No fixed plan apart from to avoid the cold and wet/hail. So a slow morning getting off-site. Liz manages to snap the pair of dippers on the river, and bidding the warden farewell she informs me that otters have also been spotted. Sadly not by us though.
Meander across the Barnstaple. Mooch round the shops, nip into the pannier market to avoid the hail. Excellent afternoon coffee at a traditional tea shop. You know, china cups on not quite matching saucers. Wonderful cake though. Tescos and Lidl. Boring.
#1 choice of stop is a small village pup not far from Bideford. We get close but access roads are narrow, "Not suitable for HGVs", we decide to take the easy option and Plan B, the Portsmouth Arms at a little hamlet called, er, Portsmouth Arms.
15th century coaching Inn, and in the Good Beer Guide (how did I miss that?). Very chatty landlord and landlady, great food and excellent beers (Otter, Hanlons, Quantock). Comfy leather settee in front of a log fire. A totally chilling evening.
There's a station just a hundred yards away but not many trains stop. We mention we have no plans for the next day or so, so landlord offers to drive us to the nearest station in the morning where trains will stop and we can get the train back that stops outside the pub tomorrow evening. So it looks like a pub crawl to Topsham tomorrow. Got to take these offers of kindness when they pop up.
Here's today's journey