Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Brixham. My 50th birthday.

Just entered a competition with a holiday company.  We have to write out the holiday, and put some photos with it.  Here is my article, and accompanying photos.  Wish me luck. 

Susan Jones

January 11th 2010

Holiday in Brixham.

Alan and I have just got back from a week in Brixham, Devon. While the whole country has been under a snow-drift we had clear skies and snow free footpaths. The smell of fish fills the air, along with seagulls cry and the salty tingle of the sea. To arrive there is a breath of fresh air before you begin to explore the place.

We stayed at Pilot’s Rest; a modernised fisherman’s cottage overlooking the harbour, and recently redeveloped fish market. The property is comfortable for a couple, and was the ideal place to celebrate my fiftieth birthday.

Walking towards Paignton along the harbour front, you come to the battery gardens. Sit down and enjoy views of Torquay ahead and Berry Head to your right. Benches are dotted every few yards. It’s fascinating to read the inscriptions of who the bench is in memory of. As it’s just after Christmas, quite a few of them had gifts of flowers and wreaths draped on them which was touching to see. Steps leading down into Fishcombe Cove bring you onto a beautiful pebble and shingly beach. It was great to have it to ourselves, and we took chance to skim stones into the sea. The cafe and toilets weren’t open as its January, but from March onwards you could get a snack there. In-fact it had a sign saying business for sale, Oh how lovely it would be to run a cafe on Fishcombe cove.

Not to be missed is a visit to the Battery museum which is at the top of the steep hill as you leave the cove. A group of extremely knowledgeable, interesting gentlemen will talk you through each picture and piece of equipment they have on show for you to see. It was open on Friday and Sunday, while we were there, and my husband left as a signed up member of the battery heritage group.

Walking towards Berry Head, if you take the top road, the views looking back down on the harbour are spectacular. It’s easy to see how the vicar of the local church Henry Lyte was inspired to pen the words to ‘Abide with me’ from his home up there. St. Mary’s church bells ring out this tune which is amazing to hear while browsing round the shops. The absolute gem of Brixham for me is the outdoor sea swimming pool. Open from May onwards, it has a nearby cafe and picnic area. I must get a flowery bathing hat ready for next time we visit.

Our son lives in Torquay. He recommended the Harvester. Large car park, amazing views of the Riviera, superb steaks cooked to perfection. My salmon was scrumptious. Good value and excellent meal. In Brixham harbour, the Buller’s Arms looking out onto the Golden Hind with that roaring fire was very welcome.

Don’t go home without some fish from the harbour shop. That’s what this town is all about.

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