Monday 22 May 2017

With the football season over we can take a holiday without missing a match – so this is an inexpensive Monday to Friday break.

We are taking another cheap(ish) and this time short holiday.  It is Monday to Friday courtesy of the Daily Mail special offer which including a few extras has cost about £80 for a caravan at Challaborough which is on the coast on the western side of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, west of Kingsbridge and south of Ivybridge.

Unfortunately we are badly held up on the M3 due to an accident near Basingstoke.  Heading west means the dear old A303 and it is a bright sunny morning which is a great start to any holiday but as we were held up we have to move along at the speed limit.  As it is on the way to our eventual destination I have planned a trip on what is now known as the South Devon Railway but when I first visited the line in the late sixties it was known as the Dart Valley Railway.  When we do arrive Jackie is unimpressed by the catering offering as she gets some sandwiches for us to eat during our rail journey.

The railway looks nothing like that early visit or even a subsequent trip in the early nineties.  On that first trip it was possible to walk around the out of use stock and nothing was undercover.  Like other preserved railways, it can no longer pretend to be a quiet bucolic branch line as patronage is now, even on a sunny but non-holiday Monday, vastly greater than the passenger numbers pre-closure.

The trains now run to Totnes Riverside and here the changes are even more dramatic; flower beds on the platform and sign posts to attractions as well as clear routes to the mainline railway; I don’t think we even went that far on the first visit.  Working of the branch line into Totnes itself proved too costly and the railway retrenched to their own station.  My photos of the railway are here.

With the return train trip completed we motor on from Buckfastleigh, more south than west to our destination at Challaborough Bay Holiday Park.  This is at the end of some narrow roads so we get quite close to the hedges and with traffic coming the other way keep needing to find reverse gear.  And of course sometimes it is walls and not hedges so even more care is needed, especially with a couple of blind corners!

In the evening we dine at the Oyster Shack.  Finding it requires travelling along some very narrow roads, one of which is called Tidal Road alongside the edge of River Avon – and there is water across the road at various points.

I started with some breaded whitebait and here is my main course of crab linguine with spring vegetables which was very nice.

Jackie wanted hake but there was none available.  In its place she had yummy cod:

And to ensure we knew we were at the seaside here is the ice bucket:

Photos come once again from Jackie’s camera.

We find a slightly different route back with a few less back roads!