Friday, 23 August 2019

A Seaside Stay in Croyde

At the start of August some friends from London invited us to stay with them in Devon for the weekend at an Airbnb they'd rented.  I know - Devon again!  It was my third trip this year.  It was a different area of Devon again though, this time the North Devon coast.  Our base was the beautiful bay of Croyde.  Our journey was slow thanks to Friday motorway traffic, but nothing compared to what our London friends had to endure, it took them the best part of 8 hours, and they have a 4 month old baby and a dog...  Still, this is the beautiful sight that greeted us all when we eventually arrived.

The rental was perched halfway up the hillside, affording the most spectacular view.  Here's a sneak peek inside the property.  Very modern, very nice!

Our lodge from further up the hill

We had an evening of relaxing and eating, and a good catch-up with our friends.  Early next morning (I'm an early bird!) this was the beautiful sky.  Croyde itself is lovely, there's a wide bay backed with dunes, with the small town beyond that.  I had a wander into the town with our friends while Chris caught up on some sleep (he's a night owl!).  It's a small place but very bustling in tourist season.  We were lucky to have a warm and sunny day

The next day, Chris and I were up and out early on a mission to find a car boot sale.  This was unfortunate for our neighbours, who had blocked our car in with about 4 of theirs (they had exceeded their allocated parking spaces drastically...) and I was forced to wake up their whole (hungover by the looks of it) household at 7am to ask them to move.  This was after they'd done the same thing to us the day before and I'd specifically asked them not to block us in again...  Oh the rage!!  It didn't help that one of the drivers couldn't reverse (!)  We were finally on our way after Chris did an Austin-Powers worthy 50 point turn in his Nissan Micra with no power steering.

We were unlucky in finding a car boot, but we did stop at Woolacombe on the way up the coast, and then visited the pretty harbour town of Ilfracombe.

 Woolacombe (above and below)

 Below: Ilfracombe

There are a couple of odd things in the otherwise picturesque Ilfracombe.  Firstly, there is a weird double tower thing that turned out to be the Landmark Theatre, and nick-named locally as 'Madonna's Bra'.  It looks like it could be a remnant of brutalist architecture from the '60s or '70s, but in fact was only built in 1998.

The other thing that stands out is 'Verity', a 66 foot tall bronze of a sword-wielding, partially dissected, pregnant woman by Damien Hirst that stands guard at the end of the harbour.  It has been divisive of opinion, to say the least.  I personally really liked it, to me it seemed much more 'real' than those earth-mother flowers-in-hair depictions of pregnancy.  You can interpret it however you wish, but I saw it as symbolic of inequalities in healthcare (that mainly affect women, globally) and the ongoing fight for women's rights - something very topical at the moment with all of the right-wing nonsense going on in first world countries.

By the time we got back to our accommodation (to find a clear parking area, what joy!) our friends were ready to have an outing with their dog and baby, so we went to the National Trust site Baggy Point.  This was the opposite end of Croyde bay to where we were staying, and there's a cliffside path that leads you to the rocky promontory.  It said it was 'access friendly', including wheelchairs, so my friends took their baby in the pram.  It was indeed flat, but it was a bit hairy in places, there's quite a drop from the path into the sea!

We were all ready for a pub lunch after our walk, so headed into Croyde to 'The Thatch'.  It was decent enough, but prices were more London than Devon.

We had a quiet Sunday evening then with a game of Scrabble, getting ready to leave the next morning.  It was a lovely break, I think the good weather really helped.

What a contrast to the weather in the following weekends!  We've had torrential rain and gale force winds.  One of our neighbour's tall skinny trees snapped in half and flopped into our garden, we have some blocked guttering that's giving a lovely fountain effect every time it rains in front of our lounge window, and we're keeping an eye on a small damp patch that appeared on our bedroom ceiling...  Oh dear, lots to sort out before Autumn properly arrives!  We just didn't expect such bad weather in August.  Chris had a scary experience at Boomtown festival, where the roof partially blew off the tent in which he was playing, causing a foot long iron peg to fall into the audience, narrowly missing someone we know, whilst a section of the roof structure swung back and forth like a pendulum.  The whole area had to be evacuated.

This weekend I have the great excitement of being 'Best Woman' at my friend's wedding.  The weather is turning around again too, so we are expecting warmth and sunshine - phew, we're in a marquee, and I don't want any dramatic tent-related incidents!!


  1. Oh Devon! I have been there once but we want to go back! Next week we will be staying in Sussex again!

  2. This is one part of Devon I've never been too, but what a beautiful area! That Airbnb looks fabulously luxurious and what an amazing view! I'm surprised you were able to tear yourself away from it for some outings! That pub looks so quintessentially Devonian, but what a shame about the London prices ... xxx

  3. I've a friend who goes to Croyde every year I can see why now! Thanks for sharing you lovely pictures. This weather has been insane! I'm glad to hear no one was injured at Boomtown, how scary.

  4. What a lovely spot!

    Your accommodations looked very posh, aside from the rude neighbours.

    The weather sounds like it's all over the place. We had to deal with a leaky roof a couple of years ago. It meant we had to redo the entire upper bathroom and dining room ceiling. It's just as well as we'd wanted to renovate the bathroom but it was such a mess to live through.


  5. "Madonna's Bra" made me laugh. I haven't made it to the seaside this year, so it's been good to see the water through your photos of your trips to Devon.

    The Boomtown incident sounds scary; good to know no-one was hurt.

  6. Jon and Chris have the same Farrah jacket!
    What a lovely spot, you're taking me back to my youth with all these lovely Devon beaches. Your Air B&B looks fabulous and that pub despite the prices looks too pretty not to pay a visit.
    I saw some scary footage on the Facebook traders' page of part of the set flying off the main stage at Boomtown and nearly decapitating one of the crowd. Of all weather high winds are the worst! xxx


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