Moo-ah, moo-ah, gentle lowing, snort. Strangely comforting greetings from a member of the Aberdeen Angus herd in the cattle shed close-by. Far different from the cries of gulls I described last week when I opened my eyes at home. Mr. Word Loft and I were taking a short break on a farm near Lydford in Devon.

On arrival, the breakfast hamper contents looked scrummy, and indeed the yogurt and homemade granola the next day tasted delicious. After a relaxing start, we headed into Okehampton for lunch and essential supplies, which included cheese for supper, a hot chilli local one, and nettle covered Cornish Yarg.

The town was pleasant, and the castle ruins set in woodland with the sun shining down was stunning as we approached them, but we hadn’t booked a timed visiting slot, so will have to go back at a later date.

Back at our accommodation situated in the revamped old farmyard, ‘The Loft’, Warson, is a mixture of comfort and elegance; its decoration befitting the pages of an interior design magazine. It was delightful being curled up on the blush velvety sofa reading, writing, and feeling fresh air by the Juliet balcony.

On the second day, we ‘village hopped’ by car as it was raining and the perfect excuse to shop when arriving at Tavistock, although retail is a completely different world now. However, squirting sanitation hand gel at entrances and working out sticky-taped one-way systems and messages on floors and windows, didn’t deter full shopping bags. Especially at the ‘Pannier Market’, where I stocked up on ‘Kenderdine Aromatics’, fragrant handmade body care products, a favourite of mine for years.

The weather brightened up, so it was a good idea to go for a stroll in the woodlands back at the farm. We snapped photographs of cows and calves before rambling through muddy paths in search of the white deer that we had heard about but didn’t see any, although other wildlife was entertaining as we splodged along. Quite a few butterflies flitted through the greenery, and to one side of the track, a forest of Christmas trees pierced through the evening’s silvery mist.

Bude is a combination of seaside, canal scenery, busy shops, surrounded by agriculture. A day isn’t long enough to take it all in, so we planned to pack in as much as possible. We started with a walk along the towpath towards Widemouth and came across a bird hide, and sat quietly waiting and admiring the marshes, glorious with spiked purple wildflowers among the reeds, but sadly didn’t see many birds. Oddly though, further along the canal’s banks, we were startled by a woman pointing and shouting “heron” from her rowing boat. When turning around to peep behind us, we were amused to see the long-necked bird perched haughtily high up on a treetop.

I was surprised that there weren’t lots of colourful narrowboats and barges but only came across one barge tied up at the beach end of the canal. Uniquely, it sells ice cream, so, very popular.

Our time away had sped by too quickly. We drove back through Lydford, passing the place we enjoyed our first meal a few evenings back at the Castle Inn with its Mediaeval namesake beside it. Just one more tourist stop before heading off. Exploring St Michael de Rupe, Brentor’s Church, was a lovely way to round off the holiday. A beacon was lit atop the tor in ancient times where the building is now, rising towards the sky, dramatic, beautiful, and rich in legend.

Until next time.
Sue. X