We stayed at Woolacombe in North Devon - the first day was wet but that didn't stop Hannah exploring the beach,
and then Ilfracombe Aquarium.
The Jonathon Edwards Triple Jump Mosaic (the circles represent the distances he jumped, and Ilfracombe is his home town)
The stormy Ilfracombe beach
The Clapping Circle where the echo squeaks back at you when you stand in the centre and clap!
and the harbour.
On Wednesday we went up on to Exmoor and walked the trail to Heddons Mouth. We followed the stream down through the valley and out to the shore through beautiful scenery in glorious sunshine.
Finally, the day came to meet the sheepdogs, and it was fantastic! We had booked on to a shepherding experience walk with the farmer from the TV series and were to meet two of his newer dogs and watch them work. Only problem being that I had no internet access in Woolacombe and so couldn't access the walk details. In the end it was the best thing for Hannah that could have happened as we ended up finding Borough Farm instead of the walk meeting point, so Hannah got to see her most favourite dog ever - Mist, along with Jake and Fern at the farm before the walk. The farmers wife was lovely and directed us to Mortehoe where the walk was to begin so we didn't miss any of it, and the actual shepherding walk was fantastic.
David Kennard, the farmer, came up with the idea of the children's tv series, used his own dogs and farmland and filmed the episodes himself so it was amazing to meet him. He is such a nice, friendly man and made the three hours we spent with him really memorable. He gave us a demonstration of his dogs( Zola, Alf and the famous Fly) working the sheep, took us on a tour of Mortehoe peninsular to see where the episodes were filmed, told stories from the filming, took us seal spotting and had endless patience answering all our questions and chatting to the children.
|Zola working with the sheep|
David Kennard's dogs are so attached to him, they clearly love him and their work. This picture below is David with Alf, who kept coming to David for affection and hugs while we were chatting.
The sun set while we were watching for seals - it was beautiful.
|Fly and Alf working on the cliff edge path. David told us about an episode of Mist that he filmed there which involved the coastguard winching him and Mist to safety from a ledge below. It is very, very steep and so high up!|
|Hannah with Fly and Alf|
|David, Fly, Hannah and Alf|
This was definitely the highlight of the holiday for Hannah, and was just the best experience - I cannot recommend a visit highly enough if you are ever in the area.
As well as all of that Hannah and Dean went swimming every day in Woolacombe. Hannah taught herself to swim in her little 10ft pool at home over the summer, and couldn't wait to see if she could swim in a 'real' pool. She could!! She was like a little fish diving under, jumping in and swimming lengths by the end of the week. She can even do a back crawl!
On Friday we left North Devon and went down to South Devon to stay with my oldest friend Paul and his lovely family. Paul and I grew up together and lived in neighbouring villages as children. He was, and still is one of my very best friends. He lives in the next village to the one that i grew up in, has a lovely family and we all had a beautiful weekend together.
The first thing we did on arriving was head to Challaborough beach - my favourite beach of anywhere ever! I have such happy memories of rockpooling here as a child.
|Hannah at Challaborough with the 'fairly famous' Burgh Island in the background.|
On Saturday we woke up to a proper Devon mizzle, but undeterred we set off to Paul's allotment to pick dinner!
|Paul, Hannah and Meg walking through Kingston village.|
|Paul - king of the allotment!|
|Meg and her ice cream tub crown - it was supposed to be for collecting blackberries!|
|sweet corn picking|
After lunch we went for a walk around the village. I visited the house my aunt used to live in and Kingston church, and we took Hannah and Megan to the rec where i used to play when i was their age.
It has been a lovely week away, and the best part is that we still have another week at home with Dean before he goes back to work. Happy holidays!