Friday, 13 July 2012

Devon and Cornwall - Day 1 & 2

We started the drive to Devon with a detour off the M25 which took us past Worpolsden for the first time in just over 25 years. We can be that precise as Worpolsden Place is where we held our Wedding Reception. It is now a Premier Inn and Beef Eater - don’t think that would have been deemed suitable 25 years ago!

Back on the M3, onto the A303 and we were getting hungry. There are always a few sign advertising pubs which have lost trade when the A303 was upgraded. We found the White Horse Inn which is situated in between Thruxton and East Cholderton. This is a 15th Century Grade II listed building so close to the A303 you can almost touch the road!

After lunch we carried on south west arriving at Teignmouth in the late afternoon (to sunshine!). We were actually staying over the river in Shaldon, a small village on the south side of the River Teign. The picture below is looking back towards Teignmouth from The Ness at Shaldon (This is the beginning of the red cliff coast line which runs south to Torbay and further to Berry Head).

In the evening we walked over the bridge and back to Teignmouth for fish and chips by the Pier. Before the opening of the bridge, travellers had the choice of making a crossing by the foot ferry or, if they had horses or a vehicle, of making a detour of some 12 to 14 miles, going down-river to the outskirts of Newton Abbot then turning back and returning on the opposite bank. The first bridge was opened in 1827. The current bridge dates from 1931 (See for more)

View from the bridge to the mouth of the estuary – the Ness is on the right of the picture.

Teignmouth Pier; built in 1865, 700 foot long (about 210m) supported on cast iron screw piles, and judging by the freshly painted dates, it has been recently tidied up.

Cormorant looking for its supper (picture taken from the bridge on the way back to Shaldon).

Shaldon from the bridge. The church is of St. Peter the Apostle. The architect was Edmund Sedding (nephew to JD Sedding, architect of Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, London.). It was built 1893-1902 of mostly red sandstone with Cornish polyphant quoins, strings of Portland stone and polyphant to the clerestorey in a style described in its Grade 1 listing as ‘Arts and Crafts Free Gothic’. A planned tower at the north end was never built. The inside is described as ‘spectacular’ in the arts and Crafty style but I was unable to see it. (For more see and 

Monday morning at Potters Mooring in Shaldon (B&B where we stayed). Masie extracting herself from the rather small car park (no I didn't try to reverse her out).

We went up the coast a little to Dawlish. Picture shows the railway viaduct. The track runs along the coast from Dawlish down to Teignmouth before it travels inland along the Teign estuary.

View of Dawlish from the stone jetty.

I was sttod at the end of the jetty to take the photo above

Jetty in the foreground, railway in the distance. The railway was designed and built by the great engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who intended to reduce costs by using the sea-front as a relatively easy, and a scenically attractive, route. It was opened in 1846 initially as a broad gauge and operated by an "atmospheric" (vacuum pipe) system without locomotives. Later it was changed to steam engines and, eventually, standard gauge.

Dawlish is also famous for its black swans.

The black swan is native to Australia but they were introduced to the town from New Zealand by John Nash, a Dawlish-borne man who emigrated during adulthood but paid frequent visits to the town. The swan has been the town emblem for over forty years.

A slice of cherry pie in Dawlish - as eaten by trainee nurses from RD&E Hospital in the early 1980's.

After a very wet afternoon, the rain finally stopped by the evening and we were able to eat (and drink the first of several pints of Tribute) in the pub next to our B&B.

We then went for a wander and looked back over the estuary to Teignmouth.

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