26 June 2015

Expat Adventures: 2nd Stop in the Great British Tree Road Trip

The bridges at Saltash

Part II of the insane road trip on the 10th of June had us travelling south-east from Exeter to just north of the village of Upton-Cross in Cornwall in search of the Darley Oak Tree.  This one was quite difficult to find and the sat-nav took us on some amazingly tiny roads to get there...tiny as in there was barely enough room for our Mondeo to squeeze through without brushing the mirrors against the hedgerows and there were times when the mirrors had to be brought in to avoid this.  Miles and miles of this! I am just glad I wasn't driving especially for the section where we had to reverse for a quarter of a mile to find a place wide enough to move over so an oncoming tractor could get by us.  We really should have had the windscreen mount set up for the camera to film but alas there is no photographic evidence for y'all to enjoy.  The below pic is one of the wider sections of road we travelled and where we stopped to ask a woman on horseback if we were indeed going in the correct direction.

One of the wider sections of road

The tree is located in the front garden of a group of farmhouses and from the description on various sites we were wondering if it would be easily accessible.  There was no need to worry though because it is situated right next to the drive and my partner even struck up a conversation with one of the farmers about the tree.  It was quite interesting listening to him speak because he sounded like a pirate! I'm not sure either of us understood half of what he said but it didn't seem to matter because they were over half an hour chatting.  The British reserve stereotype does not hold true once you get away from the cities! 

The Darley Oak

The Darley Oak is massive of course and is estimated to be over a 1000 years old.  While it looks like some of the branches would break off in a stiff breeze it didn't give off the air of dejection that Major Oak in Notts seems to have.  If anything it had quite a cheerful aura and I'm not one to usually ascribe such characteristics to trees.  

The 50 Great British Trees Plaque

Don't you wonder how many children have climbed and hid in this tree over the centuries?

We didn't stay there but the Oak Barn B&B across from the Darley Oak looked quite lovely if you are looking for a getaway location and if the proprietors are half as friendly as the man we spoke to then you are in for a pleasant stay.

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