On Monday 29th April 2013, 40 plus people left Faringdon and the surrounding area for Jenny Braithwaite’s National Trust Trip to Paignton –  4 nights in a hotel and 5 days visiting several properties. The sun shone, and the first day was a little chilly with a cold wind but after the recent dreadful weather it was a bonus. The first visit was at lunchtime at A La Ronde near Exmouth. A house built for 2 ladies who lived in this one storey round house and moved round into different rooms to follow the sun and the light as the day progressed. Later on the second floor was developed, and there is a beautiful shell gallery in the domed roof, not accessible at the moment needing repair. After that the journey continued to our hotel in Paignton. This was situated on the sea front in Paignton so was good for wandering along the prom. Etc.

Second day, we visited Colton Fishacre. The weather was actually hot, and again clear and sunny. I think this was most peoples’ favourite house – built for the D’Oyly Cartes in the 20’s. Because it was a fairly recent house it seems very livable in and almost as if you could move straight in! The welcome here was superb too with the volunteers particularly friendly. In the living room they played music of the era and we found ourselves tapping our feet and dancing a little!

Third Day, was Buckfast Abbey, not National Trust but free entry and a very interesting place. A beautiful Abbey, gardens of different types, one for medicines and so on. Here they are famous for Buckfast Tonic Wine, and are known for their bee keeping, and therefore they sell many products from that.

Fourth Day, we visited Greenway, the summer home of Agatha Christie. To get here we had a leisurely trip on the River Dart to arrive at the landing stage. Then there was a choice of a steep walk up to the house, or to be transported in the vehicles provided. The house is beautiful with fantastic views down to the river and the surrounding countryside, but the house itself was absolutely stuffed full of ‘things’- she obviously was a great ‘collector’. The shop also seemed to have  all  her books on sale, and there are a fair few of them! The gardens are lovely also.

Fifth day and on our way home we visited first of all a Fuchsia Nursery where some had a guided tour round, and it was a good coffee stop then after a fair part of the journey we arrived at Barrington Court. As the journey progressed back home the weather grew more chilly and cloudy and so the good weather was obviously failing but I think we all felt that we had had a VERY good few days and had been very lucky. Thanks once again to Jenny Braithwaite. Where next Jenny?

Colton Fishacre

Colton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre

Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey

Roof and Shell Gallery

Roof and Shell Gallery

Boat Trip

Boat Trip

Peter on Board

Peter on Board

Al La Ronde

A la Ronde

The view from Al- la Ronde

The view from A la Ronde

Greenways

Greenways

View from Greenways

View from Greenways