Thursday, 5 March 2009

Spring is in the air

Well we thought ‘Spring had sprung’ but up on the moor this afternoon the snow flurries are swirling, reminding us that it’s still only March. Despite that, there’s a distinct whiff of the changing season in the air. And it’s not just my imagination. ‘Geosmin’ is the name of the odour in question and it’s produced by billions of tiny microbes waking up after their winter sleep.

The scent of a spring wood was pretty glorious as we walked beside the River Dart in the sunshine at the weekend. Warm, bright. We’d had no rain for a couple of weeks so the river was babbling away with absolutely crystal clear water – as good as anywhere in the world. The cottages round the pub would make great walking bolt holes in the charming village of Holne and the The Church House Inn did us a really splendid and good value RB&YP lunch with properly and deliciously rare beef. Their team were admirably relaxed, smiling and easy going even whilst startlingly busy (first warm and sunny Sunday for months) and by the time we were the last to leave they were enjoying a well earned pint and on the right side of the bar. No fussiness or pretention.

The pub’s on the Two Moors Way (lucky walkers) and close to the recently re-opened Tradesman’s Arms at Scoriton which will be another day out. We’ll certainly return. Holne would be a good holiday destination ‘OBTB’(oh-bee-tee-bee)(off-the-beaten … yes you get it) and if you need a place to stay nearby you could try this holiday cottage. It’s a good looking house in a great location near Ashburton – so easy access to both Dartmoor and South Hams.