Monday 3 May 2010
Our trip to Dartmouth in Devon was a lovely surprise. We came to see the castle that a friend had recommended to us. I had not expected Darmouth to be so beautiful, and it was a lovely surprise. The farmland on the surrounding hills, the sea, and the tree lined streets, and emerging modern houses, combined together made me feel instantly at home. Here are some photos from our trip. This is somewhere I definitely want to return to before too long.
We had driven down from Torquay, so to get across to Dartmouth we queued up to board the chain ferry. Having arrived in Dartmouth, we made our way up the steep hill and approached what appeared to be a small forest. It all seemed very mysterious, and the parking was even more of a mystery. We came across a fork in the road, and a sign that indicated the castle was down to the left together with limited parking. That same sign also indicated that parking was up the hill to the right. We did not like the sound of limited parking, so we turned right in the hope we would have more chances here of finding a park. As we drove along the side of the hill, we saw cars parked along the side of the road. Well, this was interesting, to discover the car park was not the usual square space you find, but simply the side of the road. Well, that was certainly better than nothing. Having now found a spot to park, we started down the hill back to the fork, so that we could walk down to the castle. We walked for some time, past residential houses, and then began to wonder whether we had taken the wrong turn. In time we saw a church, and then wondered whether the castle was actually the church? However the castle was just beyond the church, and it was partially hidden from sight because it was built into the side of the cliff and actually more visible from the sea than it was for us standing on the roadside.
The National Trust operate the Dartmouth Castle, and we bought some entrance tickets from the gift store before heading down the dark steps into the castle. I have a little phobia about heights and small spaces too, and so it was a little traumatic for me when I was inside the castle, going up the steep stairs, coming back down again, and crawling ito little spaces. I was relieved actually when we had finished our tour, he he. It was very interesting though, and I would think it would be quite the adventure for the children.
After we had gone through the castle we came outside and found ourself in the grounds of the church.
The Church of St Petrox
From there we went down to the sea, and caught a cute little boat back over to the town. The advert for the boat was ‘Castle Ferry’ even though it was not much bigger than a little row boat. It was comfortable though, if not a little rocky. The sign for the boat advertised this in different languages, and my husband pointed out to me that the Italian version was misspelt, and instead of advertising a boat to the castle, it had in fact written a boat to the bucket! That was hilarious and made us all laugh 😉
Yes, in case you are wondering, we had not forgotten about our car. But we decided to go into town to take a look around and get something to eat, and the idea was that we would take the ferry back to the car before continuing onto the beach at Blackpool Sands and Stoke Fleming. After finding a gorgeous little tea room, we all indulged a little too much. Three of us had devonshire tea, plus extras, and my husband had some stew. I think I may have had a little too much cream because I was left feeling a little sick in my stomach. I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, and so we decided to get some exercise and walked back to the car. It was a steep walk back up the hill so I struggled with this, and there were no seats along the way to rest. However I managed to find some opportunities to stop and rest as I found excuses to take photos on my cellphone.