardy. Most of the historic houses we have been to have belonged to royalty or aristocratic families, so it was interesting to have an insight into the life of a working class family in the 18th and 19th centuries. At Truleigh Hill we met an English/German family who we got on so well with that we had dinner at their house in London on our last night. The kids are going to be pen pals.
We had a flying visit through Brighton, enjoyed the vibe while wandering through the Lanes, including seeing the famous choccywoccydoodah chocolate shop where they make the most amazing chocolate scluptures and cakes, and then onto the Pier, where Loralei and Holly had some rides on the amusements.
Our last day was spent having a wonderful catch up with Chris, my manager from SHL NZ days. Little did we know back then we’d have children at similar ages who would meet each other and have a great time! We also went to put new friends for dinner. They weather was perfect for enjoying BBQ in their gardens and a perfect way to round off our stay.
We’ve loved the unique locations we stayed in covering moors, the coast and woodlands. We’ll be back again one day!