After having to cancel our May half term plans to visit Shropshire, DH needed something to look forward to … so we booked a self-catering unit in Yorkshire. So far so good … but how to get there? We reckoned it would be an eight hour or so drive, not much of a holiday for me, so we decided to (more than) double our usual holiday budget and go up by train, hiring a car for our stay. Actually, with a family rail card the train wasn’t too bad, but the car … :o We could have done it for less, but didn’t want to feel cramped with all our luggage, so we asked for a ‘small family estate’ and accepted the price as a necessary luxury item for the sake of our well being.

Since the train started out from Plymouth (and terminated here on the return journey), and as DH booked early, we had good seats (four round a table) both ways, although on both journeys the train was rather overcrowded. But I love travelling by train, and the part of the journey along the coast by Dawlish and up the Exe estuary to Exeter has some spectacular scenery. I love spotting the small holdings alongside the railway line that you can’t see from a car … but the girls were soon fed up of my repeated cries of ‘Look, chickens!’ ;) :D (I scored three herons on the journey home, too – we’re usually fortunate to spot one.)

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to finding my way out of (unknown to us) York, in the dark, in a strange car … but when we saw the car my anxiety shot up a level (or two). A Skoda Octavia … rather larger than I usually drive … the sports version! Oh my! At first I couldn’t even find out how to open the other car doors :doh: But a few minutes of poking around, finding lights and indicators etc (and deciding to leave the touch-screen radio to another day) saw me edging gingerly out … and immediately going the wrong way down the car park to a dead end :lol:

We coped. Me with the driving and DH with the navigating. And found our way to the converted Mill we had booked. It’s lovely … the top two floors of the mill building, complete with sack lift and hooks and beams. Plenty of space, a slightly very antiquated television and DVD player etc, but comfortable and warm. In the daylight, there are good views across the gardens, too … large vegetable garden, the chicken run (oh yes! :D ) and the orchards. There’s a huge basket of apples at the bottom of the stairs, too, for us to help ourselves. So many different varieties, most of them really crisp and sweet. Perfect :)