Arriving in Buckfastleigh

I got a glimpse of Buckfastleigh (pronounced buck-fast-lee) while riding in on the South Devon Railway. The River Dart is the centerpiece of the general area and a contributing factor to the lush landscape. Kilbury Manor, the B&B I’m staying at, is a 15 minute walk from the railway station and sits on the opposite side of the river from the train tracks. I walked from the station up to the main road and turned down a residential street not far off. A sidewalk lined with modest houses led me to a couple turnoffs. One displayed the Highway sign you see below, which made me laugh. The other was the lane shrouded in green with the road sign hidden in foliage.

As I trudged along the narrow road with my luggage, a local resident stopped to ask me where I was headed. It seemed he was questioning whether or not I knew where I was going and very kindly gave me a lift the rest of the way. Let me just say that a man willing to take a gal up along with her baggage is a special thing (he he!). John is a helicopter pilot (Dave!!!) retired from the British military who helped out when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. He has a daughter living in Georgia who married an American and claims he hasn’t disowned her for it ;-)

Kilbury Manor is a large picturesque English cottage run by Julia and Martin and fiercely guarded by Dillon (ball) and Buster (blanket)–the resident dogs. These two canines add intermittent barking and wagging tails to the Kilbury Manor experience. Also, they like to bring me stuff.

After settling in, I took a stroll down the road parallel to the river. A good portion of the road is banked on either side with an abundance of vines and blossoms. Every once in a while I reached a stretch of Dart River, a pasture, a cottage, or a farm.

This place is truly enchanting, or shall I say enchanted. Often times, when I travel, I may find a spot or two that’s so beautiful I want to remember and share it with others. That’s not so here. Everywhere is special here. There’s no facade or staged beauty in the area, it is genuinely special from earth to sky. The landscape is natural, the farms are working farms and the cottages are peoples’ homes. It’s apparent that the residents love this place and those that are drawn here have very good reason.

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