A Little Dartmouth Getaway

Bromance on the beach

I attended a wedding this past weekend in Dartmouth, Devon, UK. If unfamiliar with the coastal town, its nearest large city is Exeter and the American city of Dartmouth is indeed named after here. A truly picturesque postcard-perfect sort of town, on the southwestern coast of England.

We embarked on our journey in the late evening Thursday and arrived at the lovely self-catering Longbow Barns Apartments in the dead of night. Oh, how delightful it was to be greeted by a warm apartment after a 7.5h car journey! Dragon had woken up around midnight and proceeded to play ‘I Spy’ for some good thirty minutes before continually drifting in and out of sleep until our arrival at said destination. After swiftly unpacking our belongings in our home for the weekend, we set off to sleep…

….to be greeted by the most glorious sunshine and a view overlooking the harbour. Oh how delightful indeed! My darling husband immediately nestled himself in on the couch, announcing that he would quite happily live the rest of his days there! After the arrival of my in-laws/the wedding babysitters, my husband being true to his personality trait (yes, I profiled him, too!), had cabin fever and bundled us all in the car to set off to the nearest beach, Blackpool Sands. We have visited many a beach, as you may have guessed from some previous posts (hubs being a water addict!), but this was truly stunning. Tiny skimming stones in all shades of beige and grey made up the beach (which remarkably resemble walking through quicksand!), encased by impressive rock formations on either side. On the cliff tops, sheep were grazing happily and wind-swept pine trees dotted the hills behind. And I was obviously not alone in my admiration as we spotted seals on our seashore adventure! AMAZING. What a wonderful introduction to Dartmouth, truly.

 

Sunshine and wind on Blackpool Sands
Sunshine and wind on Blackpool Sands
Fun at Blackpool Beach
Fun at Blackpool Beach
Kite-flying at Blackpool Beach
Kite-flying at Blackpool Beach

That evening we strolled down to the town centre to meet up with the wedding party for drinks in a proper old man’s pub. I enjoyed a G&T (or two) for the first time in months and admittedly, it didn’t take long for me to feel very jolly! Conversation and drinks flowed as we caught up with dear old friends and the bride and groom. We left at a reasonable time – a toddler who wakes at 5 is no joy, let alone with a hangover! – to be greeted by walls. Had we really walked down these hills!?!? How were we going to scale up them to return to the barn!? I was out of breath five steps in… this was going to take a while. Neither Huz nor I said anything the whole way, just panting for air, sweat dripping from our foreheads in the cool November breeze. It was sobering… and the aching followed heartily the next day.

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The wedding ceremony was the following day and proceeded at three o’clock ON THE DOT (like, wow! Talk about time-keeping!) at the very quaint and exquisite Royal Castle Hotel on the harbour front. I’m sure half the buildings were built before such a thing as a spirit level existed! Or they just liked to eye-ball it…?! My friend, the Bride, was escorted by her father with a nervous but excited Groom awaiting her at the other end. Pure happiness in the air… followed by lots of merriment in the bar below and local restaurant Alf Resco. I won’t go into the details as they’re a bit hazy…

We returned in the wee hours of the morning, collapsed and repeated the early wake-up call for yet another day. Little man with so much energy needed an escape so we returned to Blackpool Beach… with all adults looking a bit beaten up and a toddler running circles around them… But in that tired moment, walking in these peaceful surroundings with loved ones around me, I took stock of everything that I have, how the best things in life are free (in the words of Janet and Luther), and that made my heart smile.

Fun at Blackpool Beach, splashing the water
Fun at Blackpool Beach, splashing the water