Dreams definitely are made of this
Well, fortune was on my side and I did make it to the wonderful Farm holiday at West Ilkerton Farm .
What a wonderful place this was, modern and comfortable, yet far removed from the real world!
As a competition winner, I won a three night break at the farm, but, unfortunately could not arrange to take all those I had hoped to s
hare the holiday with because of the short notice.
Having sorted out who could make it I travelled up the North Devon Link Road on the Friday afternoon and arrived at the farm just before 17:00. The farm is located about 2 or 3 miles from Lynton and Lynmouth and has it's own world dedicated to it.
I went with my daughter and her friend, both recently relieved to have completed their GCSE's. We were met on arrival and shown the accommodation, it was all we could have hoped for.
I had a king sized four poster bed, and they shared a room with two singles. The other king sized bedroom was spare! We rattled around in the space, but it was so good to be able to relax without any constraints.
We took plenty of BBQ food and decided that we should get the most out of the outdoor cooking facility, and we certainly did that! As we cooked on the first evening we had the delights of rural North Devon to survey and were accompanied by some of the farm animals to help us out. The homemade burgers, with a hint of curry and chilli were a hit, along with the sausages and accompaniments. The wood for the BBQ was given to us by our host and certainly did the trick. To cleanse myself of the smell from the BBQ I took a soak in the bath, which was long enough for me to lay almost flat, that was so relaxing.
On the second day the girls went off into Lynton and Lynmouth, travelled back by bus and then walked the last mile up the rather steep approach and they had a wonderful time. They toured the selection of shops they found and also went for a dip in the rather chilly sea, time for another BBQ, followed by a few drinks and a relaxing time with some of the video's that were available in the house. The girls also found the table football entertaining, but I was limited by a cricket injury to my hand, so couldn't make much use of it. Luckily, that was good news as I was also chief BBQ cook.
The weather had been good to us, especially after recent wet periods, and on Sunday we travelled to Porlock where we met up with a couple of friends who would share the day with us. Of course, we also shared another BBQ and went to town with Prawns, kebabs, more home made burgers and so many sausages! Just for consistency and to keep ourselves lubricated, we also had a few drinks, testament to this could be found in the recycling bin in the kitchen. We had a race against the weather as signs of wetter things to come greeted us. We managed to get the BBQ done and eaten and cleared away before the low cloud over the hill (which felt like rain) brought an end to our outdoor eating. We retired to the comfort of the lovely farmhouse and chatted whilst we finished our drinks.
Such a simple, but hugely relaxing time was had, no mobile phone calls or messages, there's virtually no chance because of the lack of signal, and that gave us the opportunity to remove ourselves from everyday life.
I must recommend the farm itself and the holiday company CartwheelHolidays because they have been fantastic. Just enough involvement, but not too pushy to put you off. I managed to give my head an almighty clatter on the way out of the back door, it nearly brought me to my knees, but this was to be expected at least once, having been warned about it, but luckily there was no lasting damage and I look forward to another opportunity to share the delights of this farm. The next time will hopefully be with more of my close family, but this was certainly special.
By Simon Bailey, Blog competition winner