Saturday, 8 September 2012

2012 - Day Out 14: Torquay

Date: Friday 31 August 2012

After our successful trip to Weymouth in June, it is time for another mini break down to Torquay which will also be where the Torquay Vintage Bus Running Day will be taking place on Sunday. We will be staying at The Corbyn Head Hotel, which we used last year and hopefully experience a good weekends accommodation again this year.

Welcome to Torquay
It is an early start and with the case already packed weeks beforehand I do my first task of the day and send Mr UKBuses a text to say that I am on the way, but I won't be on the bus, I have saved Mr UKBuses some money by saving some shoe leather and Mom SBI picks him up in the car and drops us off at Stourbridge Interchange where we make our first journey of the day on public transport and we board the Stourbridge Dodger, but Mr Tonks is not driving this morning, but Roger is, luckily they didn't let me lose behind the wheel. Safely delivered, we alight at Stourbridge Junction where we board our London Midland train to Birmingham Snow Hill where we alight at 08:45 and make our way to the barriers. We don't even attempt to try and use the barriers and show the attendant our tickets who duly let us threw explaining that they wouldn't  have worked. We have a bit of time to spare, so we decide to go to J D Wetherspoons "The Square Peg" where we feed ourselves with bacon (making sure Mr Tonks was not around), and after finishing our breakfast we make our way to Birmingham New Street to get our next train to take us to the coast. Before we enter the station, I decide to have my last "fresh air" break in the Midlands (and have to wait three and a half hours for the next one!!!) and we also get some refreshments from W H Smiths before boarding our train operated by Arriva CrossCountry and departing at 09:42. We take our seats and have some rest, passing through Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-Super-Mare and following the coast around Dawlish before arriving at Torquay just after 13:00.

The first thing I do when I get off the train is leave Mr UKBuses for dust as I run out to the front of the station to get some "fresh air", with my break over we make our way along the seafront and after a five minute walk we arrive at our accommodation for the weekend, The Corbyn Head Hotel. We book in and the receptionist remembers us from last year and after our keys are handed to us, we make our way to our rooms and have a rest and freshen up before meeting in reception to get our first bus. We only have to take a few steps as the bus stop is virtually outside the hotel. We don't have to wait long before our bus turns up and we catch the Stagecoach South West Service 12 which takes us to the town centre in Torquay, which is where we alight and walk down The Strand to our next stop and after about ten minutes wait Stagecoach South West's Service 11 arrives which will take us to our first destination of the day. We pass through Shaldon and after forty minutes we arrive.

Stuck in Teignmouth
We pass through the railway station at Teignmouth and as we head into the road opposite we hit a problem, the bus in front cannot move as there is a car parked (with a disabled badge) in the road which means that the buses cannot get round the corner see picture right, so we alight and make our way into The Triangle. On the way we decide to pop into "The Brass Monkey" for a quick drink. Mr UKBuses decides to have a quick look outside to see if the buses have moved, I can clearly see what he is up to as I can see him on the pub's CCTV and after we finish our drinks we make our way back round to The Triangle where we catch our next bus, Stagecoach South West service 2 which passes through Dawlish and Dawlish Warren before reaching our next destination, the City of Exeter, as we left Teignmouth the buses were still stuck, but the police were in attendance. After arriving at Exeter, we alight our bus and take a few photographs around the bus station and coach park and also the bus depot opposite. We make our way back to the bus station to get our bus, even though we do see a First X53 service to Weymouth about to pull in, but our stuff is at the hotel so we decide to wait a few minutes when our next bus turns up, Stagecoach South West's service X46 which leaves Exeter just after 17:20 and takes us back to Torquay and drops us right outside our hotel. We go back to our rooms for a rest and refresh before our evening out.

A drink in the hotel
We both meet up about and hour later and have a drink in the hotel bar to decide where we would go tonight (See picture left), eventually we decided to visit Brixham so we finish our drinks off and cross the road outside the hotel, where we waited a while for Stagecoach South West service 12 to turn up, but it did and we catch it and after a journey time of just over half an hour we arrive in Brixham. The first stop is J D Wetherspoon's "The Vigilance" where it did take a while to be served but we eventually did and sampled Weymouth Bitter. We were going to have food here but it was quite busy and looked like we would be in for a long wait if we ordered. It did quieten down so we thought we'd give it a chance and ordered our food, Mr UKBuses opts for his Chicken Tikka Masala with Poppadoms and I opt for the Beefburger and Beer. I arrived at the table and Mr UKBuses enquired how long the food would be, I must admit I did joke and say "40 minutes", but we were quite shocked when it arrived just after ten minutes. We eat our food and decide to try a pub that we liked last year, so we walk through the town working our food off to get to the next pub.

Cheers from The Hole In The Wall.
After a ten minute walk we arrive at "The Hole In The Wall", see picture right,  a pub that we tried twice last year and it deserved a welcome return this year due to the friendliness of the place last year. After ordering our drinks, we decided to sit at the bar, but the atmosphere felt different this year and it seemed that it must have been weirdo's night judging by the few people in our area of the pub. We soon drink up and before we catch the bus, we spot another pub over the harbour so decide to have one last drink in Brixham and sample "The Rising Sun", a nice pub with the people seeming more friendlier than they were in The Hole In The Wall tonight. We have a quick drink here and walk back to the bus stop and as we arrive the bus is waiting for us, so we board and take the ride back through Paignton before reaching our hotel. A quick nightcap in the hotel bar is sampled before getting rest for the day ahead tomorrow.

A perfect start to the weekend with perfect weather and perfect company, a welcome return to the coast.

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