Heading up onto Dartmoor with two children and great granny in the back seat, we suddenly find ourselves trapped inside a cloud of misty drizzle, spotting ponies and foals grazing by the roadside.
Before we know it we are in Princetown peering with morbid curiosity at the famous Dartmoor Prison which really looks like the end of the earth with barbed wire wrapped around it. Granny says you used to see prisoners out working the land at one time, with armed guards watching over them.
It starts to rain, so we decided to retreat back to Exeter but on our descent from Princetown, a building suddenly appears next to the roadside that we didn’t see when we drove past earlier. The narrow horse and cart bridge leading to it is begging to be crossed so we squeeze over it and into the car park of the Two Bridges Hotel.
Inside the ancient darkness of the hotel, we huddle around a table in the lounge bar where the walls are covered in clocks and large open fires smoulder gently. We order lunch and sink back into old armchairs in a supernatural silence, longing secretly for a freak snow storm to descend upon the hotel, keeping us prisoners overnight.
Then our food arrives. Fish and chips on square, slate plates. Chips wrapped in paper with crispy salty skins. A beautiful, cold salad and succulent battered cod and all of this followed by two delicious cream teas that we share instead of pudding.
When we leave we shut the heavy door behind us to keep the shadows in.
Image courtesy of mattharvey1 on Flickr