Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Life's pretty busy right now. The last few days have been spent ostensibly taking Niobe to Exeter Uni's open day. Given the distance from Nottingham we decided to extend this visit by a couple of days to incorporate some of the sights ( or blog lover stops) so we travelled via Stonehenge, Plymouth and finally Exeter (it was a very roundabout tour!)

I had hoped to see lots of the places shown on the various blogs I follow but luck wasn't really on my side! Hunting for white horses carved into the hillside proved fruitless (although they are shown on maps - they were obviously always around the other side of the hill to the road we were travelling!). We did, quite by accident, come across this flight of locks - an amazing feat of engineering completed 200 years ago!

Stonehenge would have been difficult to miss although its disappointing that it's surrounded by some very zealous security guards.

Onwards to Shaftesbury and Gold HIll - which meant nothing to Niobe as she had never seen the Hovis advert! Still the view was lovely as we sat and enjoyed breakfast al fresco.

I did have to pop in and see the lovely Sue (Vintage to Victorian) at Dairy House antiques. Sue persuaded me to start my own blog over a year ago so I'm very grateful to her for setting me on this journey. I would have loved to spend more time there rummaging through Sue's lovely haberdashery and fabric drawers looking for treasures but we were on a mission and had lots to pull in!

Honiton was high on my list - Kirsty (from the Homemade Christmas series) had waxed lyrical about one of the antiques centres at Honiton - but - it was Sunday and the shops were closed. There was a lovely little vintage toys shop selling toys at ridiculously cheap prices - but that was closed too. I'm ashamed to say how used to 7day trading I have become and assume its the norm everywhere.

Onward to Plymouth via Dartmoor. I loved seeing all the ponies able to wander at their will. I was a little concerend when I saw this -

but seconds later the little foal was up on its (unstable little legs)...

Plymouth was decidedly open to visitors and it was fascinating to learn more of the place from where the Pilgrim Fathers left for America all those years ago.

Monday saw my excitement mounting as thanks to Sal of "Sals Snippets" I had to visit Totnes and Ashburton. Sal's mentioned shops in both of these places and Totnes was a delight with lovely places to eat and lots of delightful shops with a vintage vibe not to mention charity shops which are in a different league from those in the Midlands!

The Snug at Ashburton was great with some lovely fabrics - some of these had to come back with me. There was a wonderful shop the "Vintage Emporium" from where I had to have my nose surgically removed from the window. Again - closed!!! AAAAAGGGGGHHHH!!!! I wanted to buy and couldn't. Floral Vernon Wards tantalising me with their kitsch loveliness. I can't believe that I managed to forget to carry my camera at several of these stops.

Exeter ticked most of Niobe's list of "must haves" in a Uni although I have to express some disappointment at some of the accommodation. While I don't expect (and can't afford for) her to live in luxury - she doesn't have that at home - I was horrified at some of what we saw. As she said "it looks like prison". She opened a wardrobe door which then fell off in her hand... I can see I'm going to have to come up with some creative solutions! (Not to mention a toolkit!)

I was given a "two for one entry" voucher for the Eden prject - to be used by 31st August. If anyone can use it I'll be happy to pop it in the post - just e-mail me your address at

Hope you're enjoying the sunshine!

Love Wend


  1. It sounds like a perfect mother and daughter only minorly consumerist road-trip. I think it's part of the challenge of being a student to lean to improvise and make awful places the envy of your friends. I still recall living in UK halls of residence as a student and walking next door from my bland room to where my Russian neighbour had turned hers into an opulent wonderland.

  2. some lovely places, shame about them being closed, never mind you saved some money.

    My daughter had a great time in halls, as long as Niobe can cook and manage money she'll be ok.
    just have fun ! (and work hard)

    Cate x

  3. What a lovely trip.
    Lots of places I have never seen either.

    I wonder if I can persuade Becky to visit some southern uni's next year.
    Or would that be selfish.

  4. HI Wend
    My son Tom is off to Hampshire soon he is 16 1/2 and is used to being waited on hand foot & finger! He is in halls with 10 meals a week, so he should survive! He has opened a bank account today for his EMA & one that parents can easily top up online ?!
    Sounds like you had a great trip, when you go to visit try Honiton again and don't forget Topsham.

  5. How dissapointing that so many of those lovely shops were closed,especially when you could see so many things to tempt you through the windows!
    You certainly made the most of your trip and visited some lovely places.

    Bellaboo :0)

  6. It really does sound wonderful, and quite nostalgic for me. Some of the white horses are hard to see from the road - the Uffingdon one has 'slipped' down the hill over the centuries so it's there, but hard to see. I spent ages looking for them with my family in my teens...

    Your excellent sailing ship in the post below is very like some printed on a coronation table cloth in my blog shop, so that's dated 1953, of course!

  7. Sounds and looks as if you had a great time. The photograph of the roses is beautiful.

  8. Lovely photos and your trip sounded lovely. Totnes is one of my favourite places too, especially for shopping!

  9. Hi Wend, sounds like a great trip with loads crammed in. The accommodation doesn't sound great but like you say I am sure you will come up with some 'creative' solutions.
    Ann x

  10. Wonderful trip Wendy despite some of the places being closed, still not always a bad thing financially speaking!
    I'd love to visit and re- visit all of the places you mention.
    Sandie xx

  11. My good friend took her son to Exeter Uni open day. Maybe your paths crossed, who knows. Glad you enjoyed your trip. xx

  12. A wonderful trip and like a lot of the others who have commented: what a shame some of the places were closed.

  13. Ah, yes, we did the Exeter Uni trip last year from Norwich, but he went to 'Lufbra' in the end - maybe not quite so scenic as Exeter judging from your lovely photos. Love your Blog - just found it.

  14. What a lovely trip!
    Hope you are doing fine and having a great summer!

  15. Only just read all this!!
    As you might well know, Nich went to Exeter Uni for 5 years... and still works there on the campus.
    The room he had in his first year was a box! But the positives far outweigh the negatives and Exeter is a city buzzing!
    All I know is that Nich had a fabulous 5 years at the Uni.It's a lovely campus. (I insisted he lived on the campus rather than live at home!!)
    Glad you managed to get to some of the places I mentioned!
    I was in Ashburton today, briefly and it's a wonderful,busy little town.
    I can't keep away from The Snug...nor The Vintage Emporium!
    Oh and Totnes...what a place!! ;-)
    Glad you enjoyed it all ;-)

  16. My girl is going to Salford - so its a bit nearer, but Exeter is a great place. You had a fab trip. xxx

  17. aren't you glad you weren't travelling on the canal. to negotiate those locks must be incredible ?

    hope all goes well for niobe.

  18. Hi Wend

    Only just got round to catching up with your blogposts after a bit of an unintentional blogging break!

    It was lovely to see you, and such a surprise! I hope Niobe has enjoyed all the excursions and will soon know where she'd like to be ... and hopefully find that she is granted a place there!!

    Hope to see you again before too long!

    Sue x