Sunday Salon: Weekending in Devon

The Sunday SalonDespite losing an hour, we packed in a lot of fun this weekend. Yesterday we took the steam train and ferry from Paignton to Dartmouth with some friends. The weather was perfect, with blue skies and some real warmth from the sun for one of the first times this year. We ate local crab sandwiches, took a cruise around the estuary and (after some searching) found a place for cream tea with delicious scones and terrible wait staff.

We weren’t in Devon for a literary break, but it so happens that one of the stops on the steam train line is Greenway Halt, which exists solely for visitors to Greenway, the estate of one Agatha Christie. I haven’t read her books since I was a teenager but back then I was a big fan. I couldn’t resist picking up one of her titles in the railway shop. Maybe I’ll rekindle my fandom and next time we’re in Devon I can drag Tim round another author’s home!


Today we were in Exeter, where we walked along the River Eve in yet more sunshine, had a delicious leisurely brunch, successfully escaped from a locked room (which was awesome fun) and then wandered around bookshops. There aren’t many bookshops in Exeter, and even fewer that are open on Sundays, but we did discover one of the homes of a great charity called Book Cycle.

At this shop, based in a beautiful Tudor-fronted building, you can take away up to three books per day and pay whatever you like for them as a donation to the charity. The proceeds – and donated books – allow the charity to send books to overseas schools. They also provide a free community seed bank to encourage tree-planting – so they really cover the full cycle from tree to book! The West Street shop is full of reading nooks, most of which were occupied when we had a nosy around, and even has a little terrace garden where you can take a book on a nice day.

I hope you all had lovely weekends. Happy reading!