It was the first weekend in August when we went to Paignton on the south of England to visit my sister Marťa. We did some shopping for the journey and set off at 9:30. The estimated journey time was 3,5 hours, according to the GPS. Till Birmingham the journey was pleasant, but then it started… From 115 kmph we had to slow down to 40. We thought that it is because we are close to a big city and there is often congestion on motorways near them. Naaah! The car was crawling at the amazing speed of a snail (maybe 40 kmph), stopping and then crawling again all the time we were on a motorway. To entertain ourselves we were comparing our position to other cars and trying to figure out which lane is fastest. Of course, in situations like this you can´t win. Once we changed the lane, it slowed down and we saw the cars from the lane we left overtaking us. At one moment the traffic stopped completely – it was when a great storm with hails came. Long story short, finally we really arrived to Paignton. We parked the car approximately at four, which means that the journey took nearly 6,5 hours! The weekend before it took less time to drive from the Croatia´s Krk island all the way to nearly Budapest!
After a short rest we went for a meal. In the restaurant that we picked they told us that we will have to wait for the food for 40 minutes, so I only had a beer, because we wouldn´t manage to pick Martinka up on time. We went for dinner together and then we were walking along the coast and pier.
We had plenty of plans for Sunday. First we went to a beautiful village called Cockington. There were pretty white houses with thatched roofs and blooming gardens. However, there was nothing more and we had quite a lot in front of us, so we just walked around, took pictures, hopped in the car and drove off to our next destination.
That was Dartmouth, a beautiful town torn in two parts by something that most resembled a fjord (in fact the river Dart enters the sea here). Dartmouth is, as is basically the whole south coast, so different from Midlands where we came from! The sea and sunny weather surely played a big part in this impression, but also for example the architecture was different. Houses were built on a hill over each other, many of them were white, some colourful. The whole town looked wery light, summery and not-English as compared to many English cities full of those uniform red-brick houses.
First we crossed the water on a ferry to the western part of Dartmouth and went for a walk. We stopped at a very nice café (link), where we found some travel magazines about Devon (this part of Englang). Since we decided to postpone out departure til the evening, so that we avoid hnuli possible traffic jams, we had still plenty of time. We fancied Lydford, that was an hour far by car. We got up to walk around the rest of this part of the town and we went to the eastern part by a ferry again. We walked aroud for a while and then set off to above mentioned Lydford.
We parked at the local infocentre outside Lydford, grabbed a map and picked one of the suggested routes via the Lydford Gorge. The trail went though a forest and only this simple fact made us happy. For us, living in Midlands, where there are mostly pastures, is a trip to a forest a great thing in itself. Well, the first half wasn´t anything special. Only when we got to a point where the trail went downhill it started to be really interesting. We saw a waterfall, not a huge one, but it was quite high. Then we continued along the river and there was still something to see. Maybe we had this feeling because we had to look carefully where we are stepping due to the fact that the trail now often consisted of narrow wet stones just next to the brook. The trail ended at the Lydford Gorge, where fast-flowing water eroded the rock, creating a narrow canyon. We left Lydford with several kilometres in our legs and satisfied.
Back in Paignton we went to eat out, said goodbye to Martinka and crossed our fingers for the journey back. Fortunately we didn´t get stuck anywhere and it took only about a half of the time of the journey there. So happy end!