Thursday 12 January 2017

J&J's English Road Trip: London to Devon

This year we decided that we wanted to spend New Year's eve in a cosy English cottage in the country side.  We must be getting old!  We decided over-crowded restaurants, bars and sky-high taxi fares just weren't for us this year.  Instead, good company followed by some wine and food in front of a cosy fire place…sounded like perfection!

A road trip from London to Devon offers the perfect opportunity to sample the best that the English countryside has to offer. It's no secret that we love road trips because it gives you more flexibility to stop and explore the sights. We picked up our rental car early in the morning and got our road trip essentials together for the journey including our karaoke tunes and our favourite treats. 

About two hours out of London we stopped to see Stonehenge. Being one of the most recognisable attractions in the world, it is also one of the world's greatest mysteries! We arrived just as they were opening so we pretty much had the place to ourselves for a while before the crowds started to arrive. It was amazing walking up to these monolithic structures with nobody around but the early morning mist.

We weren't the only ones enjoying the view. It was so lovely seeing sheep in the countryside. It reminded me so much of home in New Zealand. 

There is something magical about standing in front of these magnificent stones and realising how many people have made the same trip over thousands of years. Stonehenge is a bucket list visit! 

Back on the road, you start to notice the roads start to get smaller and more rural the more south through Wiltshire you go. You start to see cute tiny towns along the way. It was so tempting to stop at each one to look around and snap some photos. 

We had to pull over when we saw this gorgeous little pink English pub which was perfect to use as camouflage. 

Shop this look ~ Jacket // Scarf // Jumper // Boots

We finally arrived at our destination!  Devon provides the perfect base to explore the immediate area.  We stayed at The Coach House Hotel & Restaurant tucked away nicely in the middle of the Devon country side but just a five minute drive from “bustling” Tavistock.  We could enjoy the best of both worlds!  We would highly recommend a stay at the Coach House.  The owners are so lovely and we were made to feel extremely welcome and nothing was too much trouble.

 Of course it didn't take us long to make friends!  I would like to introduce you to Taylor.  He likes puddles, mud and sticks!  The owners of the Coach House kindly let us take Taylor for a walk through the countryside.

Shop this look ~ Gumboots // Beanie // Coat // Scarf old similar here

After all that fresh country air we filled up the bath and relaxed before meeting up with our friends to see in the New Year! I left the camera at home and we headed down to the local pub. Our evening was filled with champagne, a great deal of cocktails and beer, food and cosy fire places! It had me feeling like we were in the movie, The Holiday!

The next day we cured our sore heads by heading down to another cute 16th century traditional English pub called the Elephants Nest Inn. This pub has the most lovely atmosphere and rustic feel. As soon as you walk through the door you get that feeling, a bit like coming home. The menu was full of tempting dishes with lots of local food on offer. Really hearty food and not too expensive. 

It was such a fantastic way to see in the New Year. It truly doesn't matter where you are, but who you're with that makes New Year's special. Wishing you all a very happy New Year with all the blessings of love, joy, warmth and laugher…

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