Back To The Sea

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Hartland Abbey, Devon


One of the delights of living in Devon is the comparatively short distance to the coast. Both sides of the county are accessible enough but we tend towards the North and West. Β The terrain is rugged and dramatic, yet away from the tourist beaches it’s a lot less crowded. Even at this time of year.


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And so, as a bit of a break from the current hard graft, we decided to take a day out.

Built in the 12th century as a monastery, in 1539 Hartland Abbey was gifted by Henry VIII to the Keeper of his Wine Cellar. It is still a family home. The plan was to arrive early, though all things being relative in this remote part of Devon the gardens don’t open until 11.30 a.m. and the house not until 2.00 p.m.

Plenty of time for a stroll down to the sea. It takes about 25 minutes each way, but is so worth it.


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The rock formations at low tide

Going early paid off. Even on this sunny day in August, for a precious few minutes we had this cove virtually to ourselves. Just the sound of the waves, the wind and the gulls.


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View back through the trees to a folly perched on the cliff top


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After lunch in the cobbled courtyard and a tour of the house (no photos allowed), we walked back up the drive to the walled garden.


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Quite delightful.


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Artichoke flower


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Back down by the house, donkeys graze. Approach them from the tea room side and they will come up to the fence to say hello. Hmmm..


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A peacock seemed to have assumed guard duty beside our car.

And still we had the shrubbery, bog garden, stream side and fernery to explore..


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Perhaps a Gunnera or two for the river side back at home? Not much room for weeds under there.


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A day well spent.