Attitude sent Steve, Christian and their son David off to Devon for a weekend break and to try out all the All-New Renault Kadjar.
(Photos by Roy Riley)
Bright and early on Saturday morning we packed the All-New Renault Kadjar, ready for our adventure in Westward Ho!, in north Devon. Having endured a run of bad luck, including our car being written off, followed by illness resulting in a cancelled trip to Venice, we were in need of a break. It was our fifth wedding anniversary that weekend and were determined to have fun.
Parents with small children know that even the shortest trip means lots of packing. Not only do you need the pram, clothes and basic essentials but you dare not forget those favourite toys (in our case London buses), books and other gadgets to make the trip enjoyable (or at least bearable). Thank goodness the boot was big enough!
I was a little concerned about the journey because not only was our usual car prehistoric compared with all the gadgets the All-New Renault Kadjar has to offer, but it also has manual transmission. It had been a few years since I had driven anything but an automatic. I needn't have worried because the gearbox was nice and smooth and soon it was as if I'd never been away. Both Cristian and I were mesmerised by the keyless entry and start-up features - it became a regular event that I would get out the car, take David out of the baby seat, shut the doors and immediately forget which pocket I put the remote control in!
A major worry would be how David would cope with a four-hour car journey: this was uncharted territory for us. Luckily, the Bluetooth allowed us to play all his favourite nursery rhymes on a loop. Coupled with the smooth journey along the M4, it wasn't long before he fell asleep. Any thoughts I had of using this opportunity to play catch up with Cristian (we had been working opposite shifts for a week) fell by the wayside as he drifted off to sleep, too. Both stayed that way until I pulled off the M5 two hours later. The car made it such an easy and comfortable journey that I really wasn't worried - until I realised that I was still happily singing along to The Wheels
of the Bus
with great gusto, throwing in a few actions, too.
Once we turned off the motorway, I let the integrated sat nav guide us. We arrived in Westward Ho! early in the afternoon and made our way to the Westward Waterside holiday cottage
, where we were warmly greeted. After a quick nappy change, we wandered along to a restaurant on the edge of the beach and then into the town to do a little exploring. David was not deterred by the cold. Wellies or no wellies, we were going on the sand and as close to the water's edge as papa would allow. I convinced him that skimming pebbles was a far better pastime and that seemed to entertain him until daddy arrived with a huge bag of sweets. Triggering my sweet tooth and with a sudden realisation that we were in Devon, we marched off to a café for a cream tea.
Two steaming mugs of hot chocolate and scones the size of small boulders later, we walked out of the shop. The sea air worked wonders on David and he was out for the count early that night, leaving his daddies to enjoy the delights of the one local takeaway and the latest Bond movie on Amazon Prime. One must commend the Westward Waterside for the entertainment TV package on offer. It was tempting to spend te rest of the weekend ploughing our way through box sets but we knew we had heaps to do. Early on Sunday morning, Roy, our photographer, arrived to capture some memories for us. Being a local meant he knew the best places for stunning coastal views. When he couldn't prepare for us though, on arrival at a headland, was a stampede of horses racing past us. David might have been fascinated but Cristian couldn't force his eyes open.'
Later we drove to an amusement farm park in nearby Abbotsham. This was a kid's paradise. The Big Sheep features an indoor playground, animal shows, climbing wall, mountain boarding, shops and a restaurant. David is relatively shy around animals but was soon tempted into feeding the new-born lambs. Once again the dismal weather made staying outside for too long impossible so we were relieved to discover the indoor soft play area where we spent the next hour. Special "guests" in the room above the restaurant were woodland creepy crawlies.
David proved himself braver than his dads, at one point coming face-to-face with a six-inch stick insect.
We sampled another restaurant before a night in front of Netflix. I was impressed that the car lights were programmed to turn on at dusk - something else I didn't need to worry about. We awoke to bright sunshine on Monday, cursing that we had to leave.
At least the car's large sunroof meant we had some warmth during the drive home. We took the scenic route ad I even felt confident enough to allow the cruise control to take over.
It was a fantastic break in a glorious location. The journey was comfortable and smooth and the accommodation impeccable, with breathtaking views of the coast. If someone could arrange wall-to-wall sunshine next time, that would be perfect.
To book your own getaway to the South-West, visit stayindevon.co.uk
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