Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Today we headed out to Totnes, a delightful `hippy` alternative sort of town, one of my firm favourites. We always walk past this lovely little cafe from the car park, and I always think how appealing it looks.

Our first port of call is always the Anne of Cleves, a traditional little tea room.

It has all the obligatory requirements of a tea room, pastel walls, dark beams, pretty hanging plates and copper kettles.

and a scrumptious display of lovely cakes and pastries in the window...so after mugs of coffee and freshly baked scones, we felt able to continue on our way

Its been humid again today, so it was a bit of a huff and puff up the hill and under the East Gate Arch at the top

Totnes is full of unusual shops, which is why it is so charming..

This is one of my favourites, and has some lovely vintage furniture, baskets and knick knacks

We came across this fabulous shop Im standing outside, which had the most beautiful bags made out of saris, and inside it was an aladdins cave of sari hangings, quilt covers and fine shawls all beautifully beaded and embroidered, I would have loved to have taken a photo, but didnt like too

At the top of the town, is another of my favourites, this Indian shop with lovely embroided clothes, bells, incense fabulous and so hippy!

Even the fish and chip shop is decorated in a novel way, havent tried the chippies though..
The footpath evenually runs into a little square, where there are nice houses, this one has the traditional slate hung front.

and I loved the colour of this one with the gay window baskets..

and this very beautiful character house

This part of the town is called `the narrows` and leechwell lane runs down the hill between high walls where ivy flaps and brambles grow and tiny ferns grow in crevices...there used to be a Leper hospital in the 12th century on the outskirts of Totnes, and it is a popular belief that lepers would walk this lane to St. Marys church.

The Leechwells a set of three springs, are half way along the lane, and it was believed the lepers would come here to be cured...indeed the town folk would come here too, to be cured of any ailments. The springs flowed into the troughs which were known as Toad, Long Crippler and Snake, and even today the springs are revered by the New Age followers who hang ribbons and gifts about the springs.

Having enjoyed the coolness of the twisty little lane, and the peace of the Leechwells, we walked back to the market square, where we were delighted to see a display of dancing. On Tuesdays in the summer, the market has an Elizabethan theme, and the stall holders all dress in the appropiate dress, we were pleased to have seen the dancing, and their lovely costumes.

We walked back down the hill under the Butterwalk.

this is where there would have orginally been market stalls

across the street was this lovely ice cream pink house with wonderful faces adorning it

We decided to walk down by the Guildhall, its at the back of the main street and nice and peaceful, I thought the pink petunias in the hanging baskets were a lovely contrast to the grey slate and stone of the Guildhall.

Having enjoyed the town, we walked down to the river and walked along the little wooded path

Himalayian balsalm

and purple loosestrife ran like a pink ribbon along the edge of the river, and meadowsweet filled the air with its sweet perfume

wrens called shrilly from the trees, and ducks and moorhens flapped about in the river, we walked down to the weir, and sat on the bench enjoying the sound of the rushing water a perfect end to a lovely day.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Hello again, its been a while, but you know how it is, busy, busy busy....we`re on holiday at the moment, so today we drove over to Shaldon as it was a lovely sunny day.

We parked on the Ness carpark, and took the windy road to the village, theres a lovely little hotel at the top of the road called The Ness, and the sign is gorgeous with a smugglers scene and full moon.

It also has this lovely extract from John Masefields poem `Sea Fever` inscribed on the wall, such a lovely idea.

Shaldon is a lovely jewel of a village filled with ice cream coloured houses with tiny gardens full of cottage flowers, this old rowing boat filled with summer flowers is so typical of the delights the village holds.

Align CentreIn the river, men were chest deep, fishing for the Bass or `flaties` that are so good to catch here.

Across the water on the far shore, Teignmouth was waking to another day of cream teas, fish and chips, buckets and spades and paddling in the sea.

Shaldon is a traditional little village, with a green, bakery, local store and one or two fancy little shops. The gems in its crown are the lovely houses, all so pretty and individual.

With pretty gardens full of summery flowers and waving grasses.

I love all the pretty tiles this one has on the wall.

Of course no village would be complete without a pub, and The Ferry Boat had some wonderful hanging baskets.

It was lovely and peaceful in the village, not too busy and the sun was hot on our faces. We followed the path beside the river beach, with glimpses of snowy houses behind the garden walls

and down by the river some rather grander ones, with smart front doors.

We walked beside the river with lovely views to the Moor in the distance, and little boats bobbing on the turning tide, terns screeched and dived for sand eels, and gulls wheeled overhead, it was a delightful walk.

After coffee and scones back at the car, we trundled over to Teignmouth.

We parked up and walked along the front, with lovely views back to Shaldon, and the ness.

There were gay coloured lights strung between the lamp posts, and fishy motifs on the posts.

and the walled gardens were full of summer flowers.

There was an intriguing exhibition on too, called Salvage art, with lots of art works made of recycled materials

some were very flamboyant..

some cute..
I loved this one of mosaic glass.

and this spider had a crushed can body..

this was another of my favourites, I loved the bath tub body, and pretty sunlit sails.

We decided to have a walk round the Pier, I love Piers, they`re lovely traditional seaside things, this one was quite rickety, there were nice views across to the beach, where a sailing club were just launching their little white sailed yachts.