I can’t believe it has been eight months since I last published a blog post! Where has the time gone? I got so nostalgic when I went through the photos for this article. Aaron was only three months old and looks so little even though he has never been a small baby!
Whenever Nis and I went travelling somewhere in the UK I always kept in mind that I might be writing a blog post about it. So I did lots of research before our trip, planned it carefully and made sure to take pictures of all the spots we were visiting. But the trip to Devon was different. I’ve just had a baby and I was not in control of these things anymore! There was no time to do extensive research, plan our days in advance or take many photos and notes. Still, I have decided to make this my first article after the long break because this holiday was magical in so many ways and it will forever bring back many happy memories.
Our friends Phil and Hannah had booked the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage in North Devon through the National Trust in June 2017. Little did we know that we would have a baby by the time we were staying in this amazing lighthouse on the cliff edge. Our friends David and Alice had had a baby too just ten days after Aaron was born, so this was our first holiday as little families. And an exciting and eventful first holiday it was! The drive alone from the main road to the lighthouse was an adventure as it is a single-track road with a considerable drop down towards the sea.
We spent a lot of time outdoors on hikes, had many cream teas and some of us even dared to go swimming! I can’t quite get my head around British people’s relationship to water. It doesn’t seem to matter what the temperatures are. It’s summer, so they simply go swimming, come rain or shine!
Here are just a few snippets of what we were up to during our week in Devon.
A beautiful National Trust place in Somerset with an ancient castle, subtropical gardens and a mill.
A wooded river valley running down to the sea to Heddon’s Mouth, within Exmoor National Park.
Tunnels Beaches & Ilfracombe
Tunnels Beaches are unique sheltered beaches and a tidal Victorian bathing pool in the seaside town of Ilfracombe.
Spotting wild Exmoor ponies
We went on a walk to learn more about Exmoor ponies, wild horses that roam across Devon. They normally grazed on Foreland Point, very close to where the Lighthouse is situated.
A dramatic river gorge and ancient woodlands where some of us went wild swimming!
Lynton & the Valley of Rocks
Lynton stands some 450ft above its sister village Lynmouth, two picturesque villages on the coast of Exmoor National Park with dramatic views across the sea. From Lynton you can walk to the Valley of Rocks, a U-shaped dry valley that is parallel to the sea. You can also spot the Lighthouse in the distance!
Going on holiday with a baby certainly has its challenges. Our car was packed with so many baby-related things, we were constantly running behind schedule and whenever Aaron needed a feed, a nappy change or a nap we had to work around his schedule rather than ours. But I think the younger a baby is, the easier it is to take them on a holiday. He was still fully breastfed, so we didn’t have to bother sorting out his meals. He was also still small enough to be carried in the sling. By the end of this holiday he had actually started to accept the sling! He had never been a big fan and has always preferred the pram/buggy, which is certainly better for my back but quite tricky when you’d like to go on hikes through uneven terrain.
The more I see of the UK the more I’m fascinated by the variety of beautiful landscapes in this country. I don’t even mind drizzly and foggy weather anymore. It makes the scenery even more mysterious and interesting. I really hope we can go on another holiday in the UK before we’re moving back to Germany in the summer. There are still so many places I’d like to see. The Lake District and Wales are at the top of my list. Any other recommendations?