Week 10 day 65 – 27th May

  • 65 minutes at 120 watts
  • Max heart rate = 120 bpm
  • Calories = 556 (total so far 22232)
  • Distance covered = 23.41 miles
  • Total distance so far = 841.78

I stuck with the 120 watts plan and completed another 23.41 miles to the accompaniment of Devon lass, Joss Stone, Mind Body Soul – and it’s taken all of mine to get this far!

This is such a beautiful part of the country it is no wonder it is so popular with tourists. As I leave the Blackdown Hills I’m soon into another AONB, East Devon. 

I pass through the pretty village of Upottery. The name has nothing to do with pottery and is in fact a mix of the river Otter and Up, referring to the highest point where the spring becomes a river. It was the site of an RAF base in World War II, the remains of which are now on private property.

We also pass through Honiton, an important staging post on the Exeter – London route. Its scenic setting has changed little since 1724 when Daniel Defoe described the view from Honiton Hill as ‘the most beautiful landscape in the world’.

Nearby are the sites of ancient hill forts, Hembury and Blackbury which provide some beautiful walking areas.

The buildings of Honiton High Street are almost all Georgian, dating from rebuilding after the two fires of 1747 and 1765. 

However, the town is probably most famous for its intricate, finely crafted bobbin lace traditionally used in royal items such as Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. Almost equally famous, is Honiton Pottery with beautiful stylised designs. It is no longer made in the town, but collectable pieces can be found in the many antique shops that line the high street.

Honiton is big on events with a famous Agricultural Show, a festival and a carnival. However, most unusual is a rather strange event peculiar to the town – Hot Pennies Day in July, where warmed pennies are scattered from pub windows. 

It starts at 12 noon from the Old Pannier Market, with The Town Cryer hoisting up a garlanded pole with a gloved hand at the top, proclaiming that “No man may be arrested so long as this glove is up.” This was done to ensure that everyone would come to Honiton for the fair which followed the ceremony, without fear of being arrested for their debts; they would otherwise have stayed away.

The reason behind the pennies being thrown hot was that the affluent people who threw out the pennies took great delight in seeing the peasants burn their fingers whilst collecting them.  Nowadays the pennies are merely warm!

And so, we arrive at Clyst Honiton, a village on the river Clyst – almost in sight of Exeter.  If you are a keen baker, it might be worth a short detour to Broadclyst to visit Clyston Mill. There has been a mill named Clyston at Broadclyst for many hundreds of years and it was first mentioned in The Domesday Book in 1086. The exact location of the old mill is unknown but is thought to be a little further north from Broadclyst. 

In 1944, the Killerton estate, including the mill was left to the National Trust by Sir Richard Acland. The current mill makes 5-6 tons of award-winning flour each year and this is used in the cakes, scones and bread served at Killerton’s award-winning cafes.

Which reminds me, it’s definitely time to start looking for a cream tea! Also, it won’t be long before strawberries and cream will be on the menu for an afternoon tea in Mary’s garden; in this glorious sunshine, last week’s strawberries have already started to ripen.