Having been on a coach tour holiday before to Eastbourne, we had a rough idea of what to expect. Unfortunately, things beyond our control made the journey to Babbacombe one to forget. Possibly to save money the company had added extra pick ups at the beginning which added three hours to the start of our journey as we were the first pick-up.
Then we had three major accidents that added time. (Hopefully no one was badly injured in these.) Anyway, after twelve tiring hours we arrived at our destination. I sat on one seat which did not give me a chance to do much sketching, as there was only a limited viewpoint, but I did manage a few quick drawings.
After a quick unpack and late meal we had a short walk to the headland, before having an early night. A stunning view of the coastline, but a shame we never had a chance to go down to the beach while we were there.
After an early rise and a decent breakfast, we were back on the coach heading for Sidmouth. This proved to be a quaint seaside town with a nice seafront and several unique shops on the side streets.
As an artist I am always looking for ways to exhibit my work and here the local Samaritan's shop offered a side room where artists could display and sell their work, with the charity taking a commission. What an excellent idea and one that other charities could copy.
Our afternoon visit was to Dawlish, which proved to be more of a traditional family holiday area, although it was spoilt a little as there was a lot of improvement work on the seafront. To offset this, there was a local, annual festival in the park opposite. where lots of activities for children were in full swing.
On Wednesday, we set off for Dartmouth which had a different feel to it from the last two places. Although quite busy, we had an interesting walk around the town, enjoying the views and atmosphere. It was surprising that this seemed to be a mecca for art shops as there appeared to be one on every corner.
I wonder what the art market is like in this area?
Our last stop of the day was a short visit to Torquay, a place where we had holidayed about twenty five years ago! Needles to say, we didn't recognised any of it this time around.
Again a contrast, as this was the quintessential family resort offering all types of entertainment. After a drink it was back to the hotel and an evening meal and another walk to the headland. On the way back we stopped for some liquid refreshment and a chat with another couple from Salford, before having to leave the establishment at 10pm as they wanted to close up!
The last day was a unmitigated disaster! We had planned to visit the prehistoric cave in the morning before going into Torquay again in the afternoon with a tentative plan of maybe to catch the ferry to Brixham. Having studied the map, we walked for twenty five minutes and should have arrived at the caves. Studying google we realised we were now forty five minutes away! To our horror we realised that the paper map we had consulted at the hotel had been the wrong way up!
So. being closer to Torquay, we decided to head there and an hour later arrived. After this experience we decided to treat ourselves to a cream tea.
As we arrived at the seafront, the rain started to fall so we decided to head for the caves, not realising that from here it was all uphill! And a steep, winding one at that!
After a long walk, we finally arrived to find that the caves were now all booked up until six pm and that would have meant waiting four hours. As we sat in the café, there was a thunderstorm, which luckily had mainly passed before we set off for the hotel, which was an easy walk, and only twenty minutes away!
Fortunately, we passed a local church hall, advertising the local art club's summer exhibition.
We always enjoy these as it is a chance to compare the artwork to that of Salford Art Club's. It was also a chance to talk to a couple of the artists who had work on show. An interesting exhibition and some super work.
Friday morning arrived and we left the hotel at 9am to start our journey home. Fortunately, this proved to be a lot better, with few hold ups.
An interesting holiday, possibly not an area we would rush back to, although, we did enjoy Sidmouth and Dartmouth.