In fact, there is no better time to visit Devon. Accommodation is cheap, the countryside is glowing with the ever-changing autumn colours. The dramatic coastline and mighty seas are a sight to behold and you can have it all to yourself. And, of course, there are lovely little galleries, like ours, tucked away in the villages and lanes. If you are local, it's a good time to take advantage of the peace and quiet without being trampled by tourists and support local businesses.
During the summer we had a few people comment that we are hard to find! What? Hard to find? I guess some people either have no sense of direction or are just, well, dim. I mean, if you can manage to find Bideford it's pretty straightforward. Follow the main road through the centre of Bideford, on leaving the town turn right towards Bradworthy and we are fifteen minutes away just off this road on the left. That's one right and one left, duh? It is similarly easy from other directions, Bude, Holsworthy, Torrington, etc. I guess it depends on what you are used to.
We found people were coming in and saying, "When we got to Clover-Lee...." Wooh, hold on! Clover-Lee? You mean Clovelly, right? What was going on? People getting lost, pronouncing place names incorrectly and speaking like Stephen Hawking?! It could only be one thing. Yes, the dreaded satnav! It seems people plug these things in and switch off their brains. It was only when we decided to see how the satnav directed us to the gallery we found out that she pronounced Clovelly as Clover-Lee in some mid-Atlantic drawl and was insistent that we should take the next left at every turning. "Next left! Next Left!" She squawked, until she seemed exasperated and then went quiet for five minutes in a massive sulk before, finally, she threw in a last "Next left!" as if to get the last word before giving up. Hmm, reminds me of something, anyway...
We also found some visitors proclaimed, "Cor, you're in the middle of nowhere!" We are in Devon, everywhere is in the middle of nowhere, especially if you're from London! I prefer to think of us as an oasis in the heart of the beautiful Devon countryside. Peaceful, quiet, idyllic, that's why you came on holiday to Devon isn't it? If you want kiss-me-quick hats, amusement arcades, flashing lights and lots of noise I suggest Blackpool.
Anyway, now most of the visitors have gone home and thoughts turn towards Christmas what could be better for all you locals than to take a drive out to the countryside, park for free right outside and enjoy some of the best local talent. You can pick up some genuine original and unique gifts. Especially you chaps, if you're like me, shopping is a mission to get done as quickly as possible. Pull up outside, make a quick (but well considered) decision and be gone, no fuss. So I suggest, leave that nagging woman behind (no, no, you know what I mean!), get yourself a proper map and find something special for your loved ones. Remember, we are only fifteen minutes away, wherever you are coming from. So, come on, lose yourself!