I really didn’t want to write about the White Lion in Braunton. Think of it as contractual obligations, like a 1978 Steve Hackett album.

New map

It’s certainly an hour between buses back to Barnstaple I’ll not get back.

But at least it gave me a tick, and the vital information that the Tarka Trail is a cycling route designed to allow middle class women with ankle tattoos called Jemima and their straggled haired children to mow you down.

Can we blame Beeching, Paul ?

Oooh, feel the loathing. Braunton managed to cram a museum of surfing amongst its coffee shops and boutiques.

“A number of major surf brands are associated with the village including Tiki Board Barn Tokyo Demons Of Doom Killers Modern Foam Designs and Salt Rock ” says Wiki. I ran down to the river, like Bruce.


With another hour I’d have made the sand dunes, which might have made me warm to it all. But I didn’t.

An old biker with ponytail who looked a bit like The Outlaw gave me a potted history of the village for free, somehow missing out the Beer Guide pub. Though to be fair that’s up for sale.

No, I couldn’t run that pub

Handwash, name and number, Β£1.80 a half of Fox, seat by the bar.


It filled up pretty quickly. Note how the nearest customer eschews Hi-Vis, for brogues and sunglasses on head.

As pubby as it got

Adequate Exmoor (NBSS 2.5), but at least we got Sultans of Swing. I can imagine that 35 years ago every visitor here would have just bought Brothers in Arms. On CD.

See the source image

NB This is the statement on the website of All to Love, one of the town’s main shops. What on earth do they sell ?

“We genuinely care about your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the entire planet. We are dedicated to helping you relax and remember who you truly are. 
All To Love believes in transparency and honesty. “

18 thoughts on “THE TARKA TRAIL

  1. Assuming you or your blog title team have already done the Tarka Dhal pun in a previous blog…..but I was shocked at the Steve Hackett comment……he’s still a thing πŸ™‚

    A Tick of The Tarka Trail…… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Braunton . Braunston is somewhere on the Grand Union Canal.

    One of several places claiming to be the largest village in England.


    1. Ta. I’d never heard of it before and actually read it as Braunston twice. Braunston must be well known to Pete.

      The biker guy was very keen to emphasise it was a village, though I’m amazed it had 7,353 residents. Must be more than I saw.


      1. Martin,
        Suggesting “Heath Hayes and Wimblebury” ( near where I grew up ) is a village is as daft as saying Crewe and Nantwich is a town.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Can we blame Beeching, Paul ?”
    I got a return from Exeter St Davids to Barnstaple and back twenty-five years ago so I don’t think so.


    1. Yes, but Barnstaple is as far as it goes. The Atlantic Coast Express out of Waterloo used to divide at Barnstaple, with half going forward to Ilfracombe and the rest to Bideford and Torrington.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. John,
        That was before my time.
        From Waterloo I’ve only gone as far as Exeter St Davids, then I think back to Paddington.
        I went from Paddington to Penzance and back two years ago.



    Did you follow Duncan to Estonia?

    “New map”


    “designed to allow middle class women with ankle tattoos called Jemima”

    Phew! Good thing my wife’s name isn’t Jemima. πŸ˜‰

    “I ran down to the river, like Bruce.”

    I prefer Neil Young’s ‘Down by the River’… where he shot his baby.
    (probably taken from Verity?) πŸ˜‰

    “No, I couldn’t run that pub”

    I’m sure you could run BY it though.

    “Note how the nearest customer eschews Hi-Vis, for brogues and sunglasses on head.”

    Not to mention brown shoes with purple pants. Avant-Garde!

    “What on earth do they sell ?”

    My guess? — bollocks. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

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