Dads Sofa

Another Dad Blog

Category: Around Devon (page 2 of 4)

Out and about Exeter and Devon.

The Joy Of A “Stay-cation”

It’s quite a predictable conversation really, you say to someone you’re going to be on holiday, they ask where you’re going, you say your staying at home, and that seems to be the end of the conversation.

The thing is, yesterday, out on our bikes, chasing the small one around a nearby park, I don’t know where else I would want to be*, it was all quite simply glorious…

Shame Devon Council wants to dump a road over all of this really.

*It can also work out far cheaper to holiday at home…

Where To Go In Exeter When Its Raining?

There you are, visiting Exeter, arguably the capital of Devon, and its raining – not just raining, but really wet.  If its just you and possibly other adults, I’d suggest  hanging out in one of the pubs in town. If you’ve got small children with you, then its a different matter.

Heres the Dads Sofa list of where to go in Exeter, when its raining.

The Twisted OakThe Twisted Oak

The Twisted Oak pub, can be found in Ide, just by Exeter. The Twisted Oak is a combination of a pub, restaurant, tuck shop, and a indoor play area. We have a lot more about this playful pub here.

Café Connect at Riverside Church

Spacious cafe with nice food, good tea, and a box of toys. There is also good disabled access if needed. It found by the river, between the city centre, and St Thomas.

The Welcome Inn

Wonder down the quay – keep to the right hand side, and you’ll come across The Welcome Inn. Serving tea, cake, and a very warm welcome. It looks like The Welcome Inn will be closing soon, so make sure you can check it out when you can!

Stormtrooper-Lego2Thomas Moore

Because who doesn’t love a Toy Shop? That has lego and train play tables? It has loads of Legos, and this guy…

Work out the route from the City Centre down to the river, and you’ll find it.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Exeter’s, Royal Albert Memorial Museum is found in the town centre, minutes away from the High Street. There are many things to do, walk through / around, eat, and look at.

Its not open on Mondays or Banks Holidays, but feels like its open the rest of the time. Its free entry, and a great rainy day activity.

Just don’t bring in helium balloons. The staff get nervous.

Exeter Cathedral.

The Cathedral in Exeter is quite simply gorgeous.  While adults are charged, children can visit the cathedral for free, and use one of the “Explorer Backpacks” to explore the cathedral for themselves*! You can also help build a Lego Exeter Cathedral.

If you live within EX1 – 4 areas of Exeter / Devon, ask about their Resident Cards for free access. (Just remember to donate!) Theres also loads of events on, check out their website for more information.

Soft Play!

If you’re feeling brave, you could let yourself be dragged to one of the Soft Play centres in or near Exeter.  You could try…

Bear Feet

Riverside

Waie Inn (If you can get out there – give this a go!)

 

That’s a few ideas.

Are there any rainy day places to go in Exeter, that I’ve missed out, and should be included?

*Parental supervision is probably expected.

 

 

Rhino Hunting Continued…

Rota’s have aligned and both myself and Mrs Sofa have been able to get week holiday at the same time. After hearing horror stories about traffic down to Cornwall, we’ve decided to spend our holiday around Exeter, possibly also exploring around Devon a little.

After seeing the Grandparents in North Devon yesterday, we decided to go Rhino Hunting again in Exeter (as well as a few other jobs), here’s a little photo album of the ones we found – excluding the castle one… he didn’t take a good photo.

If you’re around the Exeter Cathedral Green, take a moment to say hi to the guys on the Lego table, and donate a pound to build a brick on Exeters very own Lego Cathedral.

#MySundayPhoto – More Rhino Hunting in Exeter

We spent yesterday morning searching for Rhinos around Exeter.

Quick tip we learnt from yesterday, go to the Museum first before the “Rhino Shop” in the Harlequins Shopping Centre. The staff in the museum seemed to be a little “on edge” at the sight of a helium balloon, which we got given at the Rhino shop. If you go Rhino hunting around there, probably best to go to Museum first, and avoid the staff having a nervous breakdown.

Check out greatbigrhinos.org.uk for information about why Rhinos are popping up around Exeter and South Devon.

Photalife

#MySundayPhoto – Rhino Hunting in Devon

The plan was to check out the Westcountry BrickShow, then go find a Rhino or two… Well the two hour queue for the Lego show put us off going, so instead we decided to start hunting Rhinos instead.

The “Great Big Rhino Project”, is a trail of rhinos to go and discover around Exeter, and South Devon.

Our Little One loved finding, hugging and occasionally licking the rhinos we found. Yeah… The licking thing is weird…

We found this a great way to explore around Exeter with the Little One, she particularly enjoyed the underground passages centre. (There’s one down there by the way!)

Armed with a map of Rhino locations, it’s a little bit like PokemonGo, except instead of Pokemon and flat phone batteries, you’re finding Rhinos… And it’s easier to do this in groups without all of you having smart phones.

Check out greatbigrhinos.org.uk for information about why Rhinos are popping up around Exeter and South Devon.

Photalife

#MySundayPhoto – Say hello To This Chap…

This fella can be found in Paignton Zoo, Devon.

Two lessons from our trip to Paignton Zoo:
1. Use the longer lens on the camera next time. (Would have been useful with the giraffes)
2. Snakes still make me feel uneasy.

Photalife

#MySundayPhoto – Memories of The Somme

Taken during the Shrouds of the Somme art exhibition in Exeter. It was to remember each one of the 19240 Allied servicemen who fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme 1 July 1916.

Seeing all the “bodies” lined up was a fantastic use of art to really hammer the human cost of that battle home.

For other Lego Photos please check out The Tales From The Toyshelf on Facebook.
Photalife

Exploring Fyne Court

Every now and then the stars align, and the two of us both have a weekend off at the same time. In a more remarkable twist, a couple of friends of ours from up in Bristol were also off that weekend as well. Being very aware that we hadn’t had the greatest record of going away with the Little One lately, we decided to meet up halfway between Exeter and Bristol. After a brief search for ideas*, we settled on exploring Fyne Court, a National Trust property between Taunton and Bridgewater.

According to the National Trust website:

Fyne Court is a hidden gem in the heart of the Quantock Hills. Explore this wild garden, looking out for the boathouse and folly.

The estate was the home of the Crosse family who lived here until the house was destroyed by fire in 1894. Discover how the fire started and find out where the house used to stand on one of our eye opener tours.

Putting it simply: Fyne Court is a beautiful secret, hidden somewhere in Somerset.

Finding this place was an interesting journey. It probably didn’t help that due to navigation “issues” we took the scenic route, but the scenic route included views of the gorgeous Quantock Hills, a pheasant, and a doe (baby deer) jumping into the road.

The parts of Fyne Court that we explored (we followed a shorter route) was a small forest, nestled in a sheltered part of Somerset. (Although a quick look online, confirms that Fyne court stretches out a fair bit more).  Just next to the car park you will find the the visitors centre, and a small cafe. The cafe seems to sell “light lunches”, as well as a great selection of cakes, and hot and cold drinks. Our Little One made a beeline for  the chocolate crispie cakes they had on sale there. Quality wise, it is a National Trust cafe, it is high quality.

After topping up our energy levels on hot chocolate, and chocolate crispie cakes, we set off to explore Fyne Court via their “20 minute” walking route. It probably takes 20 minutes for normal walkers, with a couple of little people it took longer, but the path was easy enough and didn’t present any particular problems. (Well the 13 month old presented some issues with a nappy, but that’s a different matter).

The entrance to the secret garden

There was fun for the three year olds, in the form of a tree trunk to walk along/climb on and wooden musical instruments along the route, and a spotter sheet to help keep them engaged along the route.  My personal highlight of the walk was the “sky glade”, an area that encouraged you to stop, look up, and take in the sky above.

We took advantage of one of the many picnic spots available. The one we stopped at being next to a duck pond which provided plenty of amusement for the little ones with us.

If you’re in the Somerset area, I would recommend checking out Fyne Court – but make sure your navigator is paying attention when you go there… (And yes – it is free entry)

Check out the Fyne Court website for more information.

(A cheap plug here for my Photography Facebook page which has the below picture taken from the area outside of the cafe at Fyne Court)

The Sleepeasy 2016 Twitter Feed

Well tonights the night of Exeter Sleepeasy. Where a large number of Exeter people are gathering to raise money to help fight youth homelessness in Devon. For those who aren’t able to take part, you can follow the Twitter side of things by following the feed below:

(presuming everything works how it should)

 


Does Devon need school lollipop patrollers?

School lollipop patrollers, the people that annoy some motorists, by ensuring mostly small children can cross the road safely. They have been a staple of a childs walk to school for a number of generations, but does Devon need school lollipop patrollers?  That’s the question that has been asked by Devon County Council a couple of times over the last 12 months or so, and according to the Exeter Express and Echo they are on the verge of not saying no – but that they shouldn’t be funded by tax payers money.

According to “The Echo“:

Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, schools and councillors, a proposal by Devon County Council to cease funding school lollipop patrollers has been approved at its cabinet meeting today.

The fate of the future of the service will now be decided next Thursday at a meeting of its full council.

The reason behind the cost cutting plans is to save £250,000 a year from the county council budget. Instead the cost will transfer to schools, with the patrollers themselves employed by a third party that would deliver the service on a full-cost recovery or commercial basis.

If schools decide not to fund the cost of their patrol, the alternatives are for it to be run by volunteers or to lose the service.

In other words, if a lollipop patroller service disappears, the council will say its the local schools fault for not sorting it out.

Is this David Camerons Big Society being played out? People needing to volunteer, because the state doesn’t want to find the money to help small  kids, and hassled parents to cross the road?

There is a campaign going, to try and save the crossing patrols, if you agree with what they’re trying to do, please sign their petition at change.org.

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