Above: far better than a service station: Crown & Victoria, Tintinhull, Somerset
We had a magical drive home from our Devon holiday on Saturday afternoon. The traffic had vanished by the time we set off from the beach at Blackpool Sands near Dartmouth. The sun was out, highlighting the under-stated beauty of Southern England.
We took the A303, which is normally a slow road, with its mixture of dual carriageway and twisting, hilly single carriageway sections. The lack of traffic made it a wonderful choice, as its quirky character made a great change from the M5 and M4. Best of all, we were able to admire the sublime majesty of Stonehenge without the usual long queues.
We stopped for a drink at one of our favourite pubs, the Crown & Victoria in Tintinhull, a Somerset village just off the highway. It was a glorious evening and Owen enjoyed his picnic in the garden. (We were too early for the pub's food service.) It set us up for an equally enjoyable final leg of the drive - and even the M25 behaved itself.