Monday, 19 March 2012

A Dartmouth Circular Walk + Lunch at Alf Resco

On a recent crisply freezing but bright blue day, we avoided the difficulties in finding parking spaces in Dartmouth by heading to the National Trust owned car park at Little Dartmouth.  You don't really need to consult a map as it's pretty straightforward, but if you did, this is quite useful.

Head straight down to the coastal path and meet that glorious blue sea edged with cliffs and lush pasture.  It's a great walk to do as a family.  There is coastal path, a wooden bridge, a steep hill to run helter-skelter down, optional beaches, a castle and then just as your legs are getting weary and your mouth in need of refreshment, you hit Dartmouth.

 Dartmouth is an upmarket harbour town with lots of shops selling 'gorgeous things, dahling', but it is undeniably picturesque and has some good eateries.We were muddy and in walking boots so not feeling in the mood for anything too snazzy, so we popped into Cafe Alf Resco which fitted the bill nicely.  Inside is very dark and very busy, full of families having late breakfasts / brunches, plenty of sauce bottles on tables and most people indulging in bacon of some variety.  My son and I opted for bacon sarnies which were excellent, large, good fresh bread and plenty of filling.

My daughter had the smoked salmon scrambled eggs which she  thought were fine, but not amazing.

A good re-fuelling stop, but they had committed the cardinal oar facing me with the immortal words 'Live Laugh Love'.  This cliched phrase is like a fingernail going down a blackboard.  It makes me squirm with embarrassment.  If you are also someone who finds this phrase intensely irritating, read this McSweeney's open letter that will make you  'Live, Laugh, Love'  giggle.

We had a quick mooch around the shops (Damn, I could only find about 129 items that had the 'L, L, L' phrase printed on them, but not the perfect one for my bedroom mantelpiece) and then headed back towards the car.

The route is shorter on the way back, but has a bit of an epic hill to climb: be warned if you have whingey kids, you might need a pocket full of sweets for that bit.  The entire circular walk is about 5.5 miles but the half way stop off in Dartmouth makes it seem far shorter.  You could spend a whole day doing this and incorporate a visit to the historic Dartmouth Castle, or pause for a river boat trip.  We managed the whole thing with lunch and shopping in about 4.5 hours.

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