On a nice steady run, the journey from Hayle, Cornwall where we were staying back to my Mum’s place in Somerset takes around 3 1/2 to 4 hours. For some reason in the Autumn time I seams to struggle with travelling more and get travel sick more easily. So to help break up the journey I had taken a look at the map to find the halfway point to see if there was anywhere there worth stopping. Just before Okehampton, Devon I had spotted a little lake by Broadwoodwidger (awesome name by the way) called Roadford Lake. It was pretty much halfway, just 2 miles off the A30 and according to Google had a little country park with a cafe and toilets. Marvellous.
As we travelled up from Cornwall the heavy, misty cloud we’d been in began to lift to reveal a beautiful day. Along the A30 some of the leaves had already began to turn and the hazy golden sunlight definitely gave it an Autumn feel.
Roadford Lake was really easy to find, indeed just a couple of miles and minutes off of the main road. On the approach to it the first thing that we spotted was the dam. It was an oddly magnificent sight. I don’t usually feel that way about manmade structures but there was something aesthetically pleasing about the broad concrete curve that encapsulated this man made lake.
Being midday on a Monday (not during school holidays) it was lovely and quiet, in fact throughout our time there I noticed that the whole place had a peaceful, still feeling to it. We parked up, paid and displayed our ticket, donned the wellies and set off. We passed the little cafe and wandered a little ways down the well laid path.
We didn’t want to wander too far as we were under a time limit, but within a half an hour we still managed to amble along the lovely paths enjoying the gorgeous views of the lake taking in a few sights as we went. There were a couple of little white boats dotted on the lake, barely moving on the mirror like still water. Then we stumbled upon a giant sun dial but alas just at that point the sun decided to torment us and sneak behind some clouds.
As we made our way back towards we passed a chalk drawing etched onto a wall showing where lots of different local produce used for the food in the cafe was sourced from – different counties in the Southwest from Cornwall all the way up to Gloucestershire. Although we had ourselves a picnic lunch waiting we ventured into the cafe and shop, just for a little look. The cafe was a pretty decent size and from the look of the homemade soup and cheese scones passing by me on the waitress’s tray I’d say the food there is worth a try (note for a future trip). The little shop too had lovely wares, many nature themed goodies from local makers.
We really didn’t get to explore that far and I wonder how long it would take to walk around the whole lake, a few hours I’d imagine. When searching for this place Mr Google had eluded to the fact that it is one of the largest lakes in the Southwest. On the back of the information board near the beginning we’d found a map showing many other lakes in the region which we made a note of for future explorations.
As we sat back at the car eating our picnic in the blissful golden sunshine I surveyed the scene in front of me and concluded that although it had a slightly odd, manufactured feel to it that didn’t detract from its beauty or our enjoyment of the place. I bet it would be a a great atmosphere on a sunny summers afternoon, bustling with people in and on the water. All in all, I’d say we’d found a gem of a picnic spot to stop, grab a bit of fresh air and a bite to eat before continuing on our merry way and no doubt will be stopping by again in future.