Tavistock is one of the nicest market towns in the West Country, and five minutes from Dartmoor countryside. The centre is heavily influenced by the works of the philanthropic Duke of Bedford in the Victorian era, massive solid buildings such as the town hall as well as the many, many Bedford cottages built for miners. It sits on the lovely River Tavy where trout and salmon glide or sometimes fight their way up river past Tavistock, and is full of independent shops such as you wish were in your town. It is also the home of our favourite pub at the moment The Cornish Arms. We called here with Katherine and Aiisha the other day just for a drink. This time we were intent on its food.
We therefore got the express bus from Liskeard to Plymouth and then a pristine double-decker from there to Tavistock…surprisingly they run every fifteen minutes or thereabouts. Once we had left Plymouth, calling at the hospital etc etc, we were on our journey proper, soon into wooded roads, Dartmoor ponies, sweeping views of the moorland all round, a really enjoyable journey. After disgorging at the bus station, we made our way to the river where we had a leisurely stroll between the old abbey walls and the river itself, looking for fish along the way, and stopping to examine the more impressive bits surviving of the abbey precinct….for a very impressive write-up of what remains of the Abbey do see Johnie’s Meanderings…the so-called ‘still tower’ is perhaps where the monks used to distill their herbs into medicines, but almost certainly part of their infirmary..sketched by Turner incidentally….we walked onto Vigo bridge (the name worthy of more research)…took in a delightful little brasserie on the side of the river…and then made our slow way up the main shopping streetto our destination which didn’t disappoint…..a beautifully cooked 3-course meal and glass of Pinot Grigio for F. and a more prosaic haddock and chips for me (and a couple of pints…how nice to be on the bus)…just time for a couple more pics of Tavistock’s characterful buildings (these the upper floors of shops)……then time for the buses home – this time via the Tamar Valley, lots of villages and a change of bus in Callington. Another interesting day out – with fine food.