|The Lydham Manor|
Our locomotive for the day was the 7827 Lydham Manor which was built in 1950 in Swindon. It pulled a train of several vintage carriages all from different eras. Our outward journey carriage wasn't very far removed from ones I used in the 1980s whereas our return journey carriage felt much older and more luxurious. We travelled from Paignton along the pretty coastline getting to enjoy great views across beaches and out to sea. One of the stops was for Agatha Christie's former home, Greenway, which is now owned by the National Trust and is somewhere I am keen to visit. For this journey though, we stayed on the train all the way to Kingswear where our all-in tickets allowed us to immediately board the Kingswear passenger ferry and cross over to beautiful Dartmouth.
We were booked onto an hour-long river cruise at 2.15, but didn't hear it mentioned during announcements on board the ferry so took the prudent step of checking at the kiosk before wandering off to look around Dartmouth. It was a good thing we did because it turned out that particular cruise had been cancelled. My only complaint of the day was that it would have been nice to have been told this when we picked up our tickets that morning!
|The Kingswear Castle|
Returning to Dartmouth at half past two meant we were all hungry and the town has a bewildering array of cafes and restaurants! We must have wandered around for another half and hour just trying to decide where to eat and finding somewhere that wasn't already completely full. I was often distracted by beautiful historic architecture too including this timbered and painted frontage, and the wonderful leaning walls of the only surviving medieval house in the borough of Dartmouth which is The Cherub Inn. I've included its photograph at the end of this post. The Cherub is believed to date from about 1380. We didn't go there though, but chose another old building which houses The Spinning Wheel cafe. Here they do good well-filled sandwiches, but Dave thought his traditional pasty was a bit dull. It's pretty pricey too, probably because of the surroundings and ambience.
The last return train of the day was at 5pm and we got the ferry back from Kingswear in time to have a quick look around the visitor centre on the platform, but unfortunately it was already closed up so we just had the gift shop instead. Brief excitement on the way back consisted of the conductor politely but firmly dealing with a faredodger! Considering that most of the day involved sitting down, I was surprised by just how tired I was when we got back home. It was a great day and I thought very reasonably priced at £23.50 each which included the two train rides, two ferry crossings and the hour's river cruise.
|The Cherub Inn|