Blogs from Devon, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon June 13th 2019

Before we talk about today's tour, a word about the weather. Now I have been looking for the right words to use to describe the weather in the southern part of England and the kindest word I can find is unpleasant. A more apt description would include words like wet, cold, cloudy or deeply overcast or downright miserable. Our weather has been on and off rain, cold and drab. It rains in this part of the world 1 day out of 3, so dealing with rain is a must if you are planning to come here any time of the year. This is my first summer vacation ever where I was happy I brought a jacket. I even spent money on a heavy hooded sweatshirt to accommodate! Oh well, we will persevere. After another fine English ... read more
Local Cab in Polperro
My Namesake

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Exeter June 12th 2019

Today we left London proper and headed off to the Salisbury Plains and the UNESCO site of Stonehenge. Our day began early: 6:15 am a wakeup call, bags out at 6:45 and departure at 7:45. We were up on time and pleased to see the weather was cloudy but dry, with a temperature forecast to be around 55. Another fabulous breakfast of meats, fruits and breads,washed down with coffee and freshly squeezed juices were enjoyed. Feeling well fortified we headed off to the bus for the 2 hour trip to Stonehenge. Unfortunately, we got off to a bit of a late start as one of our traveler's bags got lost on the trip from one hotel to the next. Fortunately for all, they found it. But we lost 20 minutes of travel time. No worries, we ... read more
Proof I was there
Bath Abbey

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Exeter May 1st 2019

This is a story of my maternal ancestors. Prior to visiting Devon the first week of May 2019, I had populated my maternal ancestry family tree back to 1103. According to "The Baronetage of England" in that year, "Galfridus (Latin for Geoffrey) Miles (Knight) had his seat at Northcote, in the parish of East Down in Devonshire (north of Barnstable, Devon), and that John Fritz-Galfrid (Fritz meaning the son of) held divers lands there, and in the hundreds (a subdivision of a shire which had its own court) of Witheridge, North Tauton, Black Torrington, etc. He changed his name to John Northcote. Galfrid de Northcote (John's son) lived in 1188, and held lands in Colstan, in the Witheridge hundred. According to the family history written by my grandfather in 1978, based upon the family tree provided ... read more
Rachel and me at the Devon Heritage Center
Bishops reports of baptisms, marriages, and burials at the Devon Heritage Center
Northcote Manor

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Exeter April 12th 2019

At the beginning of each year I look at my wish list of destinations and then decide, based upon circumstances, where to spend my two or three week vacation time abroad. Linda and I will take separate vacations for the fourth year in a row as one of us has to stay home to take care of our dog Bonnie. Linda will take her three weeks or more to visit family in PA and CT after I get back. On 1 Feb I bought a ticket from Denver to London and return to JFK for $368.43...cheaper than flying R/T from Denver to the East Coast! This year I plan to take my vacation in three parts: starting on 30 April, the day after Linda's birthday, I will fly from Denver to London. Once in England I ... read more
Norman Keep
Wells Cathedral
Kent Countryside on the way to Canterbury

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Dartmoor April 3rd 2019

Only last week, in the days between the revelation of this journey and coming here, I went to a workshop called (translated to English): 'Shit, I'm awake. Now what?!' It was about the awareness of the journey you make, the Hero's Journey. The concept is by Joseph Campbell, but I can not go into detail about it here, because An, who did the workshop, put a lot of effort in it and it would be unrespectfull to give it away here. Anyway, last night at diner, I had an inspiring conversation with Bruce and Draeyke. It was about how I am learning to talk with the Universe and have courage, talk out loud, what I dream about, what I want to do. I talked about travelling with my stories (as I am a Temple Priest of ... read more
Wild horses on the moors.
Very cosy at the lands of Bruce and Draeyke
Nettle, the pet sheep.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Dartmoor January 14th 2019

When you live and work in an area it is not the usual place that you want to blog about but I love where I live, the seasons surely change the way we look at an area and where and how we walk or use the area. The 'go to' dog walk is walking either way from Tor Royal Farm along the Devonport leat either towards Princetown Prison or to Peat Cott the other way - a short 15 or 30 minute walk towards the prison takes us (me and Gem the terrier) out of the 17th century court yard @torroyal turning right towards Bull Park - immediately after crossing the leat bridge if you turn left you can pop through the gate and continue along the leat, now, we are lucky and have both otters ... read more
Footpath sign at Batchlours Hall
Devonport leat (towards the Prison)

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Tavistock September 26th 2018

We could have used another hour of sleep last night, but nonetheless, we were up and ready for breakfast at 7:00 with AIS (ass in seat!!) at 8:00. Perfect morning! We drove back through Bodmin Moor heading towards Cornwall and an immersion into the smuggling and tin mining culture of years past. We passed lots of fields with root vegetables, lots of fields with lots of sheep, lots of wind turbines, and lots of solar panels. Cornwall claims to be most eco friendly county in England. Another note of interest...Cornwall grows LOTS of daffodils and there is a lot of research going in to a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment. Amazing! Cornwall produced 91% of the workd’s tin supply in the 1990’s. We made a good stop in Marizon, a Medieval town. While there ... read more
Funky road sign
Cornish Creme Tea
Done the Cornish way

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Tavistock September 25th 2018

This was another long but good day. We were in our coach at 8:30 heading through the English county of Devon to the county of Cornwall. Devon is amazingly beautiful. We did end up seeing some of the rock fences outlining fields that we were so familiar with in Ireland. The weather was perfect—fairly cool—in the mid to upper 50’s—with clear blue skies and a few puffy clouds. It was a good thing that the weather was so nice since all of our activities were mostly outside. Our first stop was at the Jamaica Inn of Daphine Du Mourier fame—writer of the famous book, Rebecca—which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. The Jamaica Inn was in the book. I may have to re-read it. It is also in the area where the PBS series, ... read more
Jamaica Inn
John in stocks at Jamaica Inn
Pat and John at Jamaica Inn

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Tavistock September 24th 2018

Folks, this is going to be a short one tonight! It is 9:00, we just got back from a wonderful meal, and we have to meet the group at 7:30 in the morning when we will have breakfast before starting on a LONG day of touring. Touring is NOT for sissies for sure! We have had a wonderful day. As the title indicates, I clicked two big items off of my bucket list today. They included seeing Stonehenge, which I wrote my high school term paper on way back ___ (fill in the blanks!) years ago, and seeing the Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral was another long held wish. Imagine doing both in the same day! I could write paragraphs about both, but I am tired and ready to hit the hay, so you are just ... read more
Pat and John at Stonehenge

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Dartmoor August 4th 2018

There are many great Dartmoor pubs. The Tavistock at Poundsgate is one of my favourites. It is in "the middle of nowhere" with hardly a house in sight, but has great atmosphere and the parking lot across the road is often full with people coming from near and far. It has its roots from the 14th century and you feel little has changed over the years. The thick stone walls and the low, beamed roof certainly would have some stories to tell if they could speak. Today Dartmoor feels remote and sparsely populated, but a few hundred years ago there was a large tin-mining industry on the moor and the tin was transported on horseback down the steep hills towards the coast. The Tavistock probably has its name from being half way between Tavistock and ... read more

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