Thursday, 16 April 2009

Day 11 Wednesday - Shobrooke to Bradfield

Walking 8.45am to 5.30pm
Distance walked 17 miles
Distance left 915 miles

Reg and I walked the four miles into the next village, Thorverton, a larger and much more prosperous looking place. We stopped at the village shop, Reg having absolutely no food with him. The original shop closed suddenly some two years ago and local volunteers man the current shop which is housed in a former mobile library and a post office/newsagents in an adjoining portacabin. Altogether an heroic effort.

The village somehow manages to support three pubs.

Out of Thorverton, over the brow of a hill, there came into view a pair of red-brick cottages that looked very familiar. I think I must have been following the same route as Alan Sloman (http://alansloman.blogspot.com/) in 2007 and Gayle & Mick (http://gayleybird.blogspot.com/) in 2008 as I think a photo of these cottages appears in their blogs. The cottages really catch the eye when they first come into view but when they are close up they are, in my view, quite unremarkable.

Cottages at Bidwell, near Thorverton

We walked on up to Bickleigh, walking by Bickleigh Castle, possibly an old fortified manor house and very much occupied now - a really beautiful building.

Bickleigh Castle

We stopped for a pint of Dartmoor bitter at the Trout Inn. Reg was booked in to a B&B in Tiverton and so I pointed him in the direction of Tiverton on the Exe Valley Way and we parted company. It may be that we will meet again but not until the Cotswold Way.

Bickleigh

I followed narrow lanes for several miles into Cullompton. I didn't stop in the town, passing straight through and over the M5. At Bradfield I was ready to finish for the day. I was allowed to camp at Home Farm in a field and I have had a can of ice cold Grolsch delivered to me. I'm feeling quite pampered. I could get used to this!


The weather has been kind today. Heavy rain was forecast but I think it passed by to the north, so I've had another dry day. It's getting a bit windy now though.

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