Castle Drogo

It’s get on our bikes day. It’ll probably be hilly but we’re going for it.

Late morning we cycle out the park and up a grassy track. It’s a short cut to the nearest lane but the track is so narrow, steep, grassy and uneven we end up pushing the bikes uphill which is hard work. Tony is ahead of me and kindly walks back down and pushes mine up the last bit.

We then cycle to Castle Drogo an NT place about 3.5 miles away. Very hilly though so very hard work especially for T when he has to stop on a hill to let cars past. Hill starts on a bike are a nightmare.

We arrive, park the bikes, buy me an emergency mask from the café as I’ve forgotten mine and go for a walk to the castle and gardens.

Castle is undergoing a huge renovation. It’s obviously been cleaned as it looks newly minted. It was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and was built between 1911 and 1930. It’s the last castle built in England but looks way too pretty to be a proper castle.

The gardens however are the main attraction. They are still lovely even this late in the year and are bursting with colour.

After a wander around the gardens we then go for a walk. First stop is Sharp Tor for great views of the valley and then we walk along a footpath to see Teign Gorge. Just a couple of miles but my calves are still aching from the downhill walk into Lynmouth so I decide against the longer walk available.

Well earned tea and cakes in the cafe. It’s starting to spit but we decide to go for it anyway and get back on our bikes for the return journey. It’s a slightly different route to avoid the track so we end up on the main road for the last mile.

Showers, followed by homemade sausages in onion gravy and then we watch The Kings Speech to close the day.

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