Driving with Hertz. 2 more days in Devon and the Cotswolds

Driving with Hertz. 2 more days in Devon and the Cotswolds

After a magnificent time in Cornwall and Dorset it was time to hit the road again, this time Devon being my first destination.

First, I planned to write separate posts about my last days roaming the country but I decided to write one single article and simply split it by destinations.

So I had:

  • One day driving to Clovelly and Ilfracombe
  • One day driving to the Cotswolds(Bourton on the Water, Lower Slaughter, Snowshill, Broadway)
  • One day driving to Stow on the Wold(been there before but really enjoyed it) then reaching Clent Hills and finally Birmingham.

I titled the article “2 more days…” because the last day was under 100 kilometers and then I reached Birmingham and in a way I knew my trip ended.

These last few days brought me slowly towards more and more people and even tourists as I entered Bourton on the Water.

I found the magnificent Cornwall and Dorset rather empty of tourists but quickly started to feel crowded in Burton.

As a matter of fact I think that it was the busiest place in all my trip throughout the UK.

So first things first I will start with my day in Clovelly and Ilfracombe.

From Weymouth to Clovelly there are about 168 kilometers so the road won’t take you long. The hardest parts from my trip were long behind and most of the distances now were small to medium.

Clovelly is a gem. I will jump right into this and say it. I just loved it.

After parking your car and paying 7.5 euro for entrance to Clovelly (parking included) you start walking on a small road that leads you to the village.

No cars are allowed and I truly think that this is one of the best things that can happen. Just like Polperro cars are restricted and I always thought that some little towns really need to have this rule.

I’ve seen some lovely little places ruined by cars presence. And I’m not talking about locals but rather letting the tourists in with their cars.

I wholeheartedly agree with what they did in Cinque Terre for example where with the exception of small parts of Monterosso there are no cars allowed in.

Having so many tourists is great for business but you have to understand that it also takes a toll on cities. Small delicate places like Cinque Terre, Alberobello, Locorotondo would be damaged over and over again if cars would be allowed in parts of them.

I do think that on my trip to the UK there are things that could be better protected by removing cars from there.

Granted, this is not Italy where millions of tourists flock each year but it is still disruptive even at a lesser level.

Clovelly is something out of a fairy tale. A small road leading downstairs flanked by houses then another twisted road leading to the harbor.

I got some lovely pictures here and I can only guess this place is a small gem during sunset or even before night.

Just like Polperro this place is a must see in my opinion.

You can just sit on a small bench and watch the harbor and relax. The whole area is so quiet that you will forget how time passes.

As a matter of fact between taking 50 pictures (or more) I bought some ice-cream and just stretched on a little wooden bench and enjoyed looking at people.

Do yourself a favor and if you visit this part of England, don’t miss this place. You will enjoy it.

It is very small so a couple of hours is more than needed to enjoy the views and relax.

Ilfracombe. Reaching Ilfracombe from Clovelly is so easy. 53 kilometers distance between them so in about an hour.

In my honest opinion, if you want to see Clovelly and Ilfracombe in a day, this is more than doable. As a matter of fact if you don’t want to explore the surroundings, you can easily move towards another destination.

I chose to sleep in Ilfracombe because I hoped for some night photos but they didn’t turn out as good as I hoped for.

Since I was almost at the end of my trip I didn’t feel upset and I was in no rush.

I think that Ilfracombe is nice and Wildersmouth Beach is a great place for photography but when it comes to choosing one place I would rather visit Clovelly over Ilfracombe.

I have posted on the blog detailing my accommodation in Ilfracombe. I will post something covering my meal from Ilfracombe and one place in Burton on the Water so stay tuned.

My second day started with a longer drive to the Cotswolds. From Ilfracombe to Bourton on the Water there are 225 kilometers and that was truly the last big road segment in my trip.

On that day in the Cotswolds I moved between Bourton on the Water, Lower Slaughter, Snowshill and Broadway.

I won’t dwell on the distances between these places because they are really small and you will move fast from one place to the other.

I chose for that day three new places and a place I visited back in 2016 and loved my time there.

While I enjoyed my time in Bourton on the Water (review coming soon covering a meal I had there) I found it the busiest of all the villages I visited.

Lots of buses in the big parking lot outside the villages spilling numerous clients, a thing I did not see in Snowshill for example or even Broadway.

There are 2 ways in which you can visit the Cotswolds and it all depends on you and how much time you have:

  1. Drive around in a car, stop, park it and then spend a couple of hours in each place
  2. Walk around the towns or even between them. I have seen many people do this since the distances are really close between many of these pretty villages.

I found Snowshill to be the emptiest of the villages I visited and it felt like I was the only one there. I really think I saw just three people during my time there.

So if you want something really quiet then Snowshill over Bourton any day.

I chose not to speak about Lower Slaughter because I already covered it in my 2016 trip article so you can read there about it. Nothing really changed and I still find this place as one of the most beautiful places in the Cotswolds.

My last stop came in Broadway where I even stayed for the night in a fantastic place, one which I reviewed here. As a bonus, inside the article, you will find also a small review for a place where I enjoyed breakfast in Broadway.

The main reason why I picked Broadway for resting is because of the Broadway Tower and the pictures I wanted to shoot there that evening.

All I can say is that the pictures I took on that evening turned out to be some of my favorite pictures from my entire trip and I highly recommend this place for anyone who wants to see something beautiful.

The place is extremely photogenic and I am so sorry I was tired that night and I couldn’t drive again to the Tower.

Of course you can walk to it but after heavy days driving, walking about 20-25 kilometers each day while carrying a big photo bag on my back I just couldn’t gather myself that night and frankly I regret it because on that night the sky had millions of stars on it and I loved sitting on a bench in Broadway and just staring at them before going to bed.

I just try to think positively and know that I will return to Birmingham someday, preparing for another big trip and I will give this place another try.

The next day I took a quick run toward what was my favorite place from the Cotswolds in 2016. Stow on the Wold.

You can read about my impressions on my first UK article so there is no point in me detailing much again.

From Stow on the Wold to Clent Hills are only 65 kilometers and I guess you can say I ended my driving adventure here after close to 1800 kilometers spent driving in the UK.

Clent Hill is nice and you can spend some time here because it is very close to Birmingham (20 kilometers away) and you can chose to walk the green park or see the famed stone formation there.

I guess that’s about it. In a nutshell.

While I am sure I left many things behind I am also aware of the fact that regardless how many things one reads or how many YouTube clips or pictures he sees getting somewhere and experimenting for yourself beats everything.

There are quite a few places in this trip that I would love to see again.

And even though I tried to see as much as I could I am sure of the fact that I missed so many things. As a matter of fact a week upon returning I found on Instagram a beautiful place in Cornwall that I missed. And it looked amazing.

But I guess this is the trade off. There really isn’t that much time to see all. Having only 21 free days each year I will miss many things since I can’t fit them during my trips.

On the other hand I am more than happy with the things I saw.

I think one of the reasons for running, walking so much, driving so much is the fact that I can rest back home. For me holidays mean exploring and seeing as much as I can.

And this is the reason why I will try to add something new to the blog but that’s a surprise for now because I’m spending time working on it and it will take a while before I arrange things.

Many articles in the works now including Lefkada, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Barcelona etc. so stay tuned.

Until then,

Take care!

LE: I had the article finished for some time and it wasn’t until today that I decided to post it. But before posting it I started thinking “wow I really loved this trip” and I started looking on my pictures again, seeing if I missed a nice one and decided that this trip needs to be done again.

Not this year of course but who knows next year? I loved Cornwall. From all the places I have visited I think I would return here again and again.

I would return here and spend more time, see more places, take more pictures and create more memories.

You will see me state this often in my articles. I do believe that the UK is amazing. I do believe that you can spend much time in it and not get bored.

Looking over my pictures I know for sure that I will return some day to these places. And of course add new sights, new experiences.

And you know what? That makes me really happy.