The Tickathon moved into East Devon in late July, with ANOTHER trip down to Exmouth. I’ll be awarded citizenship of the place (and Ilminster) at this rate.

The Walter Raleigh in Budleigh Salterton, another Devonian place name I just made up, had tormented me for 2 years, being determinedly closed when it should be open. Twice.

No mistake on a third time of asking on a gorgeous morning with the stream for company.

Lovely place, despite all the Pooh sticks being out of stock.

I bet that dad in Piddlehinton nicked them.

It’s a lovely pub; floral displays (I know what you’re thinking), cobbles, benches, painted sign.

And the door’s open at 10:24. 10:24 !

I go in. Oooh, cake.

Before I can say “Half of Otter, please, mein host“,

a lady who looks like she runs the WRVS walks over, mildly panicked, and says the pub isn’t open till noon, it’s a cafe till then.

What a good idea, I say, when what I really mean is “Aaaaghhhh“.

Still, 96 minutes isn’t TOO long to kill. I think of following this chap’s example and having a kip in the hedge;

But instead I walk out to Hayes Barton, childhood home of the aforementioned Walter Raleigh, who I always get mixed up with Charlie Drake. Walter is the one who invented Chopper bikes and introduced vaping; Drake is famed for popularising boules.

They’re getting the internet in Devon, you know. This sign attached to a fern leaf on the lane to Hayes Barton says so.

Walter himself met with an unfortunate (and unfair) fate, but at least he didn’t live long enough to suffer the Otter I finally got at 12:02, a dull, milky 1.5.

In fairness, a lovely pub with cheery staff, and the beautiful garden seemed to have been designed with plant pot tippers in mind.

I really should have tried that K9 beer instead.


  1. Talking of dogs, in my early CAMRA days I used to have a badge labelled “DD is K9P”. It’s probably in the loft with my beer mat collection and regional beer guides.


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