A Week In Devon

As you may know, THE latest NOVEL is out. I feel kind of both on a writing “break” as well as a bit “unemployed.” For the first time since early 2020, I am not writing anything for eventual publication.

We also decided to take a short actual HOLIDAY…

[A famous landmark, as seen while passing by on the A303 road. Photo by me, March 2022. I was not driving.]

We drove down last weekend to Devon, in the southwest. For the week we rented an Airbnb from a lovely couple who have turned a surviving 16th century shell of a one-time stone barn into a three room cottage. The exterior walls were kept as exterior features, but the rest of the rebuild is timber-framed…

[Photo by me, Devon, England, April 1, 2022.]

The interior was extremely well finished, too.

It was on the edge of Dartmoor National Park…

[Sharp Tor, in Dartmoor. Photo by me.]

The main reason we were there is friends have moved from a Bristol suburb to what is known as “the English Rivera.” They bought a sea view house in the old town of Paignton (pronounced “Pain-ton”). It is about 15 minutes from where we were staying inland.

A couple of miles along the coast from their new house is the adjoining (slightly larger) town of Torquay

[Torquay, Devon. Photo by me, March 2022.]

Author Agatha Christie was born in Torquay. And poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived in it in the 1830s – her doctor recommended it as a place to recover from some illness. (Probably tuberculosis. “Taking the air” so to speak, as we know Victorians did.)

Today it also boasts some fine U.S. dining…

[American dining. Torquay, Devon. Photo by me, 2022.]


We ventured several other places with them. One was another famous (smaller) seaside town: Dartmouth…

[Dartmouth, Devon. Photo by me.]

The Royal Navy College is in Dartmouth. The town is all about the ocean and always has been…

[Photo by me, Dartmouth, England.]

The sea is naturally important in the region overall, too. You may know that the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth in western Devon in 1620 for the English-claimed land in North America.

[Start Point Lighthouse. Photo by me.]

Along the Devon coast, we ventured to a more recent place also of importance to Americans – although far less known that the Mayflower: Slapton Sands…

[Slapton Sands. Photo by me, March 2022.]

If you know about D-Day and the Allied landing in Normandy, France in June 1944, you may know of the tragedy that happened off that beach…

[Sherman Tank Memorial at Slapton Sands. Photo by me, March 2022.]

In late April, in the middle of a night in Lyme Bay, German fast surface “E-boats” that had left from occupied French Cherbourg, managed to avoid British patrol ships, and got among some “Exercise Tiger” training ships, sinking four, and killing nearly 750 Americans.

A recovered U.S. Sherman tank found in the bay by a local man in the 1970s is on display.

[Ukranian flag at the Sherman Tank Memorial. Photo by me, March 2022.]

At the Sherman Tank Memorial, it is not a British or a U.S. flag that is currently fluttering.

That is hardly the only place. Ukranian flags are all over here in Britain right now. For instance, here in nearby Tavistock, these two…

[Tavistock, Devon. Photo by me, March 2022.]

Back to a more pleasant subject. Devon is famous for its “cream teas.” They are basically tea, served with a scone that is covered in cream.

Our friends found a place in Torquay’s Babbacombe area that did them and we checked it out…

[Angels Tea House, Babbacombe, Devon. Photo by me, 2022.]

And their creamed tea was, uh, terrific…

[Babbacombe, Devon. Photo by me, March, 2022.]

A Devon cream tea is a nice to have NOW AND THEN, but it is not exactly “health food.” LOL!

In our driving around…

[A two way Devon road. Photo by me, 2022.]

…and some of Devon’s non-main roads are, uh, rather interesting…

…we also stopped in at Buckfast Roman Catholic Abbey – on a quiet morning. It is one of the real sights of the county…

[Buckfast Roman Catholic Abbey, Devon. Photo by me, March 2022.]

Uh, this is not “health food” either. I had had no idea this product even existed…

[Devon Vodka. Photo by me, 2022.]

The abbey gift shop was selling it, so we bought one. LOL!

Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂


  1. My congratulations, dear Robert! A new book is a new joy & a new page for another one. 🙂 Vodka in Devon? What a surprise! The tea seems to be delicious indeed….and pure British.
    Greetings from Paris!
    Maria 😊

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