Me, Richard, Cliff and Simon recently represented Kings Norton Traditional Archers in the 2008 South West Challenge, which took place in Devon and Somerset, with two shoots in each county. We opted against camping given the weather wasn’t going to be particularly good and we had a lot of equipment to take care of. Richard did some research and found Pear Tree Cottage in Stapely, which was situated almost in the middle of all four locations, in fact it was no more than 45 minutes drive to any of them.
It’s a lovely thatched cottage in a beautifully picturesque surrounding. The cottage has several acres of land which you are free to roam around and is about as far away as you can get from the hustle and bustle and noise of city life. I took a number of photo’s all of which are available on my flickr acount here.
On arrival at the cottage we were greeted by our host Colvin who welcomed us and showed us to our rooms and informed us of all those important things we needed to know like watch out for low hanging beams – something I wish I had remembered a couple of days later *ouch* 🙂 . Colvin and his wife Pam live in the cottage and rent several rooms out to guests. They were wonderful hosts who really took care of us and ensured our stay was as comfortable as possible. Pam cooked a wonderful full english breakfast every morning and even catered for my dietary prejudices with a wonderful smile that makes you instantly warm to her. She is a remarkable lady who kept us entertained with her stories about the local area and her views about the government which were amusing but also deeply touching as she related the plight of the country side. Her comments did make me reflect and I couldn’t help but feel that there is something deeply wrong with the world when we neglect the countryside and the heritage and culture that the small isolated communities that live out here are trying so hard keep alive. What was inspiring though was hearing Pam describe how the people living in this these communities do everything possible to support each other.
I’ll describe the challenge itself in another post, but I wanted to emphasise just what a wonderful place the cottage is, and relate just how wonderful Colvin and Pam are. If any of you are looking a nice, quiet, place to escape to I thoroughly recommend Pear Tree Cottage. To Colvin and Pam, I’d like to say thank you 🙂 and I really look forward to seeing you again for next years shoot.