Probus Club of Mole Valley

Long Haul report
Delights of Devon
25/29 September 2006

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We set off from Leatherhead Leisure Centre in our coach on the Monday morning. Our first comfort stop was planned as much for the driver as for ourselves. The driver had driven the coach down from Yorkshire that morning, having made a start at some impossible time like 0300 in the morning. None of the party complained at coffee after only an hour’s driving. The next stop was at Yeovilton, the Fleet Air Arm Museum where a relief driver was waiting. This stop had been cunningly built into our route. Here we stayed for some three hours, having lunch and visiting an extremely interesting aircraft museum. Our visitor from Germany produced his mystery present from Hamburg, one each. The relief driver took us on to Torquay where we stayed at the Toorak Hotel.

Tuesday had been planned as a mixture of mystery and culture. The first port of call was the House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey. Here there is a glass factory, with demonstrations of glass blowing and the hand crafting of glass objects. The attached showroom contained a bewildering array of goods for sale from children’s games, ladies accessories, furniture and yes – marbles. Also there was a very interesting porcelain museum. And then on to Castle Drogo, designed by Edwin Lutyens.

Dinner that evening was a jolly affair that was repeated each of the following evenings. We sat ten to circular tables in a private room off the main dining room.

Wednesday was planned around a boat ride from Totnes down the river Dart to Dartmouth. Here we spent a few hours and a surprising number of people ended up in the cosy atmosphere of the oldest pub in town for refreshments. Later we took the ferry across the Dart to Kingswear where we travelled back to Paignton aboard the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway.

Thursday was spent in Sidmouth followed by travelling along to Seaton for a ride on the antique trams. The whole group sat on the upper deck where we enjoyed the sunshine and the ride out of town through the countryside.

Friday was our final day. We made our farewells to a very comfortable hotel. Our comfort stop was based on Salisbury where most of us visited the cathedral. The lunch etc there was very enjoyable.

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