As soon as Lockdown 2.0 was over we jumped in the car and drove to Devon where we stayed in a lodge that had a private hot tub, yes, we are fancy bitches.
The place was fucking freezing and when the host showed us around he pointed out the electric meter. I was like yeah, what are you showing me this for? And why do I care if it takes £1 and £2 coins? Ooooh, we’ve got to pay for the electric, gosh I wish I’d seen that in the booking Ts & Cs.
Helpfully, there was a welcome book in the lodge which outlined a number of walks that we could do around Exmoor. There were walks “for every level of walker” from a leisurely 4,000-mile hike to the slightly more strenuous 7,000-miler.
The view from the lodge was obviously bloody stunning, and upon the hill was a house that the host told us belonged to Helena Bonham Carter. But according to him she bought it for tax reasons and doesn’t really live there, a bit like how Russian oligarchs buy property in London just to get rid of some money. What a burden money is.
The grounds of the lodge had a games room, a small heated swimming pool and a kid’s playground; luckily, the most I heard from any kids was a tiny murmur, anything more and I may have had to drown them in my hot tub, which would have been terribly inconvenient and totally ruined the luxury “weekend in a lodge with a hot tub” vibe that I had going on.
The Hot Tub
The hot tub was hooked up to a different meter than the one we had to pay for, which was a bit of luck because the amount of time we spent in there would’ve cost us a bloody fortune.
For those of you who have ever gotten pissed in a hot tub, you’ll know that it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures. You get to drink alcohol while sitting in hot bubbly water that makes you feel about half a stone, great, now that I can’t feel how hefty my body is I can continue to fuel it with these cans of strong lager.
Since I began coming off antidepressants I’ve been doing lots of meditation and being present in nature (don’t worry I’m not going to burst into song), so sitting in a hot tub during the day when it’s fricking freezing outside while watching the birds fly around the trees really does great things for the mind.
We went out for dinner in a cute little country pub where I had a halloumi baguette and chips AND IT WASN’T EVEN LUNCHTIME! Normally the bellends in these sorts of restaurants take great satisfaction in telling me that baguettes are only for lunchtime. Baguettes are for every time and I’ll hear no more about it, thank you.
When we did embark on a walk, we threw the welcome book out of the window and just walked where we wanted, which was basically us going “shall we go this way or that way?” “Well, that way looks hilly as fuck, so let’s go this way instead”. We did try to find HBC’s house, but as you can imagine it’s not accessible to muggles like us.
On the second day, we visited a part of Exmoor called the Valley of Rocks near the town of Lynton. It had feral goats along the cliff top and the scenery was stunning and so bloody dramatic that I felt like I was in Game of Thrones. I will now be referred to as the mother of feral goats.
We popped into Lynton on the way back to have yet more carbs in the form of yet more baguettes in a cute little tea room. Not wanting to visit Devon and not have cream tea we ordered some to go and shoved them into our faces in the car before setting off on the journey back home.
It was the first trip after lockdown 2.0 and we went to celebrate our birthdays that we’d missed because we were too busy staying at home and crying about missing yet another celebration (previously in the year our wedding was cancelled, our honeymoon was cancelled and my will to live was cancelled with immediate effect, NO REFUNDS, YOU GO NOW!).
When I was a teenager I lived in South Devon for a few years in a place called Exmouth. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, what teenager wants gorgeous scenery, long stretches of sand dunes and beautiful walks? Not this one thanks, I wanted an underground transport link, some heavy pollution and a flipping Starbucks. As a 31 year old I can definitely appreciate the place more.
I would definitely recommend going to Exmoor because it’s just ridiculously beautiful, but make sure you stay in a lodge with a hot tub, because if it’s pissing it down then there’s sod all else to do.