Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Edged with one of the loveliest and most dramatic stretches of the South West Coast Path, Hartland has a host of interesting features and is a major attraction for artists and craftspeople.
The English village furthest from a railway line, it is a close-knit community used to making its own entertainment. The summer carnival is one of the best in the region and Hartland is famous locally for it. If youd like to catch it, it takes place every August. There are also potteries to visit and the Hartland Quay Museum, past Stoke Church.
The Hartland Arts and Crafts Society has over 50 members who participate in craft fairs throughout the year. A typical fair will be filled with paintings, pottery, needlework, ironwork, glassware, novelty items, jewellery and some things you have never seen before! Most items can be purchased and many of the exhibitors accept commissions.
A drive to Hartland Point is certainly worth it. You can get a cream tea as well as a super view of the Hartland Point Lighthouse.
Also, Hartland Abbey, situated in a stunningly beautiful valley between Hartland and the Quay, is a must for visitors. The house was given by Henry VIII to the keeper of his wine cellar and his descendants still live there to this day. The house is full of history, beautiful architecture, furniture, pictures and early photographs. There are beautiful gardens, peacocks and donkeys roaming in the park too.
A walk to a wild Atlantic cove can be followed by another cream tea made by the ladies of nearby St Nectans Church.
Philip and Frannie have been successfully running Springfield Pottery in Hartland since 1980. In their high quality work they use traditional methods of decoration such as sliptrailing and combing as well as underglaze painting, stencils and sponging. They have a wide variety of glazes made from their own recipes which range from traditional honey and cream, to Persian blue.
You are welcome to visit them in their workshop where you can buy from their well stocked showroom. Their work is also available in two local galleries The Appledore Craft Company and the Waterside Gallery in Instow. They exhibit widely, in the UK and Japan, and they are currently working on a large order from Japan.
The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Theyre happy to take orders for both pots and tiles.
Hartland also boasts excellent hotels well used to catering for the hungry and thirsty traveller. Breathtaking views overlooking the Atlantic almost divert you from the business of eating at the Hartland Quay Hotel, which also has a fascinating museum detailing all the shipwrecks along the coastline.