After getting married on the Saturday, we hung around to tidy up the garden at the in-laws (its official now!) which only took until lunchtime, then packed up the car and headed off on the first leg of the honeymoon.
We had taken two weeks off work and were spending a night at the Riverside Inn at Cound in Shropshire, then four nights at the Featherdown Farm at Bala in North Wales, then home for the weekend in Somerset, and then off for five nights camping at Combe View Farm near Branscombe.
The Riverside Inn was a fabulous start. I absolutely recommend this as a place to stay. At a gorgeous spot on the river Severn, the room was huge with a fab view, good pub food and very affordable.
We then went on to the Featherdown Farm. I had only heard good reviews of these holidays and we were looking forward to it very much. The idea was that we had a few days of luxury camping before our longer spell of proper camping towards the end of our break.
Like a lot of you, I feel that the blog is the place for positivity, but I can't hide that we had a very difficult time on this first bit of the trip. Most of this was nothing to do with where we were staying, and the rest was down to our error in thinking that this was the right holiday for us at this time - a suitability issue. I will explain.
We were exhausted from the wedding and the run up to the event, and really needed to be able to relax and unwind. We are big campers and I find that being outside and focusing on the moment to moment tasks of cooking and homemaking that camping necessitates makes me very calm and happy. Somehow the Featherdown Farm experience did not do this for me though. I felt in many ways that it took away from the camping experience.
What I realised about camping is that although I appreciate that things are a little more basic, I do like to have a cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich first thing, whilst watching the rest of the campsite waking up... saying hello to those that pass on their way to the water tap, or to shower. Also, after a meal there is a great pleasure to be had in trundling off to the washing up station to clean up, again perhaps passing the time of day with polite conversation with your fellow campers.
I hadn't anticipated that Featherdown would be devoid of these small pleasures. The self contained nature of the tents means that you do not have any need to walk about the site, and the wood burning stove really does take a good two hours in the morning to get enough heat to boil the kettle and fry some bacon.
It didn't help that it was very windy in the nights and the tent was flapping quite noisily which meant for a disturbed little boy and therefore some very crabby tired parents in the morning!
I think that maybe it just wasn't for us. And in hindsight we probably should have gone home to relax a bit and regroup before trying to start the honeymoon.
The location was jaw-drop gorgeous though, couldn't fault it for that.
And we had some real fun on the steam train that ran along the lake at the bottom of the hill.
Look! I got some wear out of my Baktus Scarf, and bath time was fun too...
After, a few days at home (don't you love coming home after being away!). We repacked the car to the gills and headed down to the South coast of Devon.
Five absolutely baking days on the coast at Branscombe, in our tent was glorious.
We also spent a lot of time at Beer. A place we had not been before, but that is sure to become a family favourite. Highly recommended for a day trip or a week away. A glorious pebble cove with self hire motor boats and a cafe on the beach. Fishermen bringing in their catch and a shed to buy the seafood from . The town is well stocked with good pubs and tea shops and is a real picture.
This is Beer beach on a day when the sea was eerily glassy and smooth. Like a lake and there was no waves at all... not a sound. Very strange!
Thanks for listening, and the next blog will be crafty, I promise!