Sunday, 15 August 2010

Fun and frolics on a Paddle Steamer

Yesterday I had a fun day out with my husband Stew and our friend Sarah (alas Sarah's dog Alf the westie wasn't allowed on the boat so he had to stay at home...)

The weather forecast was terrible... it was supposed to be stormy and rainy all day - so we were pleasantly surprised when the Balmoral pulled up at Penarth harbour with no rain - a welcome reprieve!

So we got on and set off on the 2.5hr crossing from South Wales across the Bristol Channel to North Devon, and the pretty town of Illfracombe. I managed to get some knitting done on the journey - and see some of the great sites along the way. You can see I needed one of my knitted slouch hats to keep my ears warm!

After a longish period on the boat we finally arrived in Illfracombe - I was quite glad to get on dry land at this point! We had about 2 hours to pootle around the sleepy seaside town before we had to make the return journey

 We wandered up past a stunning handmade fudge shop, stopping off for some butterscotch fudge, and Stew and I hiked it up the hill to the town on a bit of a mission - to find the Illfracombe Chocolate Emporium!

This place of wonder had many cool things to see - including a chocolate museum, a shop selling handmade chocolate and local treats like home made wine and liqueurs - and this GIANT chocolate button!

We went upstairs and sat down for a rest - the view from the window was gorgeous - and by this point the sun decided to poke it's head out from all the clouds

We enjoyed a "mini cream tea" consisting of a scone with jam and Devonshire cream, and a pot of tea each. I was extra chuffed as they did gluten free scones - so I could actually eat one this time and not just watch Stew stuff his face!

Soooo yummy! After this we didn't have that long before we had to be back on the boat to go home, so we went for a walk along the sea front to look at the harbour, and enjoy the fleeting sunshine

Gorgeous eh? So our trip drew to an end, and we headed back. Another few hours on the boat going back rounded off a great trip. It rained a bit on the way home - the boat is covered so we were OK... except the roof had a leak above our seat!

We pulled back into Penarth at about 7.30pm, to dry but cloudy scenes:

All in all a great day out! and we did nearly miss all of the rain, except as we were about 100 yards from the car the heavens opened and it absolutely chucked it down in a very heavy shower! Soaked driving home but at least it was dry whilst we were out.

Even better, I got home to 3 order enquiries in my store! Bonus! It seems I always seem to get orders when out and about - maybe I need to take more boat trips!



  1. Sounds like a fantastic day. I'm chuffed that you had such a lovely day. I'd like to go to Ilfracombe sometime, but given my crippling seasickness I may have to go the long way around!

  2. you wouldn't have liked it with sea sickness - it was really choppy on the way back...We are now thinking of a North Devon road trip at some point now :)

  3. thats what I call a proper 'day out'.

  4. What a gorgeous little town! Looks like you had a blast :)

  5. Looks like fun! Um, and I want one of those giant chocolate buttons... yummmmmmy! ;)