Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Golden Coast Holiday Village, Woolacombe

Golden Coast Holiday Village Woolacombe

Saturday 11th February 2017

Grandad and Thomas Reunited
I suppose I should start by saying this is probably not the sort of place we'd usually choose to spend a prolonged period - we're here for 28 days. However, we chose this it for three reasons :-
  • a) it is very near to one of our favourite places - Woolacombe Bay
  • b) it offered extremely good discounts for prolonged stays - a tenner a night
  • c) it provided additional accommodation so that some of our family could visit and spend time with us๐Ÿ˜
So last night when Sarah, Paul and Thomas arrived we indulged in a very happy reunion and then decamped to their allocated brand new static van for a late tea of  pizza๐Ÿ• and ice cream ๐Ÿจ.

This morning we all very quickly found ourselves together again for bacon and egg butties before nipping onto Woolacombe's fantastic sandy and rock strewn beach for 'playtime'. Now, as one of his Christmas pressies Thomas had received a metal detector, so his main mission for today was to get to the beach and dig for treasure - and along with several old bottle tops he found quite a lot of modern day coins - can't imagine how they got there!

You can just about see an old
green buoy wedged in the rocks!

We also explored the numerous rocky nooks, crannies and pools that had been left behind by the outgoing tide, and while we were doing that Thomas was quite convinced he'd found a huge Emerald in a rock fissure.   However, it was wedged in so tightly we couldn't retrieve it which was a bit disappointing - but soon after that he was smiling again because we found loads of tiny emeralds, sapphires, amber and opals (coloured glass that had been smoothed by the sea), and he's taken them all home to add to his 'rock collection' - watch out Mummies Hoover!

Then it was time for a warm up treat before kite flying - cheers Paul

Next - out came the Kite - a huge T-Rex thingy that I think Sarah and John had more fun with  than Thomas - in the bitingly cold wind they managed to fly it high and attract lots of attention from others on the beach!

But because it was so cold we were all soon thoroughly chilled through, so this heralded lunch time and an adjournment  to the Red Barn  - mostly for something with chips, all washed down with a pint of their best, except of course Thomas who washed his down with apple juice๐Ÿ˜

Soon after that we were back at the campsite, but certainly not lacking for something to do - we could have gone bowling or swimming, but in the end we just whiled away our time in the clubs and arcades before a fish supper back in Sarah and Paul's van, along with another evening of fun and games in our families precious company.

Sunday 12th February 2017

Today we weren't quite so lucky with the weather and the day started wet, cold and windy, so it definitely wasn't going to be another beach day.  However, we'd been forewarned of this by Mr Weatherman, so we'd already hatched an alternative plan. Today we were going to visit THE BIG SHEEP ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘.,
a place that is an amusement farm park that is located in Abbotsham, and as well as offering lots of indoor fun and play, it also provided an opportunity to meet and feed newly born lambikins.  So once we were all fortified with a breakfast of smoked salmon, cheesy scrambled eggs and waffles, we were off and on our way, and one of the very first characters that we met was Bob Marley in the 'Meet the Sheep Show'!

And after that it was fun all the way!  We visited the huge indoor Jungle Gym where Thomas and I had a slide race,

and we fed the tiny baby lambs - some of which were only a few days old.

We attended the beer show and partook of free samples๐Ÿบ๐Ÿ˜, and Thomas went 'Ice Skating' with assistance from Mum and Dad!

Then it was Toboggan races and I very nearly got my bum stuck!

Is that one child or two!
And next Thomas and I  bounced on huge 'pillows', and that was all before  our day ended by watching The Sheep 'Grand National'.

Thomas bet on Woolly Jumper and my choice was Aldernitty - and although it was a close call my sheep won (however when I realised a photo call and press conference were required I quickly donated my prize to Thomas)

All in all we'd had a fantastic day, and to round it off we thought we'd visit 'The Old Mill' for Sunday carvery, however by the time we arrived Thomas had flaked out and had to be carried into the pub, so when we found it to be packed and no chance of a table any time soon, we gave it up as a bad job and nipped back to Sarah and Paul's van for a supper of fillet steak, jackets and salad, so I don't think we missed out really!

Monday 13th February 2017

Well sadly today Sarah Thomas and Paul have to go home - but would you know it - today turned out to be the best one weather wise with  lots of sunshine that managed to provide some warm rays.  Therefore, their departure was postponed until the afternoon, and after a breakfast of sausage sandwiches in T4rdis2 we made another dash for the beach.  There we did a bit of paddling in the retreating waves, as well as a good bit more exploring around the many interesting rock pools and dead end passageways that can be found between the numerous rock formations.

However, all good things have to come to an end, so after a fish and chip lunch which we ate while overlooking the bay and which several large seagulls tried to share, it was soon time to return back to T4rdis2 and bid farewell to our family ๐Ÿ˜ญ.

Tuesday 14th February 2017

We've mostly just had a quiet day today, partly because it started wet, and we'd also got a good bit of 'housework' to catch up with. Our laundry bags were fit to burst after 14 days, so that task was high on the agenda, along with a bit of sweeping and polishing that soon rejuvenated T4rdis2 and had her looking like new!

In the afternoon the sun managed to glimmer out so it was on with our walking shoes and off out to do a bit more exploring ready for walking and cycling expeditions in the coming days.  This campsite sits about 2 miles above Woolacombe bay if you use the main road (which for part of the way is without a pavement), but the bay can also be reached (in a much shorter distance) via a footpath that traverses over grassy farmland or via some quiet country lanes.  We also located the Tarka Trail - a route we plan to make very good use off while we're here.

Wednesday 15th February 2017

This morning we got rained off again, but by early afternoon it was almost like a summer's day with wall to wall blue skies.  Therefore, we decided to give our bikes an airing and nip down the Tarka Trail to Ilfracombe -  and what a pleasure that turned out to be.  Now, although we've often been in this area we've never actually been into the town properly, so the almost mountainous coast line and the very pretty harbour delighted us as we went.

And it was as we approached the harbour that we got our first sighting of Verity - a lady who was erected there on the 16th October 2012.  She is a stainless steel and bronze statue that was created by Damien Hirst (who lives in Coombe Martin), and she stands 66.4 feet tall which is 10 inches higher than The Angel of the North, thus making her the tallest statue in the UK.  She stands on the pier at the entrance to the harbour looking out over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales, and apparently this is a position she will occupy for about the next 15 years because that is when the period of her loan will expire.

As you can see the statue depicts a pregnant woman holding aloft a sword while carrying the scales of justice behind her back and she is standing on a pile of law books.  Additionally, and very cleverly, half of her shows her internal anatomy with her baby clearly visible, and thus she certainly makes a striking, and some might say shocking impression! She also had to earn her place, because as she's so tall, she had to be subjected to tests in a wind tunnel to ensure she could cope with the high winds and spray from the sea that she will be subjected to in the coming years.

While we were on the harbour side we were also entertained by members of the RNLI practising their rescue techniques, so all that, along with the areas stunning beauty kept us around the area for quite a while.

But eventually we did tear ourselves away, and as we headed back the way we'd come we chanced upon a little traffic free road that led up onto Capstone Hill, and it was here that we learnt about The Spring Tides.  Now, like many others, I was under the misconception that Spring Tides only happen in Spring time.  However, apparently they occur all the year round when  the moon is either new or full, and the sun, the moon and the earth are aligned. When this is the case their collective gravitational pull on the earth's water is strengthened giving a higher tide than usual.  Therefore, if a storm tide occurs on top of a Spring Tide the result can be some gigantic and  very spectacular waves - and if you just happen to be in the wrong place you could get very wet or worse!

As we got to the top of Capstone Hill we came to a place called 'Windy Corner' from where we could see 'The Elephant' - a rocky formation that needs a bit of imagination to spot the head and trunk!  And this is also a spot that anglers often choose because it's where the rougher waters meet the calm ones - thus producing ideal conditions for catching mackerel!

Then as we wended our way back down the hill and through the town we learnt a bit more about the it's many famous places such as The Landmark Theatre, The Tunnels and Beaches and Fore Street, but they are all places that will have to wait for another day to be explored, because it was now time to start back up the hills to the trail that would take us home.

And now we are back home we're going to treat ourselves to an evening out.  The cabaret on  the park tonight is a 'Queen' look alike band, so we're going to have a wander over - but depending on how good or otherwise they are we may be having an early night!  We'll let you know๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜