A week away in sunny Devon? Sounds like a holiday doesn’t it? Well it was, completely. Even the sunny part as we were spoilt with incredibly good weather for days on end. We couldn’t have asked for more really.
Why Georgeham and where is it?
It’s a little village north of Barnstaple not far from the North Devon coast and is where Jo’s younger brother Jon and his wife Julie now live. They moved from Kent a couple of years ago and have been renovating a lovely cottage on the edge of the village ever since. It’s been a real labour of love and although the house is pretty much finished they still have loads of work to do in the garden which should keep them busy for the summer at least.
Georgeham is most famous for being the place that Henry Williamson wrote ‘Tarka the Otter’ and there are plaques around the village relating to him that Jo obviously had to read. So many things in the surrounding area are named after Williamsons book too, such as the Tarka Trail (cycling and walking), Tarka Line (train line), Tarka Pottery, Tarka Valley and even Tarka Tennis. It’s a lovely quiet little village just a short hop from Devons amazing north coast. That’s one of the reasons that Jon and Julie relocated here, they’re into kite surfing and the beaches on this coast are perfect. Georgeham actually used to just be called Hama but was changed in 1535 when the church was dedicated to St George and the village was renamed Ham St George. Shame they changed it isn’t it?
We thought that our week in Georgeham between housesits would be animal free but how wrong we were!
Pedro the Pheasant
The day before we arrived Jon had been gardening when he noticed a pheasant wandering across the lawn so he offered it some of the birdseed they’d put out and before he knew it the pheasant was eating out of his hand. Over the next few days Pedro got friendlier and friendlier until he was actually waiting outside the patio doors pecking the glass and even stood on Jons lap! Crazy. In fact he got so smart that he was stealing all of the bird seed and Jon had to fashion a pheasant-proof cover to deter him. Not sure it’ll keep him out for long though.
Walking in North Devon
The area around Georgeham is perfect for long walks up to the coast and around the rolling hills of Devonshire. We had a fabulous 8 or 9 mile walk out to Saunton Sands and around the coastline to Croyde Bay before a quick beer in The Blue Groove and a steep climb back home across Saunton Down. Wonderful weather and the scenery was just amazing. Of course Pedro was waiting for us when we got back which pleased Jon immensely.
Earning our Keep
As Jon and Julie had been so kind to invite us to stay we felt it only right that we helped out as much as possible whilst we were there. So we spent a day or so helping sort stuff out for a boot fair on the Sunday and helped sand down their dresser ready for painting. Weather was great so we managed to do everything outside. Jo especially enjoyed repairing Nancy. Who? Nancy is the name of the model sailing boat that Jo’s Dad built back in the 1960s in Bexleyheath and that now lives in Georgeham with Jon. A bit of sail-repairing and she looked ready for another voyage.
Sunset at Saunton Sands
After a morning working followed by a walk to Putsborough and Woolacombe we set off for Saunton Sands via the fish’n chip shop in Braunton. Then watched the sunset over the sea as we enjoyed our dinner on the beach. It doesn’t get much better.
Pottington Boot Fair
We were really looking forward to helping at the boot fair just outside Braunton as its been years since we’ve done one and currently we just don’t have anything to sell do we? Once again a beautiful sunny day as we set up with hundreds of other sellers trying to fight off the semi-professional traders that attempt to go through your stuff before you’ve even unloaded it. A fairly big crowd bought most of our merchandise apart from a bit of crockery and some clothes so it was a really good day with a decent profit. Jon insisted we may have taken more if Julie hadn’t kept shouting ‘FIFTY PEE’ at everyone in the last hour!
Baggy Point and Cream Teas
A final long walk on our penultimate day saw us walk out to Baggy Point from Croyde Bay. With the sun shining again and hardly a breath of wind it was a fabulous way to finish our weeks stay and to cap it off we stopped for a cream tea at the Sandleigh Tea Rooms in Croyde. Apart from Jon dropping his whole scone right into his cup of tea it was delicious (even though I had a pasty rather than a cream tea, sorry). Thoroughly recommended if you are ever in Croyde as its a real old fashioned traditional tea shop and garden with a cracking menu.
All too soon it’s over
Time seemed to race by over our last couple of days, maybe because we were so busy but before we knew it, it was time for us to go and get the Tarka Line back into Exeter. Jon and Julie were off to Kent to visit family so kindly dropped us off in Barnstaple. Thanks so much to both of them for making us so incredibly welcome, we had a great week in Georgeham. Onto the next housesit now.
21/04 – 25/04/2017