We decided on the spur of the moment to sneak off via our company, Shearings holidays on one of their cheapo weekends, this time in Exmouth. As soon as the weather gets better, they do raise their prices quite a lot but there are still good value for money and winter is the time to take part. We paid £89 per head for three nights bed and breakfast and evening meal. The breakfasts are huge, all-you-can-eat, and if you feel ‘economical’ you can get away with a small lunch or no lunch at all. You always take a risk going off season but as you will read, the weather was very kind to us.
The Jet Stream brings a lot of rain but it also keeps the cold away from the majority of the United Kingdom so it is a mixed blessing. Back to the hotel: You get what room you are given and we got an internal one i.e. without a window but ensuite and quiet as a tomb. I switched on the TV as soon as I got in and continued with my fascination or is it an obsession with the Olympics.Funny thing, this design. This delightful toilet seat seems to be intended for people with square bottoms. It was uncomfortable but I suppose someone somewhere thought it looked good. We had a bath that was triangular so it was impossible to lie down and the shower did not work particularly well but basically you get what you pay for, but with Shearings, a little bit more. The staff are very nice and try hard.
Exmouth is basically the mouth of the Exe River – all 56 kilometres length – which goes inland to encompass Exeter. This town, population 35,000, is a little bit in the backwater, part tourist, part Marina for boats but the biggest thing is the access to many delightful walks along the coast. It definitely has its share of eccentrics dressed accordingly and entertaining us with their colourful language in the various bars. One thing of note, Exmouth has the most amazing fish fresh cooked to perfection ‘melt in the mouth’ stuff. It is caught locally. If you are a fish person, hesitate no more.
After supper on the first evening we walked up and down the promenade in the dark listening to the power of the waves crash on the concrete below. They sound more formidable if you cannot see them. It was about 4° above freezing with a moderate wind so we had to dress for the occasion. I find it normally takes a few hours to cast off our normal bubble and realise that we are actually somewhere else so in my experience, taking it very easy over the first critical Golden Hour is a good idea. No thinking, be a vegetable.
All couples who come on Shearings specials are of a certain age and there is an easy come easy go comradeship so you can just go and talk to someone as if you’ve known them all your life and that is accepted behaviour. I think people come for the social side as well as the holiday side. On Saturday night you get four vouchers for four drinks so that helps the atmosphere a little bit. One thing about such a big company is they have learned their lessons through feedback from previous customers so the product is pretty smooth. The main course arrives within about 2 min of ordering it.
to be continued