Sunday, 15 May 2016

Choccie Box Village

This afternoon we went out with some friends for a walk through one of Devon’s prettiest villages – Lustleigh near Bovey Tracey. My hubby went there the other day and knew I would love it, and told me that it was full of thatched cottages, every one of them fit to go on a chocolate box! May is the loveliest month in our part of the world, with all the wild flowers coming out in the hedgerows, and as it was such a beautiful sunny spring day, we decided to grab the opportunity and go. Of course, later in the year, there will probably be more flowers in the village proper, and lots of roses around the doors of the cottages, in true choccie box style!

As we walked along the lane approaching the village, we saw the first of an absolute profusion of wall pennyworts growing out of the stone walls. These insignificant little plants with their tall green inflorescences are one of my favourite plants – they have round fleshy leaves and grow bravely in the most inhospitable of environments! They love shady, slightly damp places, stone walls under the trees, and as such, they often don’t get noticed.

01 Wall Pennyworts

Dry stone wall. All held together purely by the skilful placing of stones of different sizes, these walls go back many hundreds of years.

02 Dry Stone Wall

03 Dry Stone Wall with Ivy

A mossy roof with wall pennyworts growing on it. This was the entrance to a cottage garden; it looks like a church lych gate.

04 Mossy Roof

The lane winding down the hill towards the village.

05 Winding Lane

Wild honesty growing in the hedgerows.

06 Wild Honesty

Perfect thatching.

07 Perfect Thatch

One of many thatched cottages in the village.

08 Thatched Cottage

A narrow lane leading to more thatched cottages.

09 Lane to Thatched Cottages

The beautiful entrance to a thatched cottage.

10 Entrance to Thatched Cottages

To the left of the gate, another thatched cottage, with a beautiful ceanothus shrub growing against the wall.

11 Thatched Cottage with Ceanothus

12 Ceanothus

This was an interesting cottage with a picket fence at the front.

13 Thatched Cottage with Picket Fence

Beside the front entrance is the old stone trough and water pump.

14 Water Trough and Pump

The stone doorway. On the left at the top of the stonework, the date, 1680, has been cut into the stonework.

15 Entrance to Cottage Dated 1680

Another thatched cottage with a pretty garden.

16 Thatched Cottage with Garden

Pink campions growing in the hedgerow, another of my favourite wild flowers.

17 Campions

A beautiful red acer growing in a cottage garden.

18 Red Acer

Little white stitchworts, and blue speedwells.

19 Stitchworts and Speedwells


20 Speedwells

Don’t our British wild flowers have charming names?

Walking further on, we crossed over the stream.

21 Across the Stream

A view towards a larger house, possibly the manor house of the village, with the church beyond.

22 Manor House and Church

A long stone wall. This one is not a dry stone wall as it is constructed with mortar.

23 Long Stone Wall

Under the railway bridge.

24 Under the Old Railway Bridge

An ancient water runnel.

25 Old Water Gulley

Entering the village entre, with the green, and the church beyond.

26 The Village Centre

More thatched cottages. The one straight ahead has a Clematis montana growing on it.

27 Thatched Cottage with Clematis Montana

The church and the war memorial. This made me think of the young men who went off to fight in two world wars; they left this idyllic and quintessentially English village with its peaceful atmosphere and ancient roots, to mortal danger and scenes of unspeakable carnage and horror, never to return.

28 Church and War Memorial

Primrose Cottage and tea room.

29 Primrose Cottage

The steps in front of Primrose Cottage – such pretty flowers.

30 Primrose Cottage Steps

Looking down on the village from the green.

31 Thatched Cottages and War Memorial

The curious iron and glass lamp outside the church.

32 Lamp Outside Church

Looking through into the pub garden.

33 Pub Garden

A couple of painted sheep!

34 Painted Sheep

My hubby opening the gate into the orchard.

35 Orchard Entrance

The orchard, with seats, picnic area and children’s playground, is a perfect place for recreation in the village. The trees were covered with apple blossom.

36 Orchard

The throne of the May Queen. This is an ancient English tradition, rooted in paganism – the most beautiful young girl in the village is crowned queen and enthroned.

37 Throne of the May Queen

The names of the May Queens since the 1950s, cut into the stone.

38 List of May Queens

In the orchard.

39 In the Orchard

The view as we left the village.

40 Leaving the Village

Such a lovely afternoon out! We are so glad that we grabbed the opportunity to go, because the weather is probably not going to be so good this week, and we didn’t want to miss seeing this gorgeous village at its best. We are so fortunate to live with such beauty within easy reach, and to have the opportunity to visit, in the company of lovely friends.

To finish, here is a photo I took of Phoebe, dead to the world, sunbathing on the concrete path at the back of our house.

Phoebe Dead to the World in the Sun 15-5-16


  1. That village is absolutely darling! Thanks for the pics.I think Devon might be one of my fav counties from what we see of the prog"Escape to the Country".

  2. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I can't tell you how much it means to me. I am over in the USA. I absolutely love the UK and all it's beautiful nature and architecture. This was such a treat to find in my e-mail box this morning. I swear I have seen many of those buildings in movies. The Sharpe mini-series keeps coming to my mind. I really did love every picture and took several minutes to admire each one. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for a lovely reply, Aiyana! So glad you enjoyed looking at all the photos. I had such fun taking them. We had a lovely afternoon out.


  3. This looks like a little hidden gem! Just the type of place we enjoy visiting - off the beaten track. I'll try to remember the name for next time we're on holiday nearby. The problem is sometimes the tourism ruins it all in the summer, especially the fishing villages in Cornwall. LOL, @Phoebe sprawled out like that. Oreo sometimes does that in the dark at the top of the stairs! So dangerous! Take care, Shoshi - might see you tomorrow on WOYWW!


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