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On Holiday to Sidmouth, England

Submitted by Bethany on Thu, 10/18/2018 - 10:00

One of the joys of a long housesit for us, is getting to be involved with a local church community. Many joys come with being involved in a local church community including opportunities for worship, service, fellowship, and now, going on holiday! The Murton Methodist group has had a trip planned to Sidmouth in Devon for a while now, and when they had some last minute cancellations I was invited to go along! 


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I should note, Joel and I were both invited to attend, but because of the cats one of us needed to stay behind and care for them. We missed each other, but I'm sure Joel enjoyed his few days of bachelorhood as much as I enjoyed my time being on holiday with the church group. It will take me several posts to share all about this trip so I hope you're ready! 

We left on Sunday afternoon, taking a bus with South Wales transport. I went on several school trips to Europe back in the day that had us riding around on buses like this, so it was a bit of a throwback for me. This time I was armed with my Kindle loaded with 4 books to read (so much easier than hauling around 4 physical books!). Of course I ended up spending a lot of the trip chatting with people instead which was wonderful. I love getting to know new people!

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We made one stop on the way there for snacks, and more importantly, coffee! Just like Methodists back home, coffee seems to be an important food group and an essential part of most gatherings. I'm always an odd duck out because I don't really drink coffee very often, mostly because I have to add a ton of sugar and milk to make it palatable to me. I did get cappuccino a few times on this trip, and always felt a bit silly adding three packs of sugar to it! 

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When we arrived at our hotel the bus got stuck trying to go up the main driveway. I don't know how anyone drives those things, especially on narrow European roads! Eventually he got us backed up and turned around and we went to the back entrance of the hotel. I can't wait to share all about the gorgeous historic hotel, but that will be for another post! For now I'll share a little about the town of Sidmouth. 

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The town is on the English Channel coast in Devon. It is a lovely seaside village with several churches, and lots of restaurants and shops! When we first arrived I walked into town (to get my two miles in for the day!) but since it was a Sunday after 5pm, not much was open. Later in the week Emily and I walked down together and got to explore more of the town! 

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Many of the shops were brightly colored and lively. There were a lot of tourist-y places with souvenirs, as well as places you would find in any small town - grocery stores, sweet shops, and clothing stores. One of my favorites was a cute little place called "Flutterbys". It was a jewelry making store!  You could buy everything you needed to make your own jewelry, and then do it in a corner of their shop, or take it home. I didn't buy anything but I sure was tempted by some Halloween jewelry. 

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I took a picture of this flower shop just because I loved the name. What a perfect name for a flower store! 

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Also, this shirt I found (in a camping store of all places) just cracked me up. I assume it's a play on this song which Joel and I reference often. (Or maybe it's a British joke I don't get?! haha, who knows). 

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By far the best part of town was, of course, the coast line. In all it was about a 15 minute walk from our hotel to the water. You can walk along the water for a long ways on this great walkway. The weather was a little overcast and misty the whole time we were there, but it was still well worth making time to go down to the water. 

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Actually walking along the water however... not so easy. The beach is made of rocks! Emily and I walked down close to the water a bit, but neither of us were really wearing the right shoes for such a venture. Plus the rocks shift a lot making it easy to fall, especially if you're already accident prone like I tend to be. Definitely beautiful though. 

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Emily told me this area is famous for the red cliffs that line the sea. You can see them in the distance of this photo, though you can't really tell the color. They looked more red in person and were definitely majestic, but I am not a good enough photographer to have captured that for you so you'll just have to take my word for it. 

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Before heading back to the hotel for lunch we stopped in with some church people for, what else, coffee! One of the older gentleman in the group insisted on treating us so I got another cappuccino (that I then doused in sugar). When I pair that with everything I ate on this trip (the food was so good!) I'm understanding why I feel a bit heavier now that I'm home. Time to keep walking! This coffee shop was cozy and comfy with a view of the water, and a sign saying it was only 87 miles to France from here. 

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So there's a quick rundown of our arrival in the area and the town we visited. I will share more in the coming days about the actual hotel, the worship and fellowship we shared while there, and a lovely walk we took along "the byes". Keep tuning in! 

XOXO, Bethany