Subject: Driving from Gatwick + SW England
Hi -- On our way to the Scilly Islands, Bill and I landed at Gatwick (from Baltimore) in the early a.m., picked up our hired Fiat Panda (tiny!), and drove all the way to Mousehole, in southern Cornwall that first day--got there in time for dinner! Boy, were we tired--wouldn't recommend that, but, because of a day's delay on our Transatlantic flight, we had to get the Land's End the next day to catch our Scilly flight. We often drive as far as one of our favorite small Devon hotels, Bickleigh Cottage Country Hotel on the River Exe in Bickleigh, near Tiverton (there are two Bickleigh's in Devon). Bickleigh Cottage is not fancy, but a gorgeous old 17th century thatched roof inn that has been in the Cochrane family for generations; you will find it as the centerfold of many British picture books, on pictorial calendars, and on souvenir mugs and plates. Pauline Cochrane maintains a breathtaking garden along the river. As they are winding down to retirement, the Cochranes now serve only breakfast, but it definitely is a separate-tables hotel, not a b and b. There is a small bar plus, if you are a fly fisherman, Stuart Cochrane owns the fishing rights on the Exe along his property and catches some wonderful salmon and trout---guests may fish. There are two places for dinner within a very short walk. Nearby is Bickleigh Castle and the wonderful Knightshayes Gardens. Enjoy England's SW! Cheers, Pat in Baltimore